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Bill's Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.2 mile 5.1 kilometer point to point
81% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,246' 380 m
Descent: -238' -73 m
High: 1,166' 355 m
Low: 155' 47 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 20% (12°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by Megan W

Trek through ferny, mossy forest on the way to an isolated waterfall.

Megan W

This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because our research has found there is no legal access.

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

This trail is currently closed for trail reconstruction.

Runner Notes

This is a popular and rewarding workout for trail runners due to its steady grade.

Description

From the roadside parking along Sir Francis Drake Blvd., take the paved Devil's Gulch Road for about 100 yards until you see a trail (Devil's Gulch Trail) on the right that follows Devil's Gulch Creek. Follow this ferny trail for another 100 yards to the junction marked with a huge, hollow redwood tree. Go right, cross the bridge and then take Bill's Trail at the T-junction on the far side of the bridge. If you arrive at the horse camp you went the wrong way!

Begin the ascent, keeping an eye out for shade-loving wildflowers tucked among majestic old trees. In a little less than a mile, cross a bridge and take the short out-and-back to Stairstep Falls Trail for a visit to these three pretty drops. The 35 foot falls are at their best in the wetter, winter months.

Regain Bill's Trail and climb moderately up switchback after switchback. The grade is so steady it is hardly taxing. Cross numerous bridges and travel across grassy knolls followed in turn by wooded areas. Finally pop out of the trees to stand on the exposed ridge line of Barnabe Peak at the junction with Barnabe Fire Road. If you've made it this far, it would be a shame not to take in the stupendous views from Barnabe Peak, so it is recommended that you jump on Barnabe Fire Road for the worthwhile out-and-back to Barnabe Peak's summit.

Note: bikes and horses are not allowed on this trail.

Flora & Fauna

Bay trees, Douglas fir, madrone, eucalyptus, maple, laurel, live oak, buckeye, redwood, nutmeg, ferns, wild rose, hazelnut, poison oak, and wildflowers (in the spring). Banana slugs.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#11090

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1,230

in California

#11,090

Overall
16 Views Last Month
618 Since Feb 26, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) on Samuel P Taylor State Park Bill's Trail
Mar 24, 2015 near Lagunit…, CA
Stairstep Falls at the end of the trail.
Mar 12, 2019 near Lagunit…, CA

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