Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

Hike the coastal bluffs and forests of America’s western edge, some of the most beautiful country in California.  This moderate 41-mile, 4-day Walkabout starts in Marin Headlands, just 10 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, and hikes to Point Reyes National Seashore.

The first two days are an easy stroll, perfect for a weekend adventure.  Day 1 (7miles) traverses coastal hills and cliffs above the Pacific to Muir Beach. Settle in at the Pelican Inn. Modeled after a 16th century English country public house, you can enjoy its convivial pub and restaurant, while transported to a bygone era.  Or savor a stay at the serene Green Gulch Zen Farm and ascend to a higher plane while dining on delicious vegetarian fare.

Climb the flank of Mt. Tam on Day 2 (6.8miles).  Then descend through a redwood forest to Stinson Beach.  Explore the many delights of this charming seaside village – restaurants, bars, shops, and miles of State Beach.

Walk to fun and friendly Bolinas on Day 3 (13.5 miles) by hiking up Willow Camp Trail.  Below you, views unfold of the small boats of the fishing fleet; freighters sailing in and out of the Gate; and on a clear day, the Farallon Islands jutting out of the Pacific, 27 miles off shore.

The final leg of the journey (14 miles) travels through 4 miles of ranchland before entering Point Reyes National Seashore.  Hike the spine of the coastal range through spruce, bay, and fir forest before descending into Olema Valley.  Savor your final miles hiking Rift Zone Trail into Olema, where a handful of B&Bs await you.  You have hiked through some of the most spectacular wilderness in California while enjoying enchanting coastal hamlets, elegant inns, and wonderful dining - hiking inn-to-inn on the Marin Coast.


The Marin Coast Walkabout is one of a dozen inn-to-inn hikes found in “Walkabout Northern California: Hiking Inn to Inn.”  It can also be purchased as an individual guide.


“Why not walk in the direction of life, enjoying peace in each moment with every step? There is no need to struggle. Enjoy each step. We have already arrived.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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Comment by Emily Courtney on December 9, 2015 at 6:53am

The trails have changed on the Marin Walkabout between Stinson and Bolinas. Check out this blog post for details on the new route.

Comment by Emily Courtney on December 30, 2010 at 1:46pm


We are working with Landpaths to develop inn to inn hiking routes in Sonoma. It's a surprising challenge given how fantastic park land there is in Sonoma.  Landpaths is offering guided trips by foot and by kayak. Thank you for promoting human powered travel .

Best wishes,


Comment by David Gray on May 6, 2010 at 8:12pm
After walking the Coast to Coast path in England a couple of years ago, we have been trying to construct an inn-to-inn walk staying off of heavily travelled roads near home in Sonoma County - so far without success. There is just too much private property here. I believe people from LandPaths are working on this, but I have not seen results yet. You have done a great job with this one. In April we did a modified version of your walk with a couple of cars to ferry overnight bags and people who did not want to walk the whole way. There were 8 people from 2 families, and everyone had a great time. We stayed at Green Gulch Zen Center, the Sandpiper Inn in Stinson and split the group between the Blue Heron and Smiley's in Bolinas. We found the accommodations to be most satisfactory.
One note: as we were approaching Hwy 1 at the bottom of the Bourne trail, a docent from the Audubon Canyon Ranch told us that we were supposed to register with them to use the trails. When I explained that we had come down from Mt Tam, she said they would at least like people to call them at (415) 868-9244. We look forward to doing this walk again using only public transportation from Santa Rosa.
Comment by mikerettberg on February 28, 2009 at 9:09am
Definitely a not-to-be-missed opportunity for a great adventure in your own backyard!
Comment by Emily Courtney on November 20, 2008 at 3:44pm
My partner Mike and I took our first journey hiking from inn to inn right from our apartment in San Francisco. We walked out the door, through SF and across the Golden Gate bridge. While crossing dozens of dolphins performed right beneath us while the traffic sped by. And then a super tanker passed under the gate loaded down with armed vehicles and military planes. It was our last close encounter with industrial America for several days. We walked from our home to Stinson Beach over 3 days and then took the bus back within 4 blocks of our home. It was a fantastic trip! We're hooked on walking from inn to inn. In fact, we decided to spend our honeymoon walking from inn to inn - Inverness to Bolinas through Pt. Reyes. Wow! What an incredible adventure.

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