Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please use our FAQs to answer your questions about our walking tours. If you cannot find the information you need on this page, feel free to email us your question using our contact page. You will receive more detailed information by mail after you book your trip.

Where am I walking?

    The West Marin area is arguably the most spectacular region in a county known for its scenic wonders. A truly rural section of Marin encompassing miles of open ridge tops, wild coast lines, and pastoral dairy farms, this area is home to such diverse wildlife as gray whales, tule elk, elephant seal, bobcat, fox, hundreds of bird species and the occasional mountain lion. Containing the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, almost all of West Marin is protected. With the exception of Inverness, which is on the Point Reyes Peninsula, the coastal towns, from southernmost Muir Beach, going north through Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Olema, Pt. Reyes Station, Marshall and Tomales, dot Highway One all the way up to the Marin/ Sonoma County border. The small inland hamlets of Nicasio, Woodacre, Forest Knolls, San Geronimo and Lagunitas are all unique and remarkably beautiful in their various settings that range from redwood forests to open grasslands and rolling hills.

What are the towns that make up this unique area and what are they like?

    Your trip may take you through one or more of the following areas:

  • Muir Beach is a tiny enclave surrounded by Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) parklands. With the exception of the Pelican Inn, where residents and tourist alike go to dine, drink ale, and play darts, there are no commercial enterprises here (not even a gas station or a grocery store). The residents here seem to like that just fine.
  • Stinson Beach, the most often visited of the coastal towns, is home to a lovely three-mile long beach which is well kept, clean and accessible. Swimming, surfing and sunbathing are the favorite activities here, and Stinson is also the finish line for the famous Dipsea Race. Right next to the beach is a community park with trees, lawns, picnic tables and barbecues available for day use.
  • Bolinas, located just past the Audubon Canyon Ranch north of Stinson Beach, is a small town of about 1,100 residents; some of whom do their best to keep Bolinas a well guarded secret by regularly removing the directional road-signs to the town. Bolinas is also home to Smiley’s Schooner Saloon, the oldest, continuously operated saloon (this bar was open even during Prohibition) in California.
  • Olema holds the distinction of being the epicenter of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and is the gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore. This was once a vibrant pioneering town with seven bars, a racetrack, and a stagecoach that brought visitors from San Rafael on the weekends. Some of the old buildings still remain, including the Olema Inn, founded in 1876.
  • Nicasio is a very small town located between Highway 101 and San Geronimo Valley. George Lucas, famous producer of “Star Wars,” built Skywalker Ranch nearby as the headquarters for his film operations. Also to be found in the area a variety of estate homes on many ranches. The rural beauty of Lucas Valley makes for a pleasant drive for the patrons of popular Rancho Nicasio, who come from all over Marin as to enjoy country dining and dancing.
  • Inverness, located on the west shore of Tomales Bay, was once a weekend retreat. Inverness is now home to many year-round residents that include artists, builders, tradespeople, and professionals who commute to the city. Although a few homes can be seen from the streets, most are tucked back among the trees. During the peak whale watching months of late fall to early spring, the numerous bed and breakfast establishments in and around Inverness are often full.
  • Point Reyes Station had its beginnings as a railroad town when the first train came through on its way to Tomales in 1875. The railroad disappeared in 1933, and although Point Reyes Station is now the largest town in West Marin, it is still only three blocks long and a couple of blocks deep. Still, the coffee houses, galleries, bookstores, antique shops and restaurants lend a cosmopolitan flavor.
  • Sausalito – a bayside sailing town with vibrant day and night life. Roots in local music and activism history.
  • Just added: Half Moon Bay, Montara, Pacifica, South San Francisco!  See information on the Monarch Walk Page or the Pelican Walk page.

What if I want to shorten or lengthen my walking trip?

    Just let us know – we can likely change the walk to fit your schedule.

What is a self-guided walk?

    A self-guided walk is an independent experience where you walk with your your friends or partner, instead of a group of strangers. We provide almost everything you need to complete your journey worry-free. You will get customized maps, an itinerary, and detailed trail notes. We do the baggage transfers and guide your lodging.
      You decide how long you would like to linger on a mountain side, or stop in for a beer at the local pub. There are no guides directing your trip unless you ask for this specifically.

What IS included in the price of the walks?

      Custom weatherproof topographic maps, trail notes, and local area information is included in the cost of the walk. You will recieve an Accommodation Schedule PDF to fill out as you book using an easy Booking PDF. You can also opt to have us transfer your luggage. We will also assist you with any local recommendations and pre and post trip travel planning and reservations if needed.

