Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near San Rafael with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This 10.5 mile loop does not Exist. At the 3.0 mile marker there is a slough, you cannot complete the loop. It dead-ends. Whoever suggested this trail obviously did not actually walk the 10.5 mile loop.
Other than that it is an awesome isolated 6 mile out and back trail. Tons of birds and isolation, not many people on the trail. Just disappointed, wanted to do a 10 mile hike. Look at my recording. Great completely flat easy hike.

Short but sweet! This trail will give you a great leg workout! Almost no shade so bring extra sunscreen! Lots of uphill on the first half and then lots of downhill on the return! Very challenging trail! Took me 3.5 hours with no breaks.

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!

Really hard trail! Those hills are no joke. Very steep high incline elevations. It feels uphill all of the way out and the return hike has a few steep parts as well. Solid 10 mile hike. I did this 3 weeks ago and there was almost no shade the entire hike. It took me 4.5 hours with no breaks. I saw 2 people on the trail. I did this on a weekday! Very challenging hike! Your legs will be thanking you!

It’s literally nothing but walking in zig zags uphill.

It’s fairly difficult and mostly uphill

Lots of bird wild life.

Not marked at all so make sure you download the map before you start. It’s a rough way up and steep way down. Not a lot of shade at certain points so make sure to wear sun screen. Not sure if we took the right way back, because we went down a thin little valley path to get back

Great hike/workout. I did this hike in early June when the grass was no longer green but some wildflowers were still blooming. The trail is mostly exposed, carry sun protection/hat. It was pretty windy on the day I went so I did not feel the sun as much. It is a fire road all throughout and the gravel can make it slippery, wear good shoes and/or carry hiking sticks. Great views from the top. I was the only person on the trail except for some mountain bikers passing by. Enjoy!

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.

4 months ago

We ended up walking from our hotel in San Rafael and did not arrive to the trailhead until mid morning on an early June day that happened to be very warm. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Despite the heat and full sun it was worth the effort. Hawks and eagles can be seen catching the currents and there were plenary of beautiful vistas. Trail signs are not existent so make sure you study the map before you get started.

Varied views. Springtime brings flowing waterfalls and wildflowers.

Good for dogs!

Beautiful trail for family walks.

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

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.

First, a few things:

1. Moderate? Hm.. no. If you do the full 9.5-10 mile loop, those inclines are no joke. And if you don't know, it's the down hill that kills.

2. Shaded? Some, I'd say only 50% of the trail. Still, don't go in the heat! It'll be rough. I drank over 100oz on the trail, so did my gf.

About the hike:
We hiked this today (late July) it was warm/hot, and I had 25-30lbs in my (inadequate) pack since I'm conditioning for a backpacking trip. We went all the way to the end and came back doing the full loop.

The 2nd part of the loop is not very well maintained, and the trail was even a little hard to keep at times. I took a wrong turn 4-5 times, or thought I went off trail, then realized I was originally on the right one, so went back.

It was tough, maybe it would've been easier with just a light pack and on a cooler day. The views were great though and it's great for conditioning. We only saw two bikers, and two dog walkers. Also two deer, some quail, and a small snake.

Great view of the bay, city and mt Tam.

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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FitBit tracks about 145 "floors", but it feels like more than that! Spectacular views at the top make the brutal ascent worth it.

Sunday, February 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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This is actually steeper than we thought it would be. Creeks beautiful and great yo water doggies.

Really loved the hike! Lots of shade so great for a hit day. And views of the city were spectacular!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I took the Big Rock Ridge trail all the way to the radio towers. This hike meandered through a mixed range of elevations and had fabulous views of overlooking the Skywalker Ranch, and on the top I could see as far as San Francisco.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Mostly fire road and steep but it's close to home and a good workout with some good bay and Novato views.

mountain biking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

Once at the peak, you'll experience great views and have the option to go down numerous offshoot trails.


Sunday, August 07, 2016

Great hike. Go clockwise for shade on the way up. Our only issue was bringing older parents. This trail is really steep so not for the out of shape.

on Ridge Fire Trail

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I love the eucalyptus grove on the top of the ridge, just wish the trail was easier to access from terra Linda.

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