This trail loop features some hill climbs, lots of switchbacks, travel through dense forest, great expansive views of the San Francisco Bay, and a stretch of very gentle trail through meadows that overlook the Bay. Most hikers take this route counterclockwise, as indicated on the map. It's also a very popular mountain bike loop, so you'll see lots of riders out here.
From the Back Ranch Meadows parking area, head out on the paved road back toward the entrance of the park. At the entrance kiosk, make a sharp left onto the trail, marked the Shoreline Trail
. In .2 miles along this shady trail you'll reach an intersection. Bear right to stay onto the Bay View Trail
. In another .3 miles up hill, you'll reach the Powerline Trail, which is a fire road. Make a sharp right onto the Powerline Trail, then an immediate left onto the Bay View Trail
(singletrack). Note the bike repair box, maintained by Friends of China Camp.
From here you'll hike along plenty of switchbacks as you continue your hill climb. You'll reach the Powerline Trail again after another .5 miles, where you'll make a sharp left to stay on the Bay View Trail
. You have completed a major climb, and now can enjoy a more gentle, rolling hike along forested singletrack punctuated with views of the Bay. After a mile, you'll reach the junction with the Echo Trail
. Stay on the Bay View Trail
as you cross a small bridge over a creek canyon.
Stay on the Bay View Trail
for the next 1.8 miles. You'll pass two junctions with the Back Ranch Meadows Trail, but follow signs for the Bay View Trail
. It is more of the gently rolling forested singletrack with little elevation change. You'll reach a large open trail junction with several trails in every direction. Bear left onto the Oak Ridge Trail
In .5 miles, you'll reach another trail junction. Bear right to stay on Oak Ridge Trail
. In another .5 miles, you'll reach another junction, where you'll want to stay on the Oak Ridge Trail
toward Peacock Gap. You'll then start a significant descent on tight switchbacks for .3 miles. The Oak Ridge Trail
ends at the junction with the Shoreline Trail
. Go straight onto the Shoreline Trail
You'll take the Shoreline Trail
3.3 or so miles back to the start of your loop at Back Ranch Meadows. On the Shoreline Trail
, you'll reach a junction with a fire road in 2 miles. Follow the fire road (which is still considered the Shoreline Trail
), for .4 miles into the Miwok Meadows picnic area. There is a pit toilet here.
Continue onto the Shoreline Trail
back onto singletrack. In a half mile, you'll reach a parking lot along San Pedro Road. Stay on the trail for another half mile until you can see the parking lot that you are parked in. There is a short-cut trail to the parking lot that you can take, but it is often completely water-logged. If this is the case, you can follow the shoreline trail through the walk-in campground back to the parking lot.
Mixed California hardwood forest. Meadows with very nice flower displays in the spring.
Originally an old fishing village location.