See our walk comparison for pricing information.

What is NOT included in the price of the walks?

    Meals are not included our walks. This gives you ultimate freedom to choose your dining experience. We provide some guidance in our route notes. No one pays us for our opinion, so you know that our recommendation is based on our local experience and opinion. You will be given information on the best places to pick up a trail lunch (in some cases there is only one option, and you will need to advance order). Additionally, bus fares, additional tours and service, taxi fares, and lodging costs are not included. At one time, we booked the rooms, however we find that walkers want control over their own reservations and options. This lowers the price of the walks tremendously! Don’t worry, we guide you to any information you may need.

What if I would like a guide?

    A Naturalist guide is not needed to enjoy the hikes, however it may be interesting to you to have a local naturalist point out the poison oak, fennel (edible), Indian Paintbrush flower, Herons, Egrets, and Hawks so you can identify them the rest of the way. They also can provide you with some history of the area. The walks are designed to be self-guided so you can certainly enjoy them without a guide. If you would like to have a guide join you for part or all of the walk, we can arrange that for you. Just let us know in advance.

How to I book an Inn To End Walk?

            You can purchase your walk online using our

online booking f

          orm  or you may contact us on our booking agent directly at walks@inntoend.com or call: 1-707-985-TREK (+01-707-985-8735 for international callers).
          Walks cost between $150-$500. Just email us the walk you’d like! We will respond with an easy-pay invoice. After you purchase the walk, we will email you a PDF with links which includes: Easy Booking Information & your Accommodation Schedule (to fill in). When you book your rooms, we will request the dates and invoice you for the luggage transfers. 1-2 months before the walk we will send you an up-to-date Trip Packet.

What if there is an emergency or conflict and I have to cancel my walk?

    If you need to cancel your walk, please contact your Inns to cancel the rooms The trip packet you purchase will have all the Inn information and their cancellation policies will be emailed to you when you book. You will likely get back most of your money from the Inns. Our cancellation policy may provide some refund or credit toward a future trip, depending on the date you cancel. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance, which may cover your Inn costs in the event of cancellation. This is an inexpensive way to provide coverage for lost baggage, medical emergencies, and trip cancellation. Inn To End makes no endorsement of any of the following. We have no financial relationship with any of them. Contact any of them or another insurer of your choice for a free quote.
        Travelex:

www.travelex-insurance.com

      – (800) 228-9792
        InsureMyTrip:

www.insuremytrip.com

      – (800) 487-4722
        CSA:

www.csatravelprotection.com

      – (800) 711-1197

Can I bring children?

    These walks are designed for adults. Older children that enjoy walking this amount are welcome to join. If you do decide to bring children, please alert the Inns upon booking.

Can I bring my dog?

    Sorry, dogs are not allowed in the Inns nor on most of the trails.

Who started Inn to End?

    Inn to End was started by a family that is native to the bay area. We are 3 generations strong in the bay area, and we all still live here. Together we are locals, outdoors-people, teachers, world travelers, trekkers, foodies, walkers, city-dwellers, naturalists, biologists, country bumpkins and spiritual people. We hope you enjoy our careful planning. We consider these walks to be the best in California.

What kind of shape do I need to be in to do these walks (What do the different walk levels mean)?

    The walks are classified as follows:

Easy/Beginner

      – Can comfortably walk 5-8 miles (8-13km) a day with some elevation change for 2 days in a row

Moderate

      – Can comfortably walk 8-10 miles (13-16km) a day with some elevation change for 3 days in a row

Moderate/Advanced

      – Can comfortably walk 10-15 miles a day (16-25km) with significant elevation change for 3 days in a row

Advanced

    – Regularly train for hiking and trekking and can walk 15-20 miles (25-32 km) with significant elevation change per day for 4 days in a row

How difficult are the walks?

            The daily hikes vary between 6 to 16 miles with between 400-1800 feet (650-3000km) of elevation change. See the

walk descriptions

           for details and elevation graphs. Trails are generally on stable, on well-maintained dirt trails or gravel fire roads. Some parts of the hikes are on pavement in or around towns. Each walk is described in detail with the daily hikes so that you can plan your walk according to your ability.

Can a beginner walker/hiker do an Inn To End Walk? How long will this take?

