Last Updated on August 14, 2022 by Paroma
If you’re looking for dog friendly hikes in Marin County, then you my friend, have hit the jackpot on the most scenic of Marin County hikes! I am talking about the Tiburon ridge trail which provides gorgeous views of the Richardson Bay and the city of San Francisco with miles of dog friendly trails. Read more about our dog friendly hike in Tiburon and all the details on how to access this trail.
DOG FRIENDLY HIKES IN MARIN COUNTY
San Francisco Bay Area is that perfect place to explore with a dog, thanks to the many dog friendly hiking trails that exist here. Of all the dog friendly hiking trails in the bay Area, the ones that deserve special mention are dog friendly hikes in Marin county, an excellent winter destination in California.
This part of SF Bay Area is north of Golden Gate bridge and encompasses cities such as Sausalito , Larkspur and Tiburon, which are not only very picturesque but have dog friendly hiking trails with gorgeous views as well as the BEST views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
One such hike with spectacular views of the Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco skyline and the Richardson bay is a dog friendly hiking trail in Tiburon, i.e. the Tiburon ridge trail at the old St. Hilary’s open space preserve (in Tiburon), that is easily one of the best dog friendly hiking trails in Marin.
This is an easy short 1.1 mile hike that passes through the preserve and is an excellent day hike from San Francisco with your pup. Do scroll down to read more about this dog friendly Marin hiking trail, hot to get there and other important hike related information.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TIBURON RIDGE TRAIL
Where is this dog friendly hike in Marin, i.e. Tiburon ridge trail located?
Tiburon Ridge trail is 7.4 miles long and starts from Tiburon Ridge Open Space Preserve. The trail follows the ridge of the Tiburon Peninsula and ends at the Old St. Hilary open space preserve. Here is a map of the actual trail, with the tail end of the trail passing through the Old St. Hilary open space preserve. Dogs should be on leash at all times on the trail.
You don’t have to walk the entire trail for gorgeous views of Marin county. Just get on the trail at Old St. Hilary’s open space preserve which is part of Marin county parks system and is home to the super rare Tiburon jewelflower.
This land became accessible to the public in the 1990s and has trails leading to the top of the hill from where you can get majestic views of our famous Golden Gate bridge, Angel island (Angel island is not dog friendly) on one side and the city of San Francisco far away.
This 122 acres of open land comprises of rolling grasslands in the north and a chapel in the south which was designated as a historic chapel in 1955. Here is the map of the preserve.
How long is the Tiburon Ridge Trail?
The entire Tiburon Ridge trail is a whopping 7.4 miles, with a mile or so passing through Old St. Hilary’s open space. Dogs must be on leash on the trail at all times and under voice command on fire roads with leash readily available.
How easy is to hike this dog friendly Marin trail?
I’d grade it as moderate since there is an elevation gain of 400+ ft at Old St. Hilary. Please wear sturdy shoes for the hike and be well protected from the sun since this is an open trail.
How to get to Old St. Hilary open space preserve?
The exact address of the preserve is 2000 Vistazo St W, Belvedere Tiburon. Tiburon is 13 miles northeast of San Francisco and is a short 25-30 minute drive away from the city.
One of the other entrances to the reserve has the Old St. Hilary’s Chapel looking down from a hill, on 201 Esperanza St. There is the Vistazo W street trail from here that meets the Fishbits’ trail trailhead.
You can either go on that trail or simply hike around the chapel for a good 30-40 minutes, like we did our second time around. The wooden chapel itself is a work of beauty and makes an excellent backdrop as you are hiking up.
What are the dog friendly hiking Trails inside Old St. Hilary open space preserve?
Tiburon ridge trail: The Tiburon ridge trail ends in the Old St. Hilary Open space preserve and loops into the Vistazo W street and Heathcliff fire roads. Access the trail either from Heathcliff drive or Vistazo W street, continuing onto Esperanza street exiting out of the preserve.
