Tune up for your next Camino! This gorgeous hike in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, that often-bypassed park off Sir France Drake Boulevard on the way to Point Reyes, features a long gradual climb through laurels and redwoods to Barnabe Peak, where we will have magnificent views north to Tomales Bay and south to Mt. Tam. In the shade almost the whole way, it’s a great hike in the summer, and it’s very serene — much less crowded than the trails on Mt. Tam or Point Reyes. It’s reasonably strenuous — approximately 10 miles and close to 2000 feet of elevation gain — but the climb is very gradual along a series of switchbacks, and the only more challenging section is the half-mile just prior to the summit.
HIKE DESCRIPTION: We start the hike at the Taylor Camp/Azalea Picnic Area and on to the North Creek Trail. We then cross Sir Francis Drake Blvd and walk through the Madrone Group Camp sites. At the next junction we will turn left onto the Gravestone Trail. Next, we turn right on Bill’s Trail following many switchbacks and climbing steadily up to the junction of the Barnabe Trail. From here we turn left and continue up a steeper trail section to Barnabe Peak where we will break for lunch and magnificent 360° views. After lunch we will continue on the Barnabe Trail on a short steep downhill section with loose/gravely terrain to the Cross Marin Trail. We will follow the Cross Marin Trail back to our starting point.
MEETING SPOT: Taylor Camp/Azalea Picnic Area. Camp Taylor Parking Lot. Meet there at 9:30 AM for a 9:45 AM start. Return to parking lot approximately 3:30 PM.
PARKING: $8.00 fee.
BATHROOMS: Bathrooms in parking lot and at the group camp at the beginning of the hike. Otherwise, lots of woods for bio-breaks.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Navigate with Google Maps.
From the East Bay:
- Take the Richmond Bridge. Stay on 580 after the bridge and merge onto US-101 N.
- Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 452 toward Central San Rafael.
- Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto 3rd St.
- Continue onto Second St.
- Continue onto 4th St.
- Continue onto Red Hill Ave.
- Use the right 2 lanes to turn right toward Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
- Merge onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
- Continue on Sir Francis Drake Blvd approximately 14 miles.
Note: Park entrance sign reads, “Camp Taylor.” Entrance will be on your left on Sir Frances Drake. Here’s what you’re looking for:
From SF and points south in Marin: Take 101 North until you hit Exit 452 to central San Rafael. Then same as above.
From the North Bay: Directions will depend on where exactly you’re coming from, but if from Petaluma or to the north, the Pt. Reyes – Petaluma Road will lead you over to Sir Frances Drake.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate to hard. Total distance is about 10 miles and an elevation gain of about 2000 feet. It’s important that you be able to keep up with the group on the steep sections as there are several junctions along the route.
ADVANCE ONLINE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Click the Register button to sign up by August 11. Because space is limited, we ask that you register if/when you are certain you can attend. Thank you!
CANCELLATION: If you are unable to attend, please email us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can offer your space to someone else.
WHAT TO BRING: A day pack with water, snacks and a bag lunch. Bring sun protection (hat, sunscreen) and a jacket or sweater as it can be cool in the shade. Good hiking shoes are recommended and hiking poles if you use them.
LEADER: Led by chapter volunteer Andy Cohn.
THE RUFF STUFF: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.