    Our various walks are designed to accommodate all levels of walkers. On some trips we offer a short and long route to the next Inn. The weekend hiker may complete the daily walks in 5 to 7 hours, while the more active hiker will likely finish much faster. Most days, the Route guide will inform you of alternate routes, in which walkers can take a trail that may be more flat and easy, or more rugged and picturesque.

What should I bring on the walk?

    Generally, you should travel light. Bring items that you like to have on a long day hike. Suggested items include, a hat, sunglasses, binoculars, sunscreen, a nutrition bar, a camera, hiking poles, and one or two water bottles. You will also want to bring quick drying outdoors clothes and a rain jacket. It is best to dress in multiple clothing layers, as the San Francisco Bay Area coastal weather can range from very cold and wet to warm and dry. You will get a packing list in the mail to guide you in preparation.

What is the weather most commonly like?

        The SF Bay Area weather is generally temperate year round. Winters are drizzly, and summers can be very changeable, with fog in the morning and sun in the afternoon. Your summer day could begin with fog at 50°F (10°C), and in the afternoon it could change to bright sunshine and 90°F (32°C)! Weather is usually sunny and clear in the fall months. For more information on the weather, you may check the

local weather here

      .

What if there is an emergency on the trail?

    You will be hiking in National, State and Regional parks which have local resources, such as park rangers and park police available. Your maps and information packet will identify nearby ranger stations and restrooms, as well as providing emergency phone numbers. Cell phones will work in some areas of the parks, but not others, so it may be necessary for one of your party to walk for assistance to a nearby road.

How do I get to and from the airport?

    There are several options for transportation. If flying into SFO (SF International Airport), there is a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), that will bring you into the heart of SF. It is easy to hail a taxi cab at the airport. Getting to SFO will cost about $45.00USD. There are less expensive options available as well. Transportation is not included in the price of the trip.

What if I am driving and therefore will have my car with me?

    We can transport your vehicle to the end of your walk and/or to a storage location while you are on your walk, or we can recommend a garage to store the vehicle. Please contact us if you will require car storage and we can help.

What if I want to continue my vacation in the area?

            We will be happy to help you find a place that meets your needs. We are native locals that go back three generations, and have extensive knowledge about the options for seeing more of the bay area. Please

contact u

          s Or email: walks@inntoend.com

Can people contact me when I am on my walk?

    If you bring a cell phone with coverage in California, you will get service on most of your walk. Many Inns have wifi available in the rooms. Lodging information, including phone numbers, will also be sent to you prior to your departure, and the Innkeepers are glad to pass along messages to you. In addition, internet access is available at some of the lodging locations.

How many bags can I bring?

    Our luggage transfers can service one large/standard size bag per person. Bring an additional day bag to carry your water bottle, rain jacket and lunch. NOTE: Laundry facilities are not available in most of the small towns you will be visiting.

What if I don’t want to walk one day?

    The walks are designed for people who enjoy hiking and trekking. In the event that one of your party cannot or does not wish to hike one day, there are a few options for getting to the next Inn. Sometimes you can ask someone you meet in at an Inn breakfast where they are headed and see if you can catch a ride (these are friendly small towns/Inns). In some rare cases, you can get a ride with the luggage transfer vehicle. Most reliably, you can arrange for a taxi or take a bus. Bus and taxi information will be provided to you in your Trip Guide.

Tell me about the Inns.

In the towns, you will stay in luxury boutique Inns. As you walk further away from San Francisco, your accommodations will be smaller charming country Inns and B&B’s. See our accommodations page for pictures of the Inns.

Tell me about the food.

    The food in West Marin is widely known to be the best of the bay for dining out. This is the source of the gourmet dairy products, oysters, fresh catches, organic beef, herb sand salads, and other fresh delectables. In most cases, you will have breakfast at your Inn. For lunch, you will get detailed instructions on how and where to purchase your choice of trail lunch. For dinner, you will be able to walk to a nearby restaurant in town, or you will be able to eat at your Inn restaurant. Those with special dietary needs: please contact the Inns so they can accommodate your needs for breakfast.

What is your payment and cancellation policy?

The price of the walk itself is non-refundable, however you can use the Trip Packet and maps on a future date.

The payment for the luggage transfer is required 14 days in advance of the start date of the walk.

Accommodation and Inn Cancellations
Each Inn has its’ own cancellation policy. These policies will be included in your Trip Packet. Most of them allow cancellations within the week or a few days for a full refund.

