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Loma Alta and Big Rock Ridge Trail

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Lucas Valley Preserve

Loma Alta and Big Rock Ridge Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near San Rafael, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,322 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

running

views

wild flowers

rocky

Take the Big Rock Ridge trail to explore sections of the Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve. This hike feature nice views and meanders through a mixed range of elevation and biomes

hiking
bridge out
over grown
1 day ago

This is a beautiful scenic hike. Narrow paves, semi paved but just views of luscious hills over hills. There are a few spots for shaded walk and walking on incline for first half. Manageable even for someone who isn’t super fit.

hiking
no shade
2 days ago

Great hike, lots of mountain bikers right now. Easy parking near trailhead even during shelter in place. Hikers wearing face masks. Very little shade :)

hiking
bugs
over grown
2 days ago

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

It’s a Tuesday, we brought our dog on the hike with us, she was off leash probably about 90% of the time however there are signs that say dogs on less until you get to the fire road so we risked it. We saw about 6 mountain bikes coming down, that could be an issue for dogs getting in their way, and about 6 other people on the trail the whole day. It was pretty desolate in comparison to most Bay Area hikes which is what we are hoping for. More shade than I expected but still very warm and hot in the open. Bring water, lots as you’ll drink a lot going up in the heat. We had a picnic at towards the top. Beautiful views of the SF and Oakland you can see them both and Suttro tower as well as the bay bridge and the Richmond bridge. We would do again. About 30 mins from SF. Some even ran to the top. Trail was well maintained though loose gravely sand type dirt which in some areas was a little slide of a foot but nothing of concern. It climbs gradually but definitely goes up up up. Pup came home with 1 small tick about the size of the number 1 actually. ( that’s all we’ve found so far)

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful rolling hills on a sunny day, not much shade initially but a few patches here and there of trees. Nice views and a good hike for dogs!

hiking
no shade
private property
4 months ago

Nice trail, good view of Novato

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

There is very little shade on this trail, but the views make up for it. I hiked it on a Sunday early afternoon and never saw another person. Usually I prefer to hike a loop, but I've heard so much about this trail I decided to try it. The trail is in really good condition...I'm glad I hiked it, but I don't need to do it again.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail today and it was pretty much as described by others. The uphill is moderate with a few steep but short sections. The radio tower at the top is pretty insane so worth the Buck’s Bypass trail that takes you to the top. Killer views. I want to do this one when the hills are green. Saw very few people for such a gorgeous day. If you’re hiking alone as I was, good to know you have cell service the entire way.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views. Most of the hike is exposed so would advise going earlier or wear lots of protection. Nicely maintained, good for dogs.

hiking
no shade
Sun May 12 2019

hiking
Sun May 05 2019

This is one of my favorite trails in the area.

hiking
no shade
Thu Apr 25 2019

hiking
Tue Apr 23 2019

Beautiful trail. Lots of greenery and rolling hills. Poppies were present and colors were absolutely gorgeous. Very nice trail with some hills but nothing too difficult. Went on a weekday afternoon and saw only several people on it.

hiking
muddy
no shade
Sat Mar 23 2019

I live close by and if you catch it on a clear day the views from the towers are fantastic. The Bay, Marin and even the city. 3.5 up and 3.5 down...do it in 2 hours and it’s good workout with nice views. Best in the spring when it’s green!

hiking
Tue Jan 15 2019

For a moderate 6.7ish mile hike rated moderate, it offers a good amount of scenic views and exercise for the fit. I recorded this trail in January and the weather was surreal. Green hills and the creeks were running. Thick clouds burned off just at sunset. If you can make it to the ridge you get a great panoramic of north bay with distant views of Napa & Sonoma.

hiking
Mon Jan 14 2019

This is a straight up and then down again trail. Passed some water tower or something before turning around. Did 8.1 miles with 1650 ft gain.

Mon Dec 31 2018

This trail was just as expected based on the reviews. It was very dog friendly and other dog families were extremely accommodating to our pack. We were up and back in a little less than two hours.

hiking
Tue Nov 20 2018

Just like the other reviews good trail very well maintained, not too steep good if you are looking for a couple hour workout and want privacy

hiking
Sat Sep 15 2018

I did this hike last weekend. There was almost no shade. I got a nice tan after this hike even with sunscreen on. It’s very challenging on a hot day! Lots of uphill climbing and the Downhill on the way back can be hard on the knees. I only saw one person on the trail on a weekday. The hills are no joke. Lots of climbing! Bring lots of water!

hiking
Mon Jun 11 2018

Hiked from Big Rock trailhead to just past the transmission towers, then back. Great views, good workout, beautiful views. Total hike: 7.2 miles, 1,325 ft of elevation, 2 hr 41 min.

Tue Jan 23 2018

Great- good parking. Steep areas and great views. Saw a coyote. Met runners along the way and had a great workout.

hiking
Thu Dec 28 2017

Good out and back hike. Starting at Big Rock the trail is all uphill for 3.5 miles. The elevation change is moderate and provides a good workout but not a difficult one.. Beautiful vistas of Lucas Valley the entire way. Not much shade cover.

Sat May 13 2017

Great view of the bay, city and mt Tam.

hiking
Fri May 12 2017

Nice gradual incline the entire way out. You'll start to feel it but the grade is shallow enough that you're able to keep your breath. Good workout that's not too brutal.

hiking
Sun Feb 19 2017

Even on a windy, overcast mid-February day this was a great hike. Amazing views (East Bay, San Francisco, highway 37 all the way through Vallejo). We did a slightly different route than the one published, turning it into a point-to-point hike instead of out-and-back. Parked one vehicle at the end of the Luiz Fire Road (on Creekside Drive), and started the hike at the Big Rock trailhead. Overall hike was still ~7 miles, taking us along the ridge for a solid ~2.5 miles. Hike time was 3 hours. According the posted signs, portions of this alternate route are closed during deer hunting season (some of the route is an easement on private ranch land). So check before heading out.

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