The hubs and I searched for Ewoks on Big Rock Ridge Trail above Skywalker Ranch but didn’t find any!?! 🙁 Big Rock Ridge Trail is off Lucas Valley Road and begins at, wait for it…a big rock. We had been here in the fall and went up the Loma Alta Fire Road side to watch the sun set over the hills and have been wanting to go back in spring to enjoy the rolling green hills and wildflowers (thanks to the suggestion of a fabulous Marin County Parks ranger).
From the street parking on the west side of the road take the tunnel under Lucas Valley Road to the trail head just outside the fence of the big rock. The trails here are well maintained and ascend at a nice easy incline full of switchbacks. As you start to climb up above Lucas Valley Road you immediately start to see beautiful views of the bay and San Francisco. Lucas Valley Road was not named after George Lucas but an Irish immigrant John Lucas when he lived in the area in the mid 1800’s but being a newby I had assumed since Skywalker Ranch was right there that it was named after George Lucas. Now we all know better! 😀
This is an out and back hike which usually is somewhat boring for me but as you climb you tend to keep your eye on the radio towers at the top where you will end up and on the way back down you get to enjoy views of Nicasio Valley and of course the city. This keeps it more interesting than most out and back hikes.
Continue hiking up the switchbacks flowing in and out of shade under some beautifully healthy oak trees. Since we have been having tons of rain here lately there was water flowing in the stream which was lovely to see. The day we went was just before another storm rolled in so the wind was a little crazy the higher we went. Watch for wildflowers along the path! There weren’t a ton just yet but more than I had expected which was a pleasant surprise.
You’ll pass through a cattle fence and then begin to see Skywalker Ranch. No ewoks. No storm troopers. I can only imagine how this wonderful place helps the writers create amazing journeys that Star Wars takes us through. There were signs of cows…cow pies…so careful as you walk through. 😉
The views of the hills with the city beyond get better and better as you climb to the top of the second highest peak in Marin. This is definitely one of those hikes you want to do on a somewhat clear day. It’s the views of the rolling hills and big city beyond that are so striking. Once you have reached the top, or whatever turn around spot you choose, head on back down and enjoy how different the hike feels in the opposite direction. For us, the storm was rolling in faster and faster and the clouds became more dominant and completely changed the feel of the hike.
The hubs and I absolutely love hiking in Sonoma and Marin counties. This hike is probably one of our more favorite Marin hikes mostly because of the views throughout the entire hike.
Free parking but limited spaces, no restrooms (there’s a park and library on Lucas Valley Road we stopped at), dogs on leash ok, 6.5 miles with 1,131 elevation gain, all season hike.