Explore Petaluma Day Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Petaluma Day Hikes Map
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Brutal is a good way to describe this trail, but what did I expect for climbing a mountain? I started from Los Alamos and worked my way up Hood Mountain. I decided to take the Summit Trail rather than the fire road. It was nice and shady and kept my mind occupied with technical challenges. Sometimes you are climbing rocks and at other times you almost lose the trail. I slowed down as I got tired and the ascent got steeper. Made it to the summit and took a break. You can see evidence of last year's fires higher up. I wanted to go to Gunsight Rock but my legs said, "No more!" so I returned via the fire road trail. It was easier, but also more exposed to the sun. Later I turned off the app to save phone battery (I brought a portable charger but no cord

Many Elk. Very minimal inclines. Many children and elderly on the trail. Went barefoot the last mile or so in the sand. One of the calmest and most serene 10 milers in my experience

Beautiful views along the way and at the end of the trail. Fairly easy walk along a dirt/ sand path. Unmaintained area was not difficult to navigate w long sleeves and pants. Took us under 5 hours round trip w a stop for lunch.

Beautiful views all around. Easy hike. Lots of wildlife!

My first real hike.. Be prepared for miles of sand hiking on the last leg and on the return!! The views will be well worth it!!

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful hike! Get to the trailhead earlier for parking (8 or 9am), and to see the elk, deer, and rabbits. Went yesterday and it was foggy on our way out, but was burning off on the way back — both ways, it was still gorgeous. Wear layers and bring lots of water. The last stretch to the ocean cliff view is uphill and deep sand trail so your shoes will be filled!

Beautiful trail for running/hiking. Park at Stinson Beach parking lot (2-3 free electric car chargers are available; advisable to get there before 10am, otherwise quickly claimed). To get to Dipsea trail head, locate Parkside Cafe (faces the beach), and walk in front of it so you’ll be on Adrenal Ave. Walk up Adrenal (if you’re back is to the beach, make a right on Adrenal), to the trail head (~3 min walk).

hiking
18 days ago

Great trail with beautiful coastal ocean views. But best of all is that you get to see Elks! I’m glad I read other reviews here about wearing long pants, good hiking shoes and bringing a jacket for the foggy mornings. Make sure to bring water and snacks because the hike takes about 4hrs round trip.

hiking
19 days ago

awesome hike, get there early and wear warm gear. you will hike through fog most of the hike. but the end well generally be sunny, amazing little watering hole where the elk all hangout. I found driving from San Francisco at 6am made me one of the first people there. but it fills up and gets very busy!

I still have dreams of this beautiful trail!

hiking
21 days ago

Nice and shady - beautiful redwoods and firs.

Dont kill yourself on the ascent, the last quarter mile is some of the most brutal trail you can find in Sonoma County! Completely worth the hike, and you get to experience tons of the wildfire land to feel closer to nature. So sad, but the regrowth is insipring

hiking
24 days ago

GREAT view!

hiking
26 days ago

One of my favorite trails in Northern California!

hiking
27 days ago

Easy, pretty and a fun quick hike

mountain biking
1 month ago

Nice ride, I attempted it for the first time on my road bike, and was easy even for a non experienced rider like myself.
A group of hardcore riders passed me and were shocked the Someone would attempt the trail on that type of bicycle so it must not be too difficult.

I didn’t go to the end, I turned off on Shafter grade to visit the dam and it was really really steep with loose rocks but doable with f/b disk brakes.
Over all well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

End of August or early September .... great time to observe ELK during rutting season. Get to the trailhead early ... parking lot fills quickly. And being early on the trail is best for seeing ELK.

Great hike today. Glad I followed the advice here and wore long pants and long sleeve shirt. Really overgrown and sandy the last part of the trail but lots and lots of Tule Elk. So cool to hear them call out through the mist.

hiking
1 month ago

If you go by yourself there are plenty of cows to keep you company! Nice easy trail!

Spectacular!! Worth every shrub scratch!! Elk are everywhere even bugling which is always fun!! Saw plenty other wild life too!! The views though are extraordinary! My boyfriend and I have been on hikes all over the country and this is one of the top ones!! Loved it!

I love this trail! I’ll take my dog out here early in the morning on weekends for a couple hour hike. The views are consistently beautiful and the trail is moderately challenging. I haven’t hiked the whole 22 mile out and back yet, but plan to someday!
I’m looking forward to seeing how this trail changes throughout the seasons.
Watch out for ticks though!!

hiking
1 month ago

A beautiful and "casual" trail located at the tippy top of Point Reyes. Alltrails listed this as a very heavy traffic trail, which is true - depending on the time and day you are going - try going earlier! My boyfriend and I went on Saturday morning around 8:15 AM and there was about 4 total cars in the tiny parking lot. When we left, around 12:15ish, there was no parking anywhere -- uphill, downhill etc. As we're walking back - there was people everywhere! So come early

For those who do come later, when there is no parking, please be considerate and NOT park on the lanes leading to McClure Beach... these are narrow ass roads already - we don't need your cars blocking the road even more... talking to you Prius and Toyota owners! Huge abundance of these cars blocking roads, not cool.