Luggage Transfer Cancellations 14 or more days+ of the walk start date will be refunded 100% the full price.

Luggage Transfer Cancellations within 7 days of the walk start date, will be refunded 50% the full price. 50% will be retained by Inn To End, LLC, but this amount can be applied in full to a future walk’s luggage transfer.*

Luggage Transfer Cancellations within 2 days of the walk start date are not refundable. We will have to pay our luggage couriers for their scheduled time.

Accommodation Cancellations: You will have to email or call the Inn to cancel your reservation. Many of our Inns have 3-7 day full refund cancellation policies.

*To utilize the non-forfeited, retained portion of your fees from a cancellation, a new walk must be booked within 18 months of the cancelled walks start date or the retained portion of the fees will be forfeited.

Terms and Conditions

INN TO END, LLC organizes self-guided walks that involve various levels of physical exertion. Accordingly, you are solely responsible for choosing a walk that fits your abilities, level of fitness, and health. You are also responsible for reading the complete Trip Packet and Route information material and bringing with you all of the appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid supplies and medications, as well as acting in accordance with the customs and laws of the regions visited. Further, you are solely responsible for following any provided walk directions and for following any specific laws, rules and regulations governing the land on which you will be visiting (including state or federal parks), or imposed by any vendors, carriers, hotels, restaurants or other establishments providing you services and/or lodging during the walk. You acknowledge and agree that walk itineraries and destinations may include remote or wilderness areas and/or roads and highways and accordingly participants may encounter potentially harmful weather, geological and other natural conditions, plants, animals, and insects.

Payment for the walk represents your acceptance of the following terms and conditions, as well as the other terms and conditions on this website or contained within any subsequent walk departure material: Inn To END, LLC, its members and managers, employees and agents, give notice that all services and arrangements related to this tour have been made by Inn To End, LLC only as agents, upon the express condition that Inn To end, LLC shall not be liable and does not assume responsibility for any claims, damages, expenses or other financial loss whether to person or property arising out of any injury, accident, death, cancellation, delay, alteration, or inconvenience resulting from any act or omission, commission or inadvertence of any hotel, carrier, restaurant or other company or person rendering any of the services included in the trek or caused by weather including without limitation floods or earthquakes, sickness, strikes, quarantines or the willful or negligent acts of any other trek participants or any cause whatsoever beyond the control of Inn To End, LLC.

In consideration of the services and arrangements provided byInn To End, LLC, the participant, for him or herself and the participant’s heirs, personal representatives or assigns, releases, waives, discharges, holds harmless and agrees to indemnifyInn To End, LLC, and its owners, members, officers, directors, managers, agents, contractors, subcontractors and employees from any and all claims, actions or losses for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services, lost profits, consequential, exemplary, indirect or punitive damages or otherwise which may arise out of or occur during the participant’s travel in connection with the scheduled trek and any activities conducted in conjunction therewith. I SPECIFICALLY UNDERSTAND THAT I AM RELEASING, DISCHARGING AND WAIVING ANY CLAIMS OR ACTIONS THAT I MAY HAVE PRESENTLY OR IN THE FUTURE FOR THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OR CONDUCT OF THE OWNERS, MEMBERS, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, MANAGERS, AGENTS, CONTRACTORS, SUBCONTRACTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF Inn To End LLC.

I understand that payment of my deposit for this walk is subject to acceptance byInn To End, LLC and upon acceptance, shall be deemed to be a contract entered into and performed in Alameda, California. In the unlikely event a legal dispute with Inn To End, LLC should arise involving any subject matter whatsoever, I agree that the following conditions will apply: (1) it will be resolved within the exclusive jurisdiction of either the U.S. District Court, Northern California District or Superior Court in Alameda, California; (2) it will be governed by California law without regard to the conflict of law rules of that or any other state or country; (3) the maximum amount of recovery to which I will be entitled under any and all circumstances will be the amount I paid to Inn To End, LLC for this trek; and (4) if any portion of this agreement is found to be void or unenforceable, the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.

If  luggage is transferred by Inn To End LLC, it will be picked up and dropped at the Inn front desk or pre-approved location. Before it is picked up and after it is dropped off, the luggage safety is the responsibility of the Inn and the Walker. Inn To End is not liable for any damage or loss of luggage or luggage contents. I agree to pack no items valued over $400 in my luggage (expensive electronics, jewelry).

By purchasing a walk, I acknowledge that I have read this Participant Agreement and Release of Liability and understand its contents.