Olompali State Historical Park has a very long, impressive history. Once a Coastal Miwok village dating back to 500 A.D., Olompali is the site of the oldest house north of the San Francisco Bay, built in 1776. Since then, the park has been a country estate, a Jesuit retreat, and a hippy commune. In the 1960s, the land was owned by members of the Grateful Dead. Finally, in 1977, Olompali was established as a State Park.
This 8-mile hike covers the entire park from top to bottom. You can park in the lot at the entrance to the park. Follow the trail through the buildings dating to many different eras, and take the time to read the informational signs along the way. When you reach the final barn, turn left and cross the small footbridge. This oak-covered section of trail will wind up the hillside for about 2 miles. On your way up you will pass a trail marker for a quicker way down, but keep heading up towards Mount Burdell. The next three miles of switchbacks include sections in dense, fern-covered forest and short forays onto grassy hillsides with spectacular views.
Once you reach the ridge, you will find a picnic table overlooking the North and East Bay. When you are ready to head back, you can choose to either retrace your steps, or take a different path down. At the small sign by the rock, take a right down the hill. You will follow smaller, steeper trails until you hit the main path directly above the trail marker you passed on the way up. At the marker, take the other, shorter trail. You will descend back into heavy forest that eventually opens into a clearing with information on local history and replicas of Native American structures. Continuing on the main trail will bring you back to the trailhead.