DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,191 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

walking

lake

hiking
2 months ago

I normally don't review trails but there doesn't seem to be very much info on this one. This is a very long hike with some very steep areas. Most of the trail was up and down, sometimes steep and narrow. Make sure you start early! It took me, my husband, and two dogs 6.5 hours to hike the whole thing with no stops. This was definitely on the slow side because there was a lot of doubling back and waiting to allow other hikers and dogs to pass (narrow trail!). It was a sunny but cool day when we went. If coming from Bolinas-Fairfax Rd from the Fairfax direction, it's later in the morning, and the weather is nice, find parking before the actual trailhead but after the dam. If you pass the trailhead, the road gets steep and there's no space to turn around. Parking gets difficult and walking up a steep road to get to your car after a 9 mile hike isn't something you want to do. There's one portapotty at the trailhead. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The first mile or so was crowded from people trying to get to the falls but after that we saw maybe 10 people. Most of the trail is shaded but there is a good 2 miles of full sun on an uphill climb when you hit the Rocky Ridge Fire Road near Bon Tempe. About a mile before that is also pretty exposed but it's the flattest and easiest part of the whole trail. We kept our dogs on leash and almost everyone I saw had theirs on leash too. The terrain is narrow and challenging enough that they'll probably be forced to stay near you. There are trail markers at all the forks. There is no cell service once you leave Fairfax. There's a bit of signal at the beginning by the falls and another taste of signal at the top of the fire road. Make sure you download the map on Google or have a printout. This is all stuff I wish I would have known before my hike and I hope it helps.