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I decided that I had to get out and hike a bit this weekend...both to check my shape and to get the hell out of the house before I turn into a complete blob. The Marin Headlands are easy to get to and offer a good workout. Maps of perambulations below.
During the week, the weather forecasts were predicting rain for Friday (which it did and I sayed in the whole day), and not-rain for Saturday...I was thinking about a local trip, Muni to the Golden Gate Bridge, and walk into teh Marin Headlands...but I never got my act together to post a trip. Finally a trip down in Russian ridge was posted that looked interesting, but the carpool situation was iffy and that's a long way to go for a 8 mile hike (I was still leaning towards my original trip). Finally decided to do it, posted the trip in a perfunctory way (if anyone had shown up, I'd have tailored it to them).
I waited at the Strauss statue, feeding the flocks of small birds until 10:05, and took off at my usual brisk pace. I figured I'd just go til I was tired and ready to turn around. Usual approach, over the Bridge, up the Coastal Trail to SCA, then Alta Avenue. So I started doing all the bits of trails I hadn't done before: Rodeo Valley Cutoff Cutoff (steep and muddy bits), backtracked and finished the Rodeo Valley Cutoff (badly overgrown, steep and muddy...bring pruning shears), up Rodeo Valley to the Cutoff Cutoff, thence back to Bobcat, up to Miwok at the FAA antenna. Down the officially closed Miwok to the Tennessee Valley Stables, up Old Springs to Miwok, up Miwok to Bobcat, around the FAA antenna and back down Miwok, this time all the way down to Rodeo Lagoon.
Then a bit of road walking took me to the Point Bonita Trail, and the Point Bonita Lighthouse (open til 330pm, whew!). Enjoyed the tunnel, suspension bridge, lighthouse and dramatic scenery. Got shooed out, more road walking brought me to the Coastal Trail, which I took past the firing range up to Conzelman Road. My feet at this point weren't interested in the climb up to the saddle behind Slacker Hill, and besides, the views from Conzelman are pretty nice, so down that way, back over the Bridge and a very prompt 28 down to the Marina.
What I was expecting to be a vigorous, but not excessive hike turned into a distinct Bunny Hike. Oh Well. 3700 feet of ascent, probably 22+ miles, counting all the back tracking. Anyway, there are now no significant trails in the Headlands SE of Muir Woods I haven't done. And more importantly, I know which ones I like and are more interesting than walking on a groomed gravel road.
The weather was perfect, not too warm and the sun was diffused by the light clouds. The trails are generally in good condition, although a bit wet and occassionally a bit slippery, but nothing that would require waterproof boots. Just the barest few wildflowers yet.
Selected images from this outing are here. Additional images may be found in other Marin Headlands hikes.
Map of the Marin Headlands, route in blue, red, yellow and green (in order)
Larger Image (250K)
Bunny Hike - Marin Headlands / Robert Parks / email@example.com /
revised Jan '04