Also, need a restroom? The parking lot DOES NOT HAVE A restroom - you would need to trek or drive down a short ways to McClure beach parking for the restroom.

The trail itself is very beautiful, the last 2 miles are UN-MAINTAINED!! The plants and wildlife overgrown in these areas, so be prepared to get scratched if you are not dressed correctly or don't care!

To be honest, we both wore shorts and the bushes didn't bother us too much.

The last few miles also have SANDY PATCHES. Holy crap, walking up sandy that sink your feet is no fun! Just an FYI.

The first 3 miles were amazing. Lots of downhill coastal scenery to be viewed, ocean waves crashing along the cliffs/beaches and rocks, elk everywhere! A bit windy, but with all the hiking - you get warm fast! Bring a jacket just in case there is fog, luckily my trip there was none.

The hike totals about 4.83 miles each way totally 9.66 miles, from parking to the very tip of the rocks where you can see waves crashing along tidal pools. Alltrails says it's moderate and that definition of moderate varies by individuals for sure. The level of this hike will depend on how you generally hike... going back to the parking lot is pure up hill. About 1-2 miles is just up-hill nonstop so be wary of that... suggest to bring enough water!

At the end, after going through shrubs upon shrubs, you are met with beautiful coastal view, you can climb down the lowest of the rocky platforms to get a nicer view -- it was well worth the 3 hour and 41 minute trek.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! I did the first four miles up Oat Mine trail, it is CLOSED from that point forward through September 23 due to wildfire risk. You can turn left though and continue on Palisades trail, which I did for an additional mile- this affords you some cool views looking back down on the trail you came up. Also about a half mile down Palisades there is a cool sort of cave that makes for a shaded lunch spot. Otherwise pretty sunny trail especially after the first few miles so bring lots of water and go early. I did my hike from 10-3 pm in August and it was really hot on the way down. Parking at the trail head is free but quite limited - I had no problem finding a spot but imagine it’s more popular in the cooler months.

Hardly anyone on this trail which is hard to find close to SF. Great trail to do with doggos but no water for them anywhere at this time of year so carry extra! A couple options along the way to leave the ridge and meet route 1 if you want a shorter hike. No ticks and a couple cows that minded their own business.

We spotted elks, deer and coyote! It was a very nice trail with a lot of wildlife.

A very fun, scenic hike with lots of wildlife (elk, deer, and coyotes) and beautiful coastal vistas. The grades are minimal and fairly far apart so this is more like a vigorous walk than a hike. Once you pass the reservoir and grove of cypress trees, the crowds thin out all the way to the tip of Tomales Point. Bring a jacket - it's always windy, especially the exposed final mile plus of the hike. No bathroom at the trailhead but there is one right below in the McClure Beach lot. Highly recommended hike !

Nice short trail. As you can see on the map, there are lots of fire roads that can be mistaken by the trail.
If you want a better workout, do it counterclockwise (steeper going up that way). There's some peculiar historical information about the area. Also, lots of turkey vultures flying by the tower on top (taking advantage orographic lift).

hiking
1 month ago

Wear long pants and bring a jacket if you don't want scratches on your arms and legs. Near the end of the trail, you'll be walking through some prickly brush that goes chest high (if not head high). There's definitely some steep climbs in sand, but the most tiring one is mile 6-7. Super scenic photos of the water breaking onto shore, fields full of wildflowers, and you may even see some elk!

What an amazing trail along the coast! Expect to get sand in your shoes & go through bushes. The weather was perfect, with the cool, crisp air & fog in the morning and as the fog lifted, the sun made everything so visible. Loved all the wildflowers and wildlife. But the views are to die for! It’s one of my favorite hikes yet!

hiking
1 month ago

It doesn’t get much better than this for me. I arrived by 8:45a on a Sunday and more or less had the walk out to myself. It was dense with fog so had a hazy, dreamlike feel to it. I was the only one at Tomales Point which itself is a stunning vista. There was lots of wildlife to see...sea lions, pelicans, crabs, oyster catchers, snails and gulls. By the time I turned around to walk back around 1130a the fog had cleared and the trail was pretty heavily trafficked. Because the fog had cleared though the walk back felt entirely different than the walk out. The views of the ocean and bay are terrific and seeing a herd of elk was fun. Overall a great hike.

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