Hike 08: Big Rock Ridge

Doh! I’m out of order AGAIN! Yeah, yeah, that check my notes thing, but I was really thinking this was #7. Oh well, I’m going to go ahead and post it to have something to check off the list!

It was an after work jaunt up (and back down) Big Rock Ridge, north of San Rafael. The trail goes up from the north side of Lucas Valley Road. Much of it is exposed – so, for me anyway, not one to do mid-day in the middle of summer, but it was entirely pleasant when I did it. And, there are spots where it ducks through some trees. New growth was popping out, and the hillsides were pretty green. I also saw a shooting star! (the flower kind) The openness gives splendid views to Mount Tam, the Bay and San Francisco.

There were a few other folks out on foot, and some on bicycles as well. One cyclist seemed to be doing repeats, as I saw him several times – headed downhill then uphill then downhill… There was also a couple – couldn’t quite tell if it was a date ride. I caught up to them on the uphill when they were stopped to rest. I figured they would catch up to me, but they never came past me, so they must have decided they’d had half as much fun as they wanted to and headed back down the hill.

Near the ridgeline, the trail connects to a fire road. I was debating heading back down at that point, as it seemed a plausible turn around, but there were antenna towers a bit further along the ridge, and somehow that seemed like more of a destination, so I continued on. Which, I’m glad I did – after a bit of rollering along the ridge top, views to the north and east opened out before me! Wow! It looked like there were some ways to get down to Novato, although I’m not sure how many of them are actually legal to the general public. Looking at the map later, I did see that the fire road continued on to the east and one had several options for getting down into Marinwood or back to Lucas Valley Road. And, there was great cell signal, go figure!

As I was enjoying the view, a fellow motored up from the Marinwood side on an e-bike. I have mixed feelings about these. On the fire road there was more than enough space for both of us, but the assist to go faster does definitely smallerize the world.

Heading back downhill I noticed the wind more. In some spots it felt as if I leaned just right I’d be able to take flight… wouldn’t that be cool?! The sun sinking in the west brushed the sky with a warm glow, then twilight started to fall. With a little hustle I was able to get back to my car before full dark. And hey, the Big Rock has lights on it!

more pictures

2/23/2021, 7.2 miles

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