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Mount Burdell

Novato, California

Mount Burdell

Mount Burdell Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The hike up to Mount Burdell is typical of the San Francisco Bay area’s open space landscape and vegetation. The trail wanders through an oak woodland at the base of the more than 1,500-foot- high mountain and quickly transitions to oak- dotted grasslands with grazing cattle as it traverses the slopes and wends to the top, revealing expansive views toward the bay. The fact that dogs can be off leash on the fire roads that cross the leash- only single- track trails is a real perk for Pooch.

Although the trailhead for this hike is clearly in a suburban neighborhood, the road noise and excited screams of kids on the San Marin High School playing field will vanish within a mile. This is a minor tradeoff for the miles of hiking trails within Marin County’s open space preserves for outdoor recreation."

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More Mount Burdell Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"Climb through grasslands dotted with ancient oaks to spectacular vistas of North Bay ridges from the 1558-foot peak of Mt. Burdell. The largest of Marin County Open Space District’s holdings, these nearly 1600 acres of oak savanna and grasslands are interspersed with dense woodlands. Hikers and equestrians can begin from O’Hair Park and cross a Sensitive Wildlife Area on the Dwarf Oaks Trail. Mountain bikers join them at San Andreas Fire Road, and all users follow wide fire roads to the peak; the trails are steep and rocky, with little shade. Summers are hot here, so be sure to get an early start and come prepared."
Jason Fator
"For 6000 years, the Miwok Indians had a village at the base of Mount Burdell, which they called Olompali. Food, namely acorns, was abundant, as was water as rains ran down from the ravines. But history changes things."
Thom Gabrukiewicz
"For 6000 years, the Miwok Indians had a village at the base of Mount Burdell, which they called Olompali. Food, namely acorns, was abundant, as was water as rains ran down from the ravines. But history changes things. This open space preserve—also once a part of the 8877-acre Olompali Ranch—takes hikers through the green-studded hills, past an old quarry where cobblestone was mined for the streets of San Francisco, and through canyons studded with oaks and bay laurel. If you’re a student of geologic and ecological history, Mount Burdell was created some 12 million years ago when the ocean receded and lava forced its way past the Franciscan sandstone and serpentine. The lava gave way to bunchgrass, where live oak, scrub oak, and bay laurel landed. This oak savanna is typical of the Bay Area."

Trail Information

Novato
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
8.3
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
4.5 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
126 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,558 feet
Top Elevation
Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center #260, San Rafael 94903; (415)473-6387; www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/divisions/open- space/mount- burdell
Local Contacts
USGS Novato, Petaluma; Marin County Parks and Open Space
Local Maps

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