China Camp State Park: Back Ranch Meadows

This hike has been rated easy to hard.

Marin Transit 233 serves this stop every day of the week. Catch it in downtown San Rafael, transferring from either the Golden Gate Transit 101 from San Francisco or the Golden Gate Transit 580 from the East Bay.

China Camp State Park is located where a ridgeline juts out into the Bay, forming part of the strait between the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The park is named for the historic Chinese shrimp-fishing village whose remnants remain at the park’s beach, but the park also features wide views from its ridge, calm forests, and plenty of estuary lands.

The trailhead most convenient to transit is located 20 minutes from the bus along a road with minimal shoulder.

Once in the park, any number of loop options are available, from a short walk around the foot of the hills to a 10+ mile loop of the entire park. My personal favorite is the Bay View Trail, but one of the delightful things about this park is the contrast of the hills and the wetlands.

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