Olompali State Historic Park is located in northern Marin County. The name of the park comes from the Coast Miwok people who lived here from about 6,000 BC until the 1850’s. This peaceful park of 700 acres looks east over the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay, at the northern end of San Francisco Bay. Looking out to the tidal flats and the bay, you can imagine what Mill Valley and Corte Madera looked like before 1900. The west side of the park climbs Mount Burdell and provides access to the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve .
How to Reach Olompali State Park
The park is accessible from Highway 101:
- Exit Hwy 101 at the Atherton/San Marin exit and proceed to the west of the freeway.
- Go right (north) on Redwood Blvd.
- Go 2 miles north (past the Buck Institute for Research on Aging) to Olompali State Park.
The park is open from 9 am till 5 pm each day. There is one large parking area and the fee is $8.
Olompali State Park Trails
There are three options for walking and hiking in the park, each of increasing difficulty.
From the parking area, level paths take you to the historic buildings that remain from the Burdell ranch and earlier. This i a good place to stop for a picnic. A brochure from the California Parks Service describes the buildings and the natural history of the area.
The Loop Trail
A 3.3 mile loop trail begins to the east of the barns. A short distance along the Miwok Trail a small side loop takes you through a reconstructed Miwok Village.
Past this area, the trail begins a gently climb through grasslands and woods, with views of the bay, returning along the Lower Mt. Burdell Trail. This trail is moderately strenuous, with a climb of a few hundred feet.
The Upper Mt. Burdell Trail
At the turnaround in the the loop, you can continue on the upper trail with broad switchbacks and a climb to about 1,300 feet. The upper trail takes you close to the top of Mount Burdell (peak 1,558 feet) and to the trails in the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve.
Places to Live Near Olompali State Park
Madeline Schaider Real Estate can introduce you to neighborhoods in North Novato.
Wood Hollow Drive is the residential area closest to Olompali State Park. Larger, elegant homes built in the later 1980’s provide a unique opportunity to live near extensive open space. The nearby Courtyard at Partridge Knolls provides a large number of affordable condos.
San Marin Drive, a major street in north Novato has a large number of suburban homes, built in the 1960’s and 70’s, with about 1,500 to 2,000 square feet of living space.
Atherton Ave, just east of Highway 101, is a unique neighborhood with hilltop homes and homes on large level lots. This area feels like open country.