There are several trailheads at Old St. Hilary’s and the first time we went hiking, we headed on Lyford drive and stopped at Heathcliff drive to take in the sweeping views that the main trail head had to offer along Heathcliff fire road.
Fishbits trail: You can also access the Fishbits trailhead from Vistazo W Street and hike in the open space preserve or simply get on one of the trails leading upward from the chapel itself on Esperanza street.
Tips for hiking at Old. St Hilary open space preserve
It is a good idea to carbo load before you hike since you have to do quite a bit of steep uphill climbing to be rewarded with sweeping views. I recommend stopping by for breakfast at New Morning Cafe on Tiburon Boulevard before you start your dog friendly hike in Marin.
This is a completely open dog friendly hiking trail in Marin, as in there is no shade, and so you are best advised to come in early since it can get pretty hot in the afternoon. A hat and sunscreen are good to have for this hike since there is canopy of trees to provide shade.
Dog friendly hikes in Marin: trail etiquette
Old St. Hilary’s open space reserve offers one of the best dog friendly hikes in Marin, so please honor this privilege by staying on the trail at all times and do not pick any wildflowers.
Second, come equipped with water and protection from the sun (hat/sunscreen/sunnies) since this is an open trail and there is hardly any shade.
Finally, please pick up after your dog as a responsible pet parent. The trail is steep and narrow in many parts and although we did not see that dogs have to be on leash, you need to carry a retractable six foot leash with you at all times.
HOW TO GET THE BEST VIEWS FROM OLD ST. HILARY OPEN SPACE PRESERVE, TIBURON
Old St. Hilary open space preserve offers some of the best views in Marin county as you hike on its trails. For the best results, park on Heathcliff drive and hike the Heathcliff fire road to get a spectacular, near 360 degree view of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate, Angel Island, Marin headlands, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay, Richardson Bay, and more.
If you hike along Heathcliff Fire road, please keep in mind that there are many private residences hugging the open space preserve. Please be mindful of that and do not let your dog off the leash. A portion of the trail intercepts private property bordering the preserve-do not veer into private property while hiking and stay on the preserve at all times.
CURIOUS ABOUT DOGS ON ANGEL ISLAND?: GET THE FAQS
Are dogs allowed on Angel Island?
Angel Island, often known as the “Ellis Island of the West” is a short ferry ride from Tiburon and visible on a clear day while hiking in Old St. Hilary open space preserve. However, dogs are not allowed anywhere on the island. Only service animals are excepted and this rule does not include emotional support animals.
OTHER DOG FRIENDLY HIKES IN MARIN AROUND TIBURON
There are many dog friendly hikes in Marin county to be enjoyed, both in Tiburon and in neighboring towns of Sausalito, Larkspur and Mill Valley. These are as follows:
a) Hike the Tiburon historical trail connecting downtown Tiburon and Ferry terminal to Blackie’s pasture. This beautiful waterfront trail is a must explore with your dogs. Start off either at the Old Rail Trail at Blackie’s Pasture or Shoreline park in downtown near Main Street. Get the trail information here
d) Explore the many dog friendly hikes in Mt. Tamalpais, the highest point in Marin County. Go to Mt. Tam East Peak for gorgeous views along the Verna Dunshee trail, get on the Cataract Falls trail or explore Phoenix Lake, Lake Lagunitas or Bon Tempe Lake which are in the Mt. Tam watershed region and welcome dogs on leash
e) Hike the easy peasy Bay Trail from the Bothin Marsh Preserve in Mill Valley that leads to Sausalito. Sausalito is extremely dog friendly with the popular off-leash Rodeo beach and many hiking trails
f) Get a day of play in the sand at Muir Beach and Muir Beach lookout with your dog. The lookout has one of the best views of the coastline with a dog friendly coastal trail. Keep in mind that the world famous Muir Woods does not allow dogs inside
I hope you enjoyed reading this short post on one of the most scenic dog friendly hikes in Marin county. This dog friendly hiking trail in Marin county is gorgeous and a must visit for hike lovers, with or without dogs! You can follow all our dog friendly hiking adventures right here!
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