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Firtop via Greenpicker and Stewart Trails, CA

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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 285 feet
Elevation Gain 1,034 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,248 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.24
Interest Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
Post the 1st photoset!
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 111
Routes 431
Photos 4,307
Trips 716 map ( 4,298 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Nov, May → 5 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:13am - 7:21pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Lots of horses....
by JimmyLyding

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This hike is a good leg-stretcher, but not a great hike by itself. The entire hike is in a dense forest of primarily Douglas fir but also tanoak and bay trees. The summit of Firtop at 1,324' is covered in trees and doesn't have any views. This hike's biggest drawback is that its route sees heavy equestrian use. You know what that means, and it doesn't smell so bueno on a warm day. Apparently there is a horse ranch that takes paying customers out on the trails. The cowboy/girl guides get the horses going real fast for about 100 yards then slow everything down. It's actually quite amusing, and makes me glad that I walk.

The trailhead is large and can hold at least 50 cars, but there will probably be horse trailers and big trucks. The hike starts to the right of the vault toilets, and there's a sign with a crude map about 30 yards up the trail. The wide roadlike trail passes a large pond on the left that was formerly used by logging operations before reaching a 3-way junction. Go right onto the Stewart Trail which is a hard dirt road that routinely sees Park Service trucks.

There's a junction with the Greenpicker Trail about 1.25 miles in and another one with the Ridge Trail at 3 miles. Veer left at Greenpicker and right at Ridge to remain on the Stewart Trail as it gradually ascends to within 150' as the crow flies from the summit of Firtop. You're in the heavy tree cover that you've been in the entire hike, but there's a few small meadows just west of the summit that may have wildflowers. Go right on the Greenpicker Trail near the summit as it descends about 3 miles on a single track. There are some nice views north to Olema Valley and Barnabe Mountain about halfway down, but you're still mostly in a dense forest.

This hike would best be utilized as part of a big hike to either Glen Camp just west of Firtop or Wildcat Camp down at the coast or a great dayhike that went down to the coast and back.

Check out the Official Route.

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2013-05-21 JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Point Reyes National Seashore National Park
    more info

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From San Rafael, CA take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. about 20 miles west to Olema, CA just outside Point Reyes National Seashore. Go south on US Hwy 1 approximately 10 miles to the Five Brooks Trailhead which is on the right after a 1/4 mile dirt road which is easily passable by passenger cars.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on May 21 2013 9:32 pm
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