Monday, January 04, 2010


Hiking at Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Marin County, California, USA)

Getting the New Year off to a good start!!

JimH & I went hiking at Samuel P. Taylor State Park. After driving past this place many times in the past on the way to Pt. Reyes National Monument it was a real treat to stop and check it out. We hiked the North Creek Trail, Devil's Gulch Trail, Bill's Trail, Stairstep Falls Trail, & Barnabee Fire Road to loop back to the trailhead. North Creek Trail is wedged tightly between Lagunitas Creek and the lightly travelled Sir Francis Drake Blvd, so maybe South Creek Trail would have been a little nicer. Although it was coho salmon spawning season we didn't see any salmon in Lagunitas Creek. We need some rain to provide the creek flows needed to enable the salmon to swim up the creek from the ocean.

Map of Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Instructions for online interactive topographic river maps & road maps.
• Click on Map button for road map, Topo button for topographic map.
Full-Screen Hiking Map - landmarks in the Samuel P. Taylor State Park.
• Names of landmarks (A, B, etc.) - DoubleClick or point on the red markers.

      N 38.01955 W 122.72954 - Samuel P Taylor State Park (A)
      N 38.01882 W 122.73319 - Lagunitas Creek (B)
      N 38.02932 W 122.73683 - Devil's Gulch (C)
      N 38.02697 W 122.71626 - Fire Lookout (D)

Hiking Devil's Gulch Trail, Stairstep Falls and Bill's Trail

Hiking up Devil's Gulch Trail & Bill's Trail got us away from the road and out into some pretty country. The thick Douglas Fir forest provided very shady hiking with ferns everywhere on the forest floor. The trail began with good views of Devil's Gulch Creek, then slowly climbed up the canyon wall. We made the short side hike to Stairstep Falls, but this only had a trickle of flow due to the lack of recent rains. Bill's Trail continued climbing up gradually through thick forest towards the Fire Lookout for a total elevation gain of 1350 feet. At the Fire Lookout the trail breaks out of the forest onto grassy hillsides. This provided great views of Bolinas Ridge to the south and Black Mountain & Tomales Bay to the north-west. We didn't go all the way to the Fire Lookout to see the views it provides to the north & east. Turkey vultures were soaring overhead as we hiked Barnabee Fire Road, which provided a steep, direct path back down to the trailhead.

Lagunitas Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park
007 Lagunitas Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Black Mountain view from Samuel P. Taylor State Park
064 Turkey vulture, Black Mountain, view from Barnabee Fire Road, Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

• Photo gallery - Hiking at Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

More about:
Hiking trails in Marin County - Marin Wiki.
California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Samuel P. Taylor State Park Parks - Yahoo! Travel
Samuel P. Taylor State Park - KQED QUEST Exploration Defective website must be viewed using Internet Explorer.
Viewing Coho Salmon at Samuel P. Taylor State Park -
Redwood Forest Ecosystem at Samuel P. Taylor State Park -
California Hiking Trails Directory.
Hiking & Camping Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
Olympus Stylus 720SW waterproof camera. Photos edited with IrfanView & PanoStitcher.

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