Rangers Recommend

County park and open space rangers share their favorite things to do and see.

Spring Wildflowers

Old Saint Hilary's Preserve

Wild lupine in Old Saint Hilary's Preserve

Located in the hills above Tiburon, this preserve features two sets of unconnected trails surrounding a 19th-century church and a wildflower preserve. Begin at the entrance to Vistazo Fire Road off Vistazo West Street. Enjoy the superb Bay views. Look for the twin crosses atop the historic white church, Continue past the boundary of Old Saint Hilary’s Preserve to the church and garden managed by the Tiburon Landmark Society. "Nowhere else in California can so many kinds of wildflowers be found in so small a space."

  • .34 miles
  • 200 foot elevation gain
  • Easy

Ring Mountain Preserve

Yellow wildflowers blooming in Ring Mountain Preserve

This preserve's renowned wildflowers, including fields of poppies, lupine, buttercups, and iris are on full display in spring. On a clear day you will also enjoy spectacular views of the entire Bay Area. Begin at the Taylor Fire Road trailhead. Climb to Turtle Rock on Ring Mountain Fire Road, and connect to the Phyllis Ellman Loop Trail. Take the loop and then head back out on Taylor Road. To see the rare Mariposa lily, make a plan to return in late summer.

  • 2.5 miles out and back
  • 560 foot elevation gain
  • Moderately difficulty

Peak Views

Loma Alta Preserve

Fog along the peaks of Loma Alta

Translating to Tall Hill in Spanish, this preserve offers magical views and athletic climbs. Start at the Glen Fire Road gate, through grassland and mixed oaklands. Continue straight on Glen Fire Road, hiking uphill. At the water tanks swing left to take Smith Ridge Fire Road, enjoying the scenic expanse. At the Sunrise Fire Road junction, turn around and head back down. You can also make a long loop around by continuing on Sunrise to Old Railroad Grade, and then Fox Hollow, back to the Glen Fire Road gate.

  • 4.5 miles
  • 900 foot elevation change
  • Strenuous

Mount Burdell Preserve

Rainbow over the hills of Mount Burdell

Savor the scenery near the top of this grand peak. For the gentlest grade to the top, start at the San Andreas Fire Road gate. After about a half mile, turn right for a short stretch along Middle Burdell Fire Road, and connect with Cobblestone Fire Road. In wet weather listen for the frogs along seasonal Hidden Lake. The boundary of the preserve, near the communication tower, is the high point. (The actual peak is on private property.) Enjoy the views, then turn around and head back down, or extend your adventure into neighboring Olompali State Historic Park.

  • 2.5 miles
  • 1200 foot elevation change
  • Strenuous

Redwood Groves

Indian Tree Preserve

Looking up into redwood trees at Indian Tree Preserve

Redwoods in Novato! Park along Vineyard Road and enter the Preserve on Big Trees Trail; switchbacks ease the climb. Enjoy views of Stafford Lake reservoir before hiking through sheltering redwood groves. Turn right on Deer Camp Trail to head back down the hill. Make a right at Upper Meadow Trail to complete the loop.

  • 4.2 miles
  • 700 foot elevation change
  • Strenuous

Roy's Redwoods Preserve

Redwood trees along the path

Some of these west Marin giants rival the titans of Muir Woods. Park along Nicasio Valley Road, and begin your hike by going right through the gate on to Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail, which circles the hill in the center of the preserve. Climb away from busy Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and enjoy the serenity of the forest. To see the redwoods, and a beautiful meadow beloved by locals, turn left at the Meadow Trail, which continues back out to where you started. Please stay on the trails to avoid damaging the delicate roots of the trees.

  • 3 miles
  • 400 foot elevation change
  • Moderate difficulty