The Alto Bowl Open Space has a network of four trails and fire roads your pups can explore in furry freedom. Fido and Fifi can skip the leash as long as they remain under sight and voice control. The Alto Bowl trails are pawpular with area dog walkers, so sociable pups might even make some new friends.
Your doggos will enjoy soaking up sunshine on these open green hilltops. Much of the trail is exposed, so check the weather before you embark. These breaks in the trees give some furrific views of Mount Tam, the lovely neighborhoods of Mill Valley, and the water and skyline beyond.
Parking can be a challenge at Alto Bowl. A few roadside spots are available on the northeastern corner at the end of Coach Road. There's also some pull-out parking along Camino Alto a few yards down from an access gate for the Bob Middagh Trailhead. There's no entrance fee (but also no restrooms or other facilities available). Note that the trails can be extremely muddy in winter and early spring.
For an easy 45-minute loop, set out from the Camino Alto pull-out parking area along the Bob Middagh Trail. You'll pass through stands of oak, bay, and buckeye trees before emerging into open grassland. In less than half-a-mile, you'll reach the Alto Bowl Fire Road (unmarked) and follow it until it dead-ends at a cul-de-sac. If you cross the wooden gate to the left, you'll be on Horse Hill Trail. Climb to the top of the hill and enjoy the view. Be sure to snap some dog pics (obviously). By the time you retrace your steps back to the car, you'll have traveled about 2.25 miles.
To make the journey longer, continue downhill on the Horse Hill Fire Road before turning around. Or, once you're back to Camino Alto, cross over to catch the Octopus Trail and explore the larger Camino Alto Preserve; the trailhead is just a few yards north of Bob Middagh.