Loma Alta Preserve

At 1592 feet, Loma Alta is one of the highest points in Marin.

Rangers Recommend

  • The ridge lines that run together here bridge the county's four major watersheds: Miller Creek, Corte Madera Creek, Lagunitas Creek, and Nicasio Creek.
  • Enjoy heavenly Bay Area views, especially at sunrise and sunset. Take Glen Fire Road to Smith Ridge Fire Road, or extremely steep Sunrise Fire Road, to the summit.
  • An important link in the Bay Area Ridge Trail, Loma Alta Fire Road continues north then drops off gradually to Big Rock trailhead at Lucas Valley Road.
  • For a less strenuous excursion, Old Railroad Grade Fire Road runs along the lower perimeter of the 509-acre preserve. In rainy season, see Fairfax Falls cascading 25 feet.
  • Cattle have grazed the grassy slopes since the 1800s, and continue to do so today.
  • Dogs are welcome. Dogs must be leashed on trail, and under voice command on fire roads, with leash readily available.

Naturalist Notes

  • Exposed grassland is an important breeding site for horned larks and western meadowlarks.
  • Western bluebirds nest in forested canyons and hunt grasshoppers in the tall grass.
  • Listen for lazuli buntings and chipping sparrows.
  • A wide variety of raptors are common, hunting for voles and gopher snakes on the open slopes.
  • Patches of serpentine soil make for late-season wildflower displays.
  • Check out the iNaturalist field guide. Add your own observations.

Activities

biking
Bike
dog on leash
Dogs On Leash
dog voice
Dogs Voice Control
hiking
Hike
horse
Horseback Riding

Know Before You Go

  • Stay on roads and trails to preserve sensitive ecosystems and to avoid trespassing on private property.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Trails can be muddy during rainy season.
  • Bring water.
  • There are no restrooms at this location.
  • Steer clear of poison oak.
  • After an outing, check for ticks.