Peak 1,011ft P300
Peak 967ft P300
Peak 1,575ft P500

Jul 12, 2023
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profiles: 1 2

I headed once again to Marin County for a half day of peakbagging before the day got too warm. All of the day's peaks are located on private property, though both of the routes would mostly travel through the county's open space preserves. I left San Jose the previous evening at 8p to make the drive as painless as possible, sleeping at the TH in the back of the Jeep at the first of the day's two outings. It was very quiet throughout the night, a good place to sleep undisturbed, though I was awaken at 5:30a by early morning arrivals to the Mt. Burdell OSP.

Peak 1,011ft - Peak 967ft

About half of the first summit's route is outside the OSP, whereas the second is just barely outside, which is why I headed to Peak 1,011ft first when I started out at 6a. Overnight fog would be slow to burn off, keeping things cool for this outing. Several groups of joggers were the only other folks I saw on the way out. I followed the OSP trails(repurposed ranch roads) north to the park boundary where a water trough is found. Cattle are grazed both inside and outside the preserve, though I saw none today. Easy cross-country heading north and northwest was used in combination with old ranch roads on the private property that see little or no traffic. My route roughly followed a track by David Sanger from PB, with some shortening and improvements nearer the summit. The last short but steep climb follows a cow trail up to the summit where a fenceline delineates a property boundary. It took just over an hour to cover the 2.75mi distance. There is a small telecom installation found on the other side of the fence, below the highpoint which straddles the fenceline. The views were nice with the lingering fog. I took a few photos and headed back down the way I'd come.

I returned to the OSP via the same route and back to a trail junction found half a mile from the TH. Peak 967ft rises prominently to the west. I turned in that direction, passing through a gate onto a single track trail, then followed that only a short distance before turning uphill on a use trail with a small marker indicating "closed." It was a very nice little trail, through forest understory and open grass areas, working its way up towards the summit. The trail ends at a fence and gate marking the OSP boundary. The simple wire gate is easily unhooked to allow passage and the final short distance to the summit, taking a little more than an hour from the first summit. Like the first summit, Peak 967ft's top is rounded and grassy, no trees to obstruct views across the Marin countryside. Novato can be seen to the south with Mt Tamalpais in the far background. I was back down to the TH by 8:30a, having spent 2.5hrs on the 6.5mi effort.

Peak 1,575ft

This summit is found just outside the Indian Tree OSP on the west side of Novato. The Big Trees TH I used was only a few miles from the first hike making for a short interim drive, and before 9a I was starting up the Big Trees Trail through the OSP. The trail is a very nice one, switchbacking up through forests of oak, madrone and plenty of redwoods, the latter presumably for which the trail is named. The redwoods, all second growth, are found in various groves along most of the route, right to the very end of the trail on the summit ridgeline. The trail is quite popular, as I would pass by numerous groups and individuals both on my way up and the way down. There were several equestrians as well. Periodically, views open to the surrounding hills. I took a bit over an hour to reach the park boundary at the end of a little-used ranch road where a barbed-wire fence is found. One must go over one or two fences, depending on the route, to reach the summit at the top of a rounded, grassy knoll a few hundred yards outside the OSP. It's pretty isolated up there, with little chance of encountering others. I returned to the OSP via a slight variation, then returned back down the Big Trees Trail. There is a second trail going through Deer Camp that can be used to make a slightly longer looping route, but I rather enjoyed the route through all the redwood groves, taking them in for a second look. I was back to the start just after 11a and ready to call it a day. The weather was still nice, not yet having warmed appreciably, but I wanted to get back to San Jose before the afternoon traffic got burdensome.

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This page last updated: Fri Jul 14 11:35:01 2023
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