Novato, California

Looking for the best hiking in Novato? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Novato. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Novato

  • Novato, California

    North Levee Trail

    3.78 mi / 157 ft gain
    North Levee Trail is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Novato, California.
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  • Novato, California

    Schwindt, Indian Valley, and Waterfall Trail Loop

    3.51 mi / 594 ft gain
    Schwindt, Indian Valley, and Waterfall Trail Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Novato, California.
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  • Novato, California

    Mount Burdell Open Space Loop

    4.87 mi / 1234 ft gain
    Start at the wide gravel parking lot. You will find the start of the San Andreas Fire Road on the south side leading up the mountain.  The San Andreas Fire Road heads up the southern slope before joining the Middle Burdell Fire Road and then very quickly the Deer Camp Fire Road. Keep your eyes p...
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  • Novato, California

    Buck Gulch Falls Trail

    4.7
    1.26 mi / 203 ft gain
    Buck Gulch Falls (also known as Fairway Falls) is an easy, scenic hike that takes you through a beautiful forest on your way to a 15-foot waterfall. This little neighborhood treasure is tucked away in Novato, CA at the end of Fairway Drive and there is ample parking near the trailhead.  If you v...
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  • San Rafael, California

    Terra Linda Sleepy Hollow Ridge Trail

    5.0
    5.85 mi / 1089 ft gain
    This San Rafael neighborhood trail is quite popular, but there is plenty of room for everyone and the parking is easy. After you park at the trailhead, you walk (or bike) up a relatively short and steep path that takes you to the beginning of the trail.  This hike takes you along a scenic ridge ...
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  • San Rafael, California

    China Camp Loop

    4.0
    9.23 mi / 1716 ft gain
    Park at the lot in the China Camp State Park. Hop onto the Bay View trail to gain to begin the loop trail. Switchbacks take you up to a long and easy path passing through shaded and open areas. Enjoy the grasslands speckled with oak trees and coyote brush. You can see the San Rafael bay and bridg...
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  • San Geronimo, California

    Roys Redwood Preserve Loop

    5.0
    2.37 mi / 430 ft gain
    Roy's Redwoods Preserve is an easily missed pocket of Redwoods off Nicasio Valley Road in Marin County. Don't miss it: heading North on Sir Francis Drake Blvd turn right onto Nicasio Valley Rd--the gate for this little park is about a half mile up on the right. From the main entrance you enter a ...
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  • Nicasio, California

    Hike and Fish at Nicasio Reservoir

    5.0
    3 mi / 300 ft gain
    Nicasio is a quaint town just inland of the more popular coastal town of Point Reyes. It's most known for it's wine country, rolling hills, and the home of Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas's getaway home. Most visitors of this area either pass right on through for Point Reyes or use it's scenic road...
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  • Petaluma, California

    Hike Helen Putnam Regional Park

    4.0
    6 mi / 550 ft gain
    A 216-acre park, Helen Putnam offers 9 trails that are relatively short but can be combined however you wish. Go 2 miles or 10 miles. Loop in and out, up or around. I take a different route every time I hike here.For a good 6-mile hike, begin at the southwest corner, where the parking lot and res...
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  • San Rafael, California

    Gold Hill Grade to Nike Missile Site

    4.0
    4.37 mi / 988 ft gain
    The Gold Hill Grade to Nike Missile Site trail in San Rafael, California, is a moderately challenging hike. The trail spans approximately 4.37 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 988 feet. The path is well-maintained and marked, making it suitable for hikers of varying skill levels....
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  • Ross, California

    Phoenix Lake Loop

    4.5
    2.85 mi / 518 ft gain
    Enjoy the peacefulness of making it out to the lake for a quick hike without worrying too much about challenging climbs or difficult terrain. Take the wide fire road from the car uphill and then jump on the Phoenix Lake Trail. From here, you’ll combine this trail with the Gertrude Orr and Bill Wi...
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  • Fairfax, California

    Carson Falls

    4.0
    3.75 mi / 863 ft gain
    Are you tired of crowds on your hikes? First, shame on you for getting up so late and moving so slowly. Did you really need Philz before you got on the trail? Ok, now that you’ve been thoroughly chastised, let’s start planning a hike to the less-frequented Carson Falls. Like any of the falls in ...
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  • Lagunitas, California

    Bolinas Ridge Loop

    10.27 mi / 1568 ft gain
    Nestled in the Samuel P. Taylor State Park this ten miler was a perfect escape from the chaos of the city. Hikers are able to pay a $10.00 park entry fee that includes plenty of parking spaces and restrooms before you hit the trail. The hike starts along the Cross Marin Trail, a path popular to ...
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  • Fairfax, California

    Lake Lagunitas

    4.0
    1.6 mi / 176 ft gain
    Located near Fairfax, California, this trail is relatively flat and provides peaceful views of the lake as you pass over small creeks and groves of redwoods. It's good for all skill levels and is accessible year-round. It's a great trail for families and beginner mountain bikers.It can be a littl...
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  • Larkspur, California

    King Mountain Loop Trail

    3.53 mi / 755 ft gain
    This beautiful hike takes you around King Mountain and through the King Mountain Open Space Preserve. The first .5 miles is on an exposed gravel fire road that is fairly steep, but the loop itself slopes gently around the mountain and through the forest, providing lots of shade.  This is a an ea...
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  • Larkspur, California

    Dawn Falls Trail

    4.5
    2.29 mi / 344 ft gain
    Take the Dawn Falls trail down into the Baltimore Canyon for an in-depth exploration of northern California nature. Rather than the usual dry, hardy vegetation that speckles the hills of many nearby trails, this trail is bursting with lush ferns and mossy trees as it meanders along next to Larksp...
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