China Camp State Park Loop

MODERATE 111 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

China Camp State Park Loop is a 8.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near San Rafael, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.9 miles
961 feet




horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



no dogs

Park at the Campground Parking area, or Buckeye Point.

4 days ago

I love this trail

13 days ago

Solid hike - most elevation gain at the start but not too tough. A little boring the last few miles - ton of bikers

26 days ago

This hike was great. I am completely out of shape (and overweight), but I was able to complete this (nearly 9 mile) hike. We saw so many deer, a few small snakes, a couple coyotes, and an endless number of lizards. Yes there are plenty of mountain bikers, but not really bothersome.

1 month ago

Great walk, only complaint was a lot of mountain bikes to step aside for. Would still recommend.

1 month ago

For hikers looking for a variety of short out-and-back and longer loop trails, China Camp SP offers a great mix of bayside and woodland habitat to explore.

There are peekaboo views through thick trees down to China Camp and San Pablo Bay from the many miles of the Bayview Trail. But the grandest vistas are to be found at the apex of McNears Fire Road - 360 degree panoramas of the City, all 3 SF Bay bridges, Mt Diablo, Mt Tam, and the North Bay peaks, from a single unbeatable location.

Over 8 years hiking I once spotted a great horned owl on Turtleback Hill, but usually you’ll encounter docile deer foraging next to the trail, occasional turkeys, fence lizards, and all manner of winged insects on windless days. Currently, in early May the trailsides are flush with beautiful iris and monkey flower.

China Camp SP is also a more than solid choice for East Bay folks seeking sun in Marin in Spring, Fall and Winter (though summer rambles can be on the hot side!).

4 months ago

Well maintained. Lots of options. Beautiful. During the week, especially in the AM, nothing can compare (well, almost nothing)...on the week/end, mountain bikers believe they own the trail. Avoid if you can.

mountain biking
5 months ago

A great ride, but it seemed like everybody was going counterclockwise and I went clockwise so I felt like I was swimming upstream.

5 months ago

The trail is great for a easy accessible day hike. The only downside is the amount of bikers!

mountain biking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Hiked counterclockwise. Easy hike but relatively long at 9 miles. I hiked during a weekday in order to avoid the mountain bikers. This trail is well known as a favorite for bikers. Still a nice hike worth returning to for hiking. On the day I hiked the final 1.5 miles of the trail was closed which required a walk along the highway back to the trailhead. Total hiking time: 3 hours.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

mountain biking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lots of trail closures today so had to spend part of the loop on the main road, but still such a beautiful area and one of my all time favorite spots to ride.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

I'd have to do it again for a full review.

Monday, March 06, 2017

This was a nice trail It was easy to follow and the trails were well maintained. There has been a lot of rain lately that caused a landslide that required one of the main trails to be closed I also hiked Turtle Hill Easy but very scenic . I saw a few bikers and a couple runners.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Great trail with so much to see. Not to hard and not easy. Going to do trail running next time.

mountain biking
Friday, February 03, 2017

The trail was re-vamped in the beginning of 2016, and made it less full suspension dependent riding. Less technical and more flow. This is a great week workout ride.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lots of mountain bikers!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Great loop to do with young kids (just the turtleback loop). Did it at dusk and heard frogs, owls, plus great views of the east bay. Cool.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This is just a question! Has anyone birded here? What is it like or do the bikes etc scare the birds off?!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Great ride, challenging but doable.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It was beautiful and the weather was nice. There are a lot of mountain bike riders but they all watched out for us hikers.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Nice clean path and shady

trail running
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

During the week when the park isn't as crowded, this is a fantastic place for trail running. Many trails, nice breezes on hot days, and beautiful views.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hiked this trail last fall and it was a great hike. one thing I realized was this was very popular with mountain bikers and they would come around corners pretty fast. So you have to keep an ear out and listen for oncoming traffic. the riders from behind typically yell out to let you know they're behind you. Great scenic views and photo ops.

mountain biking
Sunday, April 03, 2016

Great trail for mountain biking.

mountain biking
Sunday, January 03, 2016

Great trail for mountain biking. moderate trail.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's a great trail to hike on, seems like very well maintained trails for MTB as well. I will have to try it out on a bike next time.

mountain biking
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fun beginners trail. Excellent for learning or getting back in shape!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

If you take this trail from the China Camp Village parking lot south along the ridge trail (the china camp village trail will take you to the ridge trail), it's an amazing view of the Bay all the way over to Richmond. It's an easy walk, but you can get great mileage out of it too.

The problem is that it's extremely popular with cyclists. If you can go during a weekday, you might be ok - otherwise, you are guaranteed to be moving for cyclists every 5 minutes or so. It can be stressful.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beginner cyclist, loved this trail. A few difficult spots but just another reason to come back and challenge myself to complete the loop without stopping.

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