Best Flat Hikes in Marin: The Bon Tempe Lake Loop
Welcome to the fourth installment in our “no elevation” series of posts featuring flat hikes in Marin. The first installment of flat hikes in Marin took us out to Abbots Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore. The next flat hike in Marin took us to Tennessee Valley in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Third was: Old Rail Trail in Tiburon. Next Up: Bon Tempe Lake, part of the Marin Municipal Waters District.
There are 138 miles of trails and unpaved roads in the scenic natural woodland of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. We think the loop around Bon Tempe Lake comprises some of the prettiest 4.1 miles in the system. The landscape is diverse around the lake — golden rolling hills, Redwood groves, flat open spaces, and wooded areas dotted with ferns.
The trail is flat enough to be included in our Flat Hikes series however, there is about 200 feet of elevation. There are a couple of stairways cut into a few parts of the trail, but they are in the shaded areas of the hike. Just enough to raise your heart rate, but not enough for it to even be a highlight.
Getting There. From Acqua Hotel take the route through Greenbrae, Ross, and Fairfax. If you want a scenic drive through a few other towns in Marin, take the route that adds on Larkspur and Kentfield. Same with from Mill Valley Inn (that link starts at Mill Valley Inn). And here are directions from Waters Edge Hotel.
Parking. $8 parking fee. You’ll see the machines to your right after you pass through the entrance to the watershed. Credit Cards accepted. Pull over, get your ticket to place in your window and proceed to the Lake Lagunitas parking lot to begin your loop around the lake. There are bathrooms, picnic tables, and plenty of parking lot at the Lake Lagunitas lot. Look for for trail signs to Bon Tempe.
See you out there!