While we’re pretty much convinced you can’t go wrong with when it comes to hiking in Marin, there are some areas you undoubtedly must visit at least once.
Considering Marin’s seemingly endless selection of open space and trails, creating a list of the best hikes the county has to offer was no easy feat. But we gave it a shot, selecting a mix of cardio-pumping routes and easy flat trails that are kid friendly.
In the above slideshow we’ve highlighted what we consider the best hikes in Marin.
These hikes range from more intense all-day treks to little half-day loops. We also included a range of scenery, including well-forested parts of Mount Tamalapais, the shores of Point Reyes National Seashore or a sunny spot in central Marin that’s the perfect escape during a cold and foggy day in San Francisco.
Take a look through the above slideshow (captions include links to Google Maps of the hikes) and tell us in the comments if you agree with our top picks.
One caveat: We skipped some other superior hikes that already have nightmarish parking or trailheads that are locals-only secrets we promised not to spill (don’t worry, most of these also fell in the category of not being able to handle a large influx of visitors).
Hiking safety tips you probably already know but should still read:
We recommend always carrying plenty of water, extra layers, some snacks (trail mix or protein-loaded bars) and being extra mindful of your surroundings and how much daylight you have left. Trailheads in some of these featured areas can reach very remote areas and it’s not uncommon for hikers to get lost. Also, keep in mind that you may not always have cell phone service.
And, remember, even though you aren’t far from San Francisco, you are hiking in the wild. We don’t want to deter you, but there’s rattlesnakes, powerful sneaker waves on the Pacific Coast, poison oak and lots of wild animals. (In the very unlikely chance you see a mountain lion, make yourself as big and loud as possible. Do not run away!) But, seriously, don’t worry. Keep in mind that there are very few serious hiking incidents.
Want more hikes?
If you really want to familiarize yourself with Marin County hiking, there’s a book by Don and Kay Martin called “Hiking Marin.” We have the third edition and it includes 141 hikes. Many of the hikes in this slideshow were discovered via this book. It’s a great resource.
Here’s a map showing the general location of each of the featured hikes.