Gary Giacomini Open Space

Gary Giacomini Open Space

Marin County Parks Open Space Leash Policy: Dogs on leash are welcome to enjoy trails. Dogs are allowed off-leash under strict voice control on fire protection roads. Please follow posted rules.

Marin County Parks Open Space Preserve

This huge property (1,476 acres) is a wild and rugged place. One can’t help but get a sense of true wilderness when walking along the San Geronimo Ridge Fire Road that traverses the ridgeline.

On the other side of this ridge, the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) watershed lands above Kent Lake form an immense expanse of pristine forests stretching all the way to Mount Tamalpais.

The windswept ridge has a high altitude feel, accentuated by the presence of a forest of dwarf Sargent Cypress trees.

Interspersed along the way are patches of the rare Marin Manzanita, and in the rock gardens between the shrubs are lovely jewel flowers and other delicate blooms in abundance.

Nearly five miles of the San Geronimo Fire Road run along the southern boundary of this preserve.

This road, extending from Peter’s Dam (at the Shafter bridge crossing on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard) to Azalea Hill on the Bolinas-Fairfax Road, is among the most scenic (and longest) fire roads in Marin.

Hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians wishing to link together longer outings should consider exploring the San Geronimo Fire Road that connects with the White’s Hill and Cascade Canyon preserves, as well as many popular trails and roads in the MMWD watershed.

From Highway 101 in Larkspur, take the exit for Sir Francis Drake Boulevard west 7.7 miles. Turn left onto Railroad Ave, sharp right onto San Geronimo Valley Drive, and take the second left onto Redwood Canyon Drive. The gate is immediately on the right.

Parking: Limited, drive slowly up this dirt road about 0.2 miles to the open space gate at the end of the road. Parking for 3 vehicles in a rough dirt area near the gate. If those spaces are full, drive back down to Chaparral Lane and park on the side of the road anywhere legal.

• Fee: None
• Water: Bring your own.
• Best time of the year for this hike: Early spring when everything is still green.
• Degree of difficulty: Moderate
• Distance: 4.1 mile out and back.
• Hours of operation: Sunrise and sunset

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