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China Camp State Park (Moderate+). 9 miles. 1200 ft

  • Oct 30, 2013 · 9:30 AM
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 It is a moderate hike but there are two short strenuous hill sections.   Also be aware of an one mile stretch, in the middle and at the end, that's on the road.  I know that's not for everyone.

This is a great 9 mile hike with an altitude gain of appx 1400 ft.  It is a moderate hike but there are two short strenuous sections.

This is a scenic location on San Pablo Bay, which allows for many blue-water vistas on the park's Shoreline Trail.  It's amazing how many of us haven't taken advantage of this gorgeous spot! It's a great park filled with history and with tons of picnic opportunities.  With more than 1,500 shoreline acres, plus a pretty forest of oaks, bays and madrone's, the park is an island of natural beauty just outside the busy city of San Rafael. We will go on 9 mile loop on Shoreline Trail, Oakridge Trail and Bay View Trail.  We will go into the backcountry of the park.  We will begin our hike on Shoreline Trail from near Back Ranch Meadows Campgroud. We meander all over the park and have lunch on the water.  There are some steep parts in this hike combined with rolling hills.  


Take the North San Pedro Road exit (there is a sign there for China Camp) and drive east for 3.5 miles.  Park on road where the BAck Ranch Meadows Campgroud entrance is on your right.   We will meet by our cars at this junction of San Pedro Rd. and the entranch to Back Ranch Meadows.


As always:

We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time.   A steady pace and we just keep going!

Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments.  This is especially important if there are any weather issues.  Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.

Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time.  That is the time we head out on the trail.  It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. 

Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.

Duration: 5-6 hours

Facilities: Available at China Camp though not at the trail head...arrive early to use a facility located within the park.

Dogs?: None allowed

Bring plenty of water. 

Dress in layers. 

Bring a snack.  We will hike down to the Chinese Fishing Village for a stop.

Bring your smile and great attitude!    If you are a fast hiker you will have to wait for us moderate hikers.  If you are a slow hiker you will find that we head off up the trail as soon as you are within close visual sight of the group. Please make sure this is something that you will enjoy!  We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time! 

Always try to car-pool if you can.  If there is a noted car pool that is full or doesn’t work for you it would be wonderful if posted your own on the hike’s comments spot.  And car poolers if you are riding with someone other than your leader please chip in for gas and the use of their car.

See you on the trail!


Car pool etiquette- Come prepared to drive, be aware that there may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. We determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up.  We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work!

Then PLEASE if possible try to use the two locations below. The more location

s we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.

Car pool locations:

Coddingtown Library parking lot suggested leave at 8:35


Petaluma-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:55



General room of thumb...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!

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  • Colleen

    Great way to spend a perfect Fall day!

    October 31, 2013

  • Brenda P.

    Lovely fall day! Nice to meet knew people and catch up with friends too.

    October 31, 2013

  • Gwen

    I would really like to do this hike!!! Any chance of a repeat on a Saturday for those of us that are working ?!?!

    October 30, 2013

  • Andy E.

    Great hike

    October 30, 2013

  • napastan

    Superfantasic hike

    October 30, 2013

  • Kathie B.

    This was the best way I can think of to spend such a beautiful fall Wednesday! Wonderful to see you all for such a lovely outing. Thank you Leigh and fellow Wanderers!

    October 30, 2013

  • Christy Vandever S.

    What a great first time for this hike! I'm looking forward to leading in a couple weeks. Thanks for the great company, weather, and challenges today. :)

    October 30, 2013

  • Kathy F

    This is always a great hike and the weather turned out to be perfect. A great group - it was fun to see some"usual faces", some familiar but not seen recently, and to meet some new hiking buddies.

    2 · October 30, 2013

  • Arlene P.

    Petaluma carpool

    October 24, 2013

    • napastan

      Petaluma carpool

      October 30, 2013

    • Hank F.


      October 30, 2013

  • Leigh

    Hi everyone!
    Two things! There may be a day use fee in effect now. Check before when you park. If you have a state park pass then you will not have to pay the day use fee.
    The bathrooms are about a mile or two further down the main road from where we park. You might want to leave a little early to allow time for a stop!

    October 30, 2013

  • Kathie B.

    Coddingtown carpool!

    October 22, 2013

  • Kathy F

    Petaluma car pool

    October 29, 2013

  • Marcia B


    October 28, 2013

  • Amy H.

    Petaluma car-pool

    October 22, 2013

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