San Anselmo is conveniently located just north of Mount Tamalpais and 20 miles south of Point Reyes, a famous destination for avid hikers, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts. You will find plenty of hiking trails in the area that range from easy to challenging while offering picturesque scenery of Marin County.
Only 4.5 miles outside of San Anselmo in Mill Valley are the gorgeous Muir Woods where you can enjoy the colossal California redwood trees. There is a hiking trail here called the Tourist Club Loop, which allows you to see Muir Woods National Monument and Mount Tamalpais State Park.
This hike is about 4.5 miles long and gives you the option to extend your hike two more miles with the Redwood Creek loop, in the center of Muir Woods. Although it is not required to be a member to enjoy this hiking trail and Tourist Club facilities; it is a good idea to check out Tourist Club member dates to avoid hiking on days that are reserved for Member-Only Events. The hike is about 4.5 miles long (6.5 total miles including the Redwood Creek loop). It has an elevation gain of 1,200 feet.
Only 4.9 outside of San Anselmo is the Cataract Trail Loop in Marin County, a 7.7 mile hike spotted with gorgeous waterfalls that makes this trail one of Marin County’s best. Go on a weekday to avoid parking issues. There are plenty of scenic spots that stretch to the Pacific and back into the wooded hillsides of the Mount Tamalpais Watershed and backcountry. Wear non-slip shoes and watch your footing along the Cataract Trail. You will notice poison oak growing in some sections of the hike. The trail begins eight miles south of Broadway on Bolinas Road. A small parking lot is located just over the dam.
Just 19.4 miles northwest of San Anselmo is the Abbotts Lagoon trail, a very easy hike (perfect for the whole family) to the Point Reyes National Seashore beach. This is only 2.8 miles long and showcases beautiful wildlife, California flowers and tranquil areas of the lagoon. Bring along a picnic and your camera for plenty of family pictures amidst breathtaking scenery.
Point Reyes is a popular destination for hikers, families and tourists from all around the world. There are four campgrounds at Point Reyes that have bathrooms and running water. The hills are green and the wildflowers are colorful in the spring. Autumn is still warm and sunny, but make sure you’re aware of when the tide comes in to avoid getting stranded in high water. Despite winter rains, you have a great chance at spotting some whales migrating to warmer waters. The entire backpacking adventure at Point Reyes is perfect for families who love the outdoors. View details about activity fees and reservations here. Making reservations is a must because this is a popular area that’s always in demand. Reservations can be secured by calling (415) 663-8054, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Only 11.3 miles northwest of San Anselmo is the Samuel P. Taylor State Park and two fantastic trails to hike. The first, “Barnabe Mountain,” is a 9-mile hike along a creek, passing hillsides and into the deep woods towards Mount Barnabe, one of the best views in all of Marin County. This is not a hike for the weak of heart! The 1,000 foot descent to Devil’s Gulch is made easy by an engineered path called “Bill’s Trail,” but there are plenty of muddy spots that make it easy to slip. The much easier hike in this park is the four mile “Devil’s Gulch,” a 4-mile trail on leveled terrain through woodlands, grasslands and plenty of flowers. The best time to do this hike is in the spring or autumn when you can catch the brilliant colors of the wildflowers or the meadow of old pear trees turning color. You’ll find many horseback riders on this trail.
There’s plenty of hiking gear and camping equipment, if you need it. at one of San Anselmo’s sporting good stores.
Need a hotel? There are plenty of top-rated hotels in the San Anselmo area.