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Schwindt, Indian Valley, and Waterfall Trail Loop

MODERATE 134 reviews

Schwindt, Indian Valley, and Waterfall Trail Loop is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Novato, California that features a waterfall 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.

Distance: 3.3 miles Elevation Gain: 501 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching






wild flowers


Note: A day permit is required to park - permits can be purchased onsite.

mountain biking
1 month ago

I went hoping to enjoy a mountain bike trail but there was a very limited amount of trails allowing bikes. Pretty disappointing, but what I got was pretty.

Went in early August, no waterfall, this is a 3.9 mile loop according to my all trails tracking not 3.3 miles, which matters when you’re coming out in the evening hungry with low light. It was pretty enough but half of it is on a big wide sorta freeway trail and the other half is a nice more wooded trail out but quite a few mosquitoes. You can hear kids playing on the soccer field at the start of the trail for a lot of the hike. I would do it again for the workout but there are prettier hikes in the area.

Nice shady hike with switch backs. Waterfall was smaller than I had hoped, even after a very wet winter. It was beautiful though.

6 months ago

Great trail with many options and killer uphill workout!

This was a beautiful trail and the waterfall did not disappoint with all the rain lately!

7 months ago

8 months ago

Fun trail, especially after a storm!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Nice trail. Dogs on leash, hiking and horses. Bikes are only allowed on the fire road- not the majority of the loop.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

It was a cool short hike.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Parked near the end of Rowland Blvd, so no fees and easy to find the trail. No water in July, but plenty of shade. Might have heard a coyote howl a couple of times. Our dog loved it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Perfect springtime moderate level hike with a variety of terrain. There was a small creek, a little waterfall, plenty of beautiful moss covered trees, and some killer views from the top of the Jack Burgi trail (that is where you’ll find wildflowers). Every horse and dog on trail was happy and friendly. And despite being moderately trafficked, we still spotted deer tracks and bear scat!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Beautiful day with a lovely waterfall and a great view atop one of the side trails. Good incline. Was easy even with a little muddy conditions.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Good hike. Great for family time and adventure.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Great for a short hike or not enough time for a longer hike.

Monday, July 10, 2017

No waterfall in July. Only for two weeks after it stops raining, said some helpful locals.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I drove all the way out here to find out it was on campus and I'd have to pay for parking. I like to hike because it's free. I just wish it had been mentioned in the description before I hoofed it up here without money. :(

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What amazing hike. It was beautiful, challenging and completely worth it!! Highly recommended.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fun loop hike!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

SO pretty, up high looking out and in the woods! The negatives at this time of year are the mud and the THICK poison oak that encroaches onto the trails. Even on leash, the dogs had to have baths after a walk there.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Great hike! Lots of creek crossing which keeps the kids interested.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Beauty plus. Bring good shoes or slip and slide after rains.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Went hear after a big rainfall in January and couldn't have asked for a better hike. The waterfall trail is short but you can easily hit another loop in the valley and keep going to get a bigger hike in.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Beautiful trail! Hiked the trails with my kids and they loved it.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Do it often as we don't have to drive. Best in the winter or early spring after some rain. A few spur options also.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Great place to hike all year round. In winter, creeks and waterfall are running. In summer, it's good too because most of the trails are in the shade. Park near the sports fields and walk to right of base field. Go through open space gate and turn right onto Ad Schwindt Trail. It winds through dense forest of bay trees and ferns. Go left briefly when you get to fire road then turn right on Buzzard Burn Trail. A steep climb. Turn left at top onto Witzel Trail which winds downhill through forest adjacent to streams. Cross footbridge and turn right again onto fire road. Now you can either walk back to your car or you can turn right onto Waterfall Trail for another loop. This is a must after some rain. Very beautiful.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Love this one. I've been doing it for 11 years, never get sick of it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Great, can get crowded on weekends but there are enough offshoots that it's easy to get away from the main trail

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Great for a local hike! I usually start at the college parking lot ($4) Most trails loop and take 45min-1:30. Great Nature views and you can easily make it more challenging by.... TRAILBLAZING! Its illegal... But You can hike over the top ( by the 2 towers) through H Ranch and get to San Rafael (Lucas Valley) Literally atop of Lucas Films. HORSE AND BIKE ARE ALLOWED IN MOST AREAS.

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