Loma Alta Loop
(Loma Alta Open Space)
Where: Plug “Brown Bridge, Fairfax, CA” into your GPS. Or take Sir Francis Drake past and to the west of Fairfax and stop just before the crest of White Hill. Follow signs for the Bay Area Ridge Trail and you’ll be just fine. If signs are gone you will take every left turn you can until you cross into the public easement on local cattle farm land. From here one section of the fire road is closed to the public so you are left with two other options, which is the start and end of the loop part of the hike. You can take either path and at the next junction just make a sharp U turn to get on the returning path. I suggest doing the loop clockwise as you will finish with some pretty spectacular views of the East Bay, Marin, and SF in the distance.
What and Why: This just over five mile semi-loop is close to my hometown in West Marin County, just north of San Francisco and primarily follows old fire roads, which have now become most of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. It is actually one of the highest points in the county, and with uncrowded trails and sweeping views of the entire Bay Area, this has got to be one of my favorite trails. It’s pretty steep up for most of the first half of the trail, which means pretty steep on the way down.
A bit muddy in the winter/spring, and fairly exposed (aka sunny) in the summer, be sure to dress accordingly. Out of respect for the landowners who are allowing the public to use sections of the trail that go through their property, stay on the trail. By doing that you will also avoid getting poison oak, so it’s win-win!
Get a detailed map and find more information of the Loma Alta Open Space