Eight Miles on Eight Trails on Mt. Tam's Majestic Northside
From Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area, we start along Lakeview Fire Road and turn right on Collier Sprigs Trail up to Collier Springs, then right on Northside and Upper Northside Trails to Rifle Camp. Road, west on Lower Northside Trail, then down on Azalea Meadow Trail to Willow and Stocking Trails to work our way to Bay Tree Junction, and returning to our cars via Rock Springs-Lagunitas Fire Road. I haven't been on the the Azalea Meadow Trail in a few years, so we will be in "exploratory mode," i.e. having fun with the unexpected. The hike gives us a mixture of full sun on fire roads and forest shade on single-track trails.
Meeting Place: Lake Lagunitas Picnic Area. Directions: Take Bolinas Road from the town of Fairfax. From the "Fairfax Coffee Roastery" at the corner of Broadway and Bolinas Road, go 1.5 miles and turn left on Sky Oaks Road at the sign for "Lake Lagunitas, Bon Tempe, Water Treatment Plant" and continue 1/3 mile to the Sky Oaks Pay Station ($8/car). Go another 0.7 miles, keeping to the left at the road split and stay on Sky Oaks Road for another 0.4 mile to the parking lot and picnic area just before a large grove of Redwood trees. You can click on the map above that shows the exact meeting place.
We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group and at waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within several minutes of the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy.
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. Cancellations or any adjustments 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. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 5 or so hours
Facilities: yes, at parking lot
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. The hike can start off cool but rapidly warm up
Bring a snack. We'll take a scenic lunch break.
Bring your smile and great attitude! Once again....this is not about finishing the hike in record time...it's about enjoying ourselves and the outdoors! If you are a fast hiker you will be waiting for those of us that huff and puff our way up the trail. If you are a slow hiker you will find that we head off up the trail as soon as you catch up with the group. Please make sure this is something that you will enjoy! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
See you on the trail!
Car pool locations:
SANTA ROSA: Coddingtown Mall parking lot in front of the Coddingtown library to leave by 7:30
PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8, assuming you go the back road to Woodacre.