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.


dog on leash
Dogs On Leash
dog voice
Dogs Voice Control
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.