Mount Burdell Preserve Loop

MODERATE 97 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Mount Burdell Preserve Loop is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Novato, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.1 miles
1,184 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers

no shade

From the Novato Valley, this oak-studded mountain rises 1,558 feet to a summit which offers breathtaking views of the entire Bay Area. Along the way, visitors pass through lush grasslands and impressive forests that contain some of the finest (and oldest) specimens of oak and bay trees in Marin. From the gate off of San Andreas Dr, take the Michako trail to the San Carlos Fire Rd. Then climb past hidden lake on Cobbleston Trail to the Deer Camp Fire Rd. Take this to the summit at 1,558 ft. Return via the same route.

4 days ago

Nice hike! Awesome view! My husband and I did it last week

12 days ago

Nice loop with well marked trail

25 days ago

Great hike!

2 months ago

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).

3 months ago

Nice view

5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Lots of y’all grass, watch out for ticks, and rolling hills. The climb was easy and nothing to strenuous.

5 months ago

Super hot are dry but fun. Does have a steep climb in the beginning.

7 months ago

Beautiful hike, great views when you get to the top - it was a clear day and we could see the Bay, bridges and city. We also saw turkey vultures, red kites, woodpeckers, and even a couple of newts in addition to the fluffy cows! A great hike, especially for spring or fall when it's not too hot.

11 months ago

This was a great trail nice elevation gain. This would be perfect for a spring or fall hike. Not much shade, but great views.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The trail was quiet but quite hot and dusty. I took several of the off road trails to keep cooler

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dewarf Oak trail easy picturesque.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great location for dogs!

Monday, January 30, 2017

I've hiked the trail a few times and now will post these 4.5 stars. I've only hiked the full 5.23 mile loop to the top and not the tribs, but have a love/hate relationship going up the very rocky Old Ouarry Trail segment. Hot and dry during the summer, only slightly more forgiving in January. Cows with plenty of water runoff from the rains. Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beautiful open trail. Great views of the bay when it's clear!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beautiful views and oak trees. Will keep coming back until I see the cows!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Dogs are allowed off leash on fire roads

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Quarry Trail is called that for a reason! It's rocky as hell. But joking aside, I was blown away by the classic California landscape. I'll be back!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Had a great day hiking with the kids. They didn't find the trails difficult.

horseback riding
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wide-open trails lots of rocks

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Nice loop trail with some good views...can be hot as it's largely in the open. The steer will also keep you company.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Good hike. Good elevation in spots. Watch out for cows! Great views.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Well... I set out to do a healthy 15 miles hike from the San Andreas drive trail-head to Miwok Village in Olompali State Park, and back. However, due to some faulty navigation on my part and the (temporary) loss of my Iphone right in the middle of the trail... I ended up taking some detours and quick a bit of a double back to fetch my phone :-) All said, I hike for a bit over 17 miles. If you are wiser than I was, the hike will be doable in about 15 miles.

This is quite an interesting mix of fire roads, single track trails, wide open expanses and long shaded miles. Add to that a start in the classic morning fog and the rest of the day in full sun; this was a very diverse and altogether pleasant hike.

The first 2.5 miles were all fire roads rendered a bit easier by the aforementioned morning fog providing a welcome mild chill for the fast paced walk up to Mt Burdell. In succession, I took the San Andreas Fire Road, the Mount Burdell Fire Road and the Cobblestone Fire Road and finally the Mounth Burdell (paved) road just under the summit. About .5 miles, panoramic views open to the south.

I got off that fire road climbing a faint trail just under the south end of the summit (quite rugged and a bit of bushwhacking!). After stepping over old/low barbed-wires I reach the summit area and stopped at a wooden table for a quick snack. This is where I made my first mistake, taking a narrow trail going straight down the Eastern slope. Realizing my mistake, I doubled back (ouch... quite steep getting back to the summit) and eventually found the much nicer / much more level trail that would bring me down to Miwok village. The switchbacks on the East side of Mt Burdell are quite long due to a very gentle grade (they may test patience going down but become a bit welcome later heading back up after already 10 miles under the feet). At many spots along the trail, the tree cover opens up for great views of the North Bay on the East.

After 3.3 miles of switch backs, I reached and took the Loop Trail down to and around Olompali park offers a few interesting spots (a small creek on the North side of the loop, Miwok village of course -- lunch brake at another wooden table--, an old dairy barn and nice forested areas with Manzanitas and Madrone trees back up the south side of the loop). Then back to the long switchbacks up to the summit for the last break (laying down on the bench, taking boots and socks off to give the feet some TLC).

From there, a shot walk down the paved Burdell Mountain road to the Old Quarry Trail on the left. That trail is rather steep and rocky, with the classic loose rocks/gravel that make for some fun short slides here and there (thanks for hiking poles!). I turned left on the Middle Mt Burdell Fire road (Old quarry continues down but I had enough of "rock surfing" for a while). Going through a couple Cattle gates I then reach San Carlos fire road (loved the shaded portions as I was running low on water). San Carlos FR eventually leads to the last leg of the journey on the Michako Trail (sweeping views south towards Novator and Mt Tam). to return to the San Andreas Drive parking area.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Jan 19th - To The Top!! 5.5 miles, 1600 feet up and 240 minutes - with Shari and Jobo -- awesome!! Great Views!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nice area...

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