Overview: A morning hike to the old fire watcher’s tower on Barnaby Peak. A loop back along the ridge's top and down to the canyon floor to... more »
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A morning hike to the old fire watcher’s tower on Barnaby Peak. A loop back along the ridge's top and down to the canyon floor to... more » Lagunitas Creek. The path then travels along the old railroad right of way (now a portion of the Cross Marin Trail), ultimately returning to the starting point.
This hike will take you through several vegetation zones and is a real wildflower treat in the early spring. It offers sweeping vistas of a number of watersheds, parts of west and southern Marin, Mount Tam, and Tomales Bay.
Barnaby Road and the Cross Marin Trail are bike and horse friendly. As with most state parks, dogs should be left behind.
The park has a number of additional trails, some of which interconnect with regional open space trail systems. less «
Lagunitas, CA 94938
The park is 15 miles west of San Rafael on Sir... more » Francis Drake Boulevard.
The weather is generally mild however, it is best to dress for the season. Redwood forests can get chilly and the mountain tops in this area are subject to strong sea breezes, low clouds and seasonal fog. Winters can bring strong rains.
The park has restrooms, showers, and picnic facilities in all the camps. It’s a good idea to call ahead during the high season though it's fairly simple to find a nice pleasant spot for a picnic.
Fishing is no longer allowed in Lagunitas Creek but there are a number of other options nearby.
There is a swimming hole that's been both a local and tourist spot since the 1870s.
Tent, Group, and RV Camping is available. less «
We start at the Madrone Campgrounds just down the road and westerly from the park’s main entrance in the upper parking area. Head up the gated Barnabe fire road in the northwest corner.
Restrooms are available in this campground.
Dogs are not allowed on the trail.
This trail is suitable for hikers, bikes, and horses.
3-way intersection: Continue up Barnaby Road by taking the right-hand fork heading northeasterly up the hill.
The left fork will take you down to the Devil’s Gulch Campground via the Graveyard Gulch Road (open to all users). On the way one passes a side trail to Taylor's Grave Site (Hikers Only).
The road will slowly wind toward the east as it... More approaches the peak. Views of the valley below and across to the forested Bolinas Ridge are common. There are also some great views west and north toward the towns of Point Reyes Station and Inverness, and up Tomales Bay.
Option: Below the top there will be a winding foot trail to the left (north) called “Bill’s Trail”this will take you on a down past Stairstep Falls and into Devil’s Gulch. (Hikers Only).
A trail junction at the top of Barnaby Peak. Left takes you on a short, windy side-trip to the Fire Watch tower with a view over the surrounding region.
Down the back slope to the north and east, the lands are primarily private on larger parcels. There is an additional gated private access road down.
The Dickson Lookout was dedicated on June 9, 1940 in Honor of Frederick W. Dickson (September 1870-April 1957). The elevation is 1466 feet (447 m).
Almost due northwest and across the valley is Deer Point at 935 feet (285 meters); beyond that are lands of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The tall peak beyond Deer Point is called Black Mountain with an elevation of 1280 feet (390m).
Northeast: Shroyer Mountain at 1458 ft (444 m).
East: Up the valley is the town of Woodacre.
... More Southeast: Pine Mountain is the grass topped peak at 1762 feet (537 m).
South: Kent Lake up the canyon with the tall dam and spillway and Mount Tam in the background.
Return to the last intersection and continue easterly along the ridge road.
A side path across the grasses on the southerly side of Barnaby Road takes us out to a knoll with more vistas of the valley below and surrounding countryside.
Strictly low impact hiking please. The surrounding grasses are delicate.
State of California Elevation Monument. It's been left unmarked/unstamped by the survey crew.
This is possibly the best view of the walk on this knoll. Recall the landmarks from POI 11?
South: Kent Lake up the canyon with the tall dam and spillway with Mount Tam in the background.
Southeast: Pine Mountain is the grass topped peak at 1762 feet (537 m).
East: Up the valley is the town of Woodacre.
Northeast: Shroyer Mountain at 1458 ft ... More(444 m).
Deer Point and the view to the northwest are blocked by Barnaby's summit.
Head down the footpath or backtrack to get back to Barnaby Road, then continue southeasterly along the ridge.
A dirt road down to Alta Terrace Road in a subdivision northeast of the park. There is no signage at the location or reference to it on the park maps. It looks as though it isvery heavily used.
The road will continue to generally lose elevation as it rounds the side of the mountain and reenters the Lagunitas Creek watershed.
Barnaby Road meets the Cross Marin Trail next to Lagunitas (Papermill) Creek.
The segment of the Cross Marin Trail through Samuel P. Taylor SP began life as a 3' Narrow Gauge Railroad called the North Pacific Coast in 1874. Most of Southern Marin's towns were developed in conjunction with the road and benefited from stations through much of... More Southern Marin and direct ferry service to San Francisco. Its northern end was up beyond the Russian River in Sonoma County.
Keep an eye open for bike and horse traffic. This trail can get heavily used.
A well worn side path into a redwood grove and down to Lagunitas (Papermill) Creek. A pretty good place to stop and enjoy the coolness of the grove and river.
"Papermill" is the earlier name of the creek. It's still in use among some of the locals.
The Irving Picnic Area makes for a good lunch spot. Essentially nothing is left of the tiny village of "Irving" that was once here.
The town was named after Taylor's wife, Sarah Washington Irving, and sported a thriving leather tannery, railroad station, a rooming house, and cottages. Just upstream at a safe distance was the Pacific... More Powder Mill, a manufacturer of blasting powder for local consumption.
Road to Sir Francis Drake HWY.
The junction for the Irving Trail is on the northerly uphill side of the Cross Marin just east of a bridge. Also at this junction is a service road down to the highway.
Continuing on the Cross Marin Trail will take one over a bridge built on the footings of the old railroad and across Lagunitas Creek. It services the southerly side of the state ... Morepark.
For no other reason than to avoid pavement and crossing Sir Francis Drake HWY later, this walk will have us take the Irving Trail on the northerly side of both Lagunitas Creek and the highway.
The Irving Trail winds along the lower slope of Barnaby Peak and through a series of heavily forested gullies.
If you get lost and cross the bridge, do not worry-the route is quite nice and will get you back to the Park Headquarters, campgrounds, and ultimately, your car.
Enter into a gully, redwood grove, highway access, and junction. None of the trails are marked so it can get confusing. Look for the trail intersection.
Look for the service road that heads northerly and steeply up the hill. It leads to one of the park's wells and to very large water tanks.
Look for the semi overgrown road on the westerly side of the service road at the base of the meadow below the park’s water tanks. There is a 3" X 3" wood post marker with a yellow top opposite the road. Take the road westerly, skirting the lower edge of the meadow.
Just up the road you will see a structure that contains water pumps, and... More beyond, the water tanks themselves. This is how you know you’ve gone too far.
Return to the POI 2 Junction. Head southwest down the road to the parking area and trail head.
Return to the trail head.