Art Rocks!

Hike to Petroglyphs on Ring Mountain

When you’re on a hike, do you focus on the big picture or the small details? Here’s a hike that lets you do both with ease. Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve next to Tiburon is famous for its baywitching scenery—sweeping from the Bay Bridge to the tips of the Golden Gate. But it’s also home to ancient Coastal Miwok petroglyphs found on large serpentine boulders dotting the hillside. See the largest of them on a 4-mile (round-trip) hike that starts from the Via Los Altos access point. Head up a short set of stairs to reach the trail and ascend a moderately rolling ridge trail that brings views of the San Francisco skyline and the sailboats in the marinas of southern Marin. At a half mile in, you’ll reach the gated Ring Mountain Fire Road, marking the official entrance to Ring Mountain. The next half-mile is the steepest, but at the top … you get the big picture! All of Mount Tam unfolds to the west while to the east you can trace the Richmond Bridge to the rolling East Bay hills. Continue another quarter of a mile down the fire road before making like Indiana Jones and taking a short (roughly 50 meter) singletrack to the petroglyph rock. The large fenced-off rock is protected as a unique cultural resource because of the circular ring carvings, created centuries ago. The meaning of the symbol remains a mystery; see if you can figure it out.

To reach the Via Los Altos access, exit the 101 freeway at CA-131/Tiburon Blvd. and head east for 0.8 mile. Turn left on Blackfield Dr. Go 0.4 mile and make a left on Via Los Altos. Follow it 0.5 mile uphill to the end of the road. There’s limited parking on the side of the road at the start of the trail marked by a set of stairs and a sign directing towards Tiburon Ridge Trail. No dogs.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Hidden Stairways of SF: Urban Hike

    This guided hike sold out fast, but new dates have been added! Get outdoors and explore the hidden stairways and gardens of San Francisco anew. Small group and socially distanced.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Ah, Good Point

    Ready for a rewarding view? Head to to one of the Peninsula’s favorite promontories: Mori Point. Climb your way up the Bootlegger’s Steps to the Mori Point headland for awesome vantages of the San Mateo Coast.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Shealor Stunner

    Robust mountains, striking slabs of granite, and deep green pine reflections make Shealor Lake near Kirkwood resort a jewel of the El Dorado National Forest. Reach this alpine oasis on a 1.3-mile hike.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    National Parks Road Trip: Circle of Discovery!

    Love national parks? Love road trips? Combine the two on one fabulous Circle of Discovery route in Northern California and Southern Oregon! This itinerary features 7 national parks with wondrous features.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Peak-a-View!

    Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the entire country and the seventh deepest in the world. For one of the very best perspectives of this shining blue beauty, hike up to Garfield Peak.

    View