If you have been in the market for a challenging, little-known hike in Marin County, look no further. With 1,700 feet of elevation gain in less than 2 miles and another 6 miles of constant gain and loss, this semi-secret ravine hike will test your legs and your love of heights.
The hike begins at the entrance to a long-abandoned gated community. The first mile is a deceptively easy jaunt to a waterfall nestled in the woods. Take a moment to enjoy this charming grotto, and then follow a small dirt trail above the waterfall. You will be following this canyon trail all the way to the top, scrambling up dirt hillsides and through small sections of forest. Be aware of poison oak, as it has the nasty habit of growing up over the top of the trail. With about a quarter mile to the top, the trail becomes very steep. You will need to use your hands in some sections. Be sure to stop and look behind for the improving views of Marin and beyond.
Once you reach the top and enjoy the spectacular views, you have a few options to get back down. You can head down the way you came up if you enjoy pain. If you head north, there is a fire road that brings you right down to the entrance, though it is on private property and normally closed. Continuing southeast on the ridge brings 4 more miles of expansive views and constant elevation changes. Keep following this fire road to the left until you reach the Halloween Trail, a singletrack that will finally lead back into the canyon. Once you hit the paved road, take a right and two lefts, and then follow the main road for about a mile back to your car.