Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
755.00 ft (230.12 m)
Trail type
5.76 mi (9.27 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This adventure features two lakes within the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed: Bon Tempe Lake and Lake Lagunitas. Bon Tempe Lake does allow fishing, but only in restricted areas. Occasionally if you glance at the lake, you might see some jumping trout. The area can get hot in the summer even with the shade, therefore it is best to start earlier in the day or go during the cooler months. 

Note: There is an entrance fee that you pay at a kiosk before driving on Bon Tempe Rd. to get to the trailhead. The hike overall is moderate with well-maintained trails and nice views of the lakes. 

Start at the Bon Tempe Lake Trailhead and cross the wide, Bon Tempe Dam. On your right, you will see a part of Alpine Lake and on the left is Bon Tempe Lake. Cormorants frequent the buoys on the Bon Tempe side. At the end of the dam, make a left to start the loop. The trail around Bon Tempe Lake is a peaceful, woodsy perimeter loop that is mostly shaded and provides excellent views of the lake throughout. You will cross a couple of wooden bridges amidst some small clusters of redwoods. After nearly 2 miles, you will hit the Lagunitas picnic area and parking lot. You can continue straight on the trail and just make a 4 mile loop around Bon Tempe, or take a detour to Lake Lagunitas. This adventure features this detour.

Cross the parking lot, restroom and picnic area. You will meet up with a new trailhead. Go left to climb a short slope on Lakeview Fire Rd. and make a quick descent to begin the perimeter around Lake Lagunitas. Start the Lake Lagunitas loop portion by going right to cross the Lake Lagunitas Dam. Once you've crossed the dam, continue left. This is an easy, relatively flat stroll around the tiny lake (only 1.6 miles in circumference). The variety of towering redwoods, oakwoods and grassland make this fire road loop quite scenic although most of the trail is exposed. Once you've circled around this lake, make a left to return on the Lakeview Fire Rd. and go back to the Lake Lagunitas parking lot/picnic area.

Now you will continue your way around Bon Tempe Lake. The remaining trail zig zags the shoreline of the calm lake water with some relaxing, photogenic views along the way. There is a tiny paved road section which eventually intersects with the trail again. Head back to the Bon Tempe Dam and return the same way to the Bon Tempe Lake Trailhead. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Entrance Fee

Open Year-round



Dogs allowed. Lake views. Potable water.


No swimming. Hot in summer.

Trailhead Elevation

667.00 ft (203.30 m)

Highest point

819.00 ft (249.63 m)


Family friendly
Potable water
Near lake or river
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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