The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Bolinas Ridge begins in a shady hilltop forest and ends in a canyon filled with redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park. A plateau of grassy pastureland with views of the Point Reyes Peninsula and Tomales Bay lies in between. The trail undulates gently for the first five miles before gradually descending into the state park.
We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
- Bolinas Ridge To Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Feb. 1, 2022)
Hiking Bolinas Ridge was not a problem. Getting to the incredibly remote trailhead was the challenge. We spent more time driving to and from the wooded trailhead above Bolinas Lagoon than we did hiking the 12 plus miles of trail. Nearly running out of gas didn’t help.
Morning traffic slowed us a bit as we headed to Samuel P. Taylor State Park from our hotel in San Rafael to drop a shuttle car at trail’s end. We had completed driving the loop to Highway 1 south in our second car and were nearing the turnoff to the trailhead when the gas gauge sent up a flare. Nearby Stinson Beach had no gas (Who knew?) so we had to backtrack to Point Reyes Station. The occupants of an aromatic roadside skunk habitat just south of Olema taunted us with each pass.
Nearly two hours behind schedule, we hiked hard the first five miles. The opening section of trail is soft and shady, with occasional glimpses of the lagoon and ocean below. Lunch time has passed by the time the increasingly rutted trail broke into the sunshine. With no place to sit, we stood for five minutes to eat our lunch before surging ahead.
We did take 10 minutes to rest our legs when a picnic table emerged at roughly Mile 9. We had passed a table a couple of miles earlier as we entered a stretch of pastureland, but it was already occupied by a pair of hikers and two cranky dogs. The last mile of trail, along a paved campground road, felt a bit anticlimactic.
The trail is lovely, with plenty of diverse scenery and overlooks as it undulates downward. But plan some extra travel time. And don’t forget to gas up!
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 227.5 out of 400 miles57.6%