Novato, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Novato, California, offer top outdoor adventures. The Indian Tree Preserve is a must-visit for hikers, renowned for its scenic views and diverse vegetation. This 6.5-mile loop trail is moderately difficult, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The trail features a stunning array of native plants and wildlife, with a creek crossing adding to its allure. For those interested in bird watching, the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve is a prime location. The flat terrain and wetlands attract a variety of bird species. The Stafford Lake Park, set against the backdrop of Mount Burdell, offers fishing, picnicking, and disc golf. For rock climbing, Ring Mountain is the place to be, known for its unique rock formations and panoramic views of the bay. These attractions make Novato a top spot for outdoor activities.

Top Spots in and near Novato

  • 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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  • Larkspur, California

    Dawn Falls Trail Loop

    2.79 mi / 466 ft gain
    Dawn Falls Trail Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Larkspur, California.
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Cataract Falls

    4.2
    2.81 mi / 1184 ft gain
    The Bay Area is home to many beautiful waterfalls, but Cataract Falls located about an hour north of San Francisco is one of the most stunning. Be sure to head out on this hike after a recent rain. Cataract Falls is a picturesque waterfall located in the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed near Stinson Be...
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  • Larkspur, California

    Baltimore Canyon Via Dawn Falls Trail Loop

    5.93 mi / 1309 ft gain
    Baltimore Canyon via Dawn Falls Trail Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a forested setting at the start, up switchbacks to Dawn Falls, and then to views of King Mountain Open Space Preserve as you loop back along Southern Marin Line Road. This is a dog friendly (on-leash) trail located ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Summit of Mt. Tamalpais Loop

    5.0
    1.15 mi / 394 ft gain
    Mt. Tam is a large park with plenty of amazing viewpoints, but the East routes and the East Peak are best for sunsets. Once you're at the top, it's an amazing spot to view a large number of Marin trails, which can help you can get a head start on planning your next adventure. At 2,570 feet, this ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Temelpa Trail

    4.5
    2.94 mi / 1929 ft gain
    The Mt. Tam Hill Climb via Temelpa Trail is an iconic, "best-of" climb in the trail running community, drawing some of the world's greatest athletes to experience its breathtaking views and technical downhill. Surprisingly though, outside of locals and the running community, the trail remains lar...
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  • Sonoma, California

    Sonoma Valley Wine Tour Bike Ride

    This 12 mile bike path starts at a rental shop in Sonoma Country called Sonoma Valley Bike Tours and Rentals. Follow the trail through the quaint residential area and into the back country vineyards and dirt trails. This ride can be anything between a hardcore 2 hour cycling workout with a few in...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Bear Valley to Coast Camp Loop

    5.0
    16.18 mi / 2818 ft gain
    Permit and Trail Camp Info To stay overnight in Point Reyes, you must stay at one of the Trail Camps.   Camping anywhere else in the park is not allowed.    Permits for the Trail Camps can be booked up to 6 months in advance.  If you are looking to go on a weekend, then you'll want to start loo...
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  • Corte Madera, California

    Ring Mountain Loop

    4.0
    2.65 mi / 597 ft gain
    Ring Mountain Open Space is an easy but uphill trail that take you to the top where you can explore more trails. Take the 101 exit for Paradise Dr in Corte Madera, follow the road, and park on the side of the road once you pass Westward Dr. Even though there are many places to start the trail fo...
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  • Marin County, California

    Picturesque Views from Mt. Tam's East Ridge

    5.0
    This road provides one of the most scenic views of the pacific from north of the Golden Gate. It's a little bit of a windy drive or ride along Highway 1 or Panoramic Highway (depending on which way you choose) to get to East Ridgecrest. But, if you remembered to pack a picnic, brought your friend...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Cataract Trail Loop

    4.5
    8.7 mi / 1670 ft gain
    Duration: 3.5-4 hour hike at a moderate to quick pace with a short break for lunch. Starting at an elevation of 1989ft and maxing at 2001ft, you achieve 1428 of elevation gain through a beautiful peak and valley hike. From the free Rock Springs Parking Area, the basic trailheads to follow along...
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  • Bootjack Campground, California

    Bootjack Campground to Muir Woods

    8.61 mi / 1594 ft gain
    Getting permits into Muir Woods can be hard, but if you want to work for it, there's a much better way to visit the National Monument. To do this loop into Muir Woods National Monument, first drive to the Bootjack Parking Area in Mt. Tamalpais State Park.  The Bootjack Parking Area should be fou...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Camp at Bootjack Campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park

    4.0
    Bootjack Campground is located within California's Mount Tamalpais State Park. There are a couple of campsites within the park, but if you are driving on the Panoramic Highway from Mill Valley, this will be the first campground you pass.  The fee is $25 fee to camp, but they have bathrooms and ru...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Steep Ravine and Bootjack Trails Loop

    5.0
    6.66 mi / 2083 ft gain
    This hike is best done in the winter and spring in order for the creeks and waterfalls to be flowing. Park at the Bootjack Campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park. Cross the road to reach the Bootjack trail. Continue on this until you reach the Alpine trail. Go right towards the Pantoll Ranger ...
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