San Francisco: North

San Rafael: Downtown ‘Killer Hill’ Route

Robert Dollar Trail Google Street View
There’s some nice running in central San Rafael, but if you leave the immediate downtown, there will be hills! We’ve mapped a scenic but hilly 5-miler, incorporating the pretty, residential streets near downtown, the Gerstle Park estate, and the Robert Dollar Trail through Boyd Memorial Park.
San Rafael residential. Google Street View

Start right in downtown San Rafael. The first 2 miles is flat, heading south out of town on pleasant residential streets. Turn RIGHT on San Rafael Ave. to access Gerstle Park, a small, pretty park around a historic estate that’s a popular event spot. Head back down one of the other residential streets, through downtown, using B St. to access Boyd Memorial Park. Run on the paved Robert Dollar Dr. through the park, starting a steady climb, and then LEFT on the gravel Robert Dollar Hiking Trail, a wide, car-free path through Boyd Memorial Park and Mountain park. This is a 550-foot climb over just 1 mile, 9-11% grades — not for the intrepid! After enjoying the views and recovering from the climb, retrace your steps back down the hill.

Add-Ons: The residential streets heading south from downtown are pleasantly tree-lined and feature nice homes.




  • 5 miles (8 km)
  • 796 feet (242m) !!
  • Downtown San Rafael