The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve involves a moderate climb past Skywalker Ranch to Big Rock Ridge. The ridge tops out at 1,800-feet, Marin County’s second-highest peak. The trail is mostly open but includes a woodland or two. On a clear day high on the trail, hikers can see the San Francisco skyline roughly 25 miles to the southeast. Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm post-production unit, is based at the ranch southwest of the ridge.
We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
- Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve (Feb. 10, 2022)
The day was crystal clear and the views from the trail at Lucas Valley Open Space Preserve were indeed spectacular. The black outline of the cityscape beyond the green hills of Marin County and San Francisco Bay evoked Oz.
In contrast, hiking to a view of Skywalker Ranch and Lake Ewok sounded sexy, but from a distance the cluster of buildings nestled in the valley between the trail and Lucas Valley Road looked like a group of professional offices, belying the “Star Wars” sound magic conducted inside. The ranch is closed to the public, so no closeup was available.
As we reached the official end of the hike, we spotted a Ridge Trail medallion on a trail marker and then another. We already had climbed the mountain, so we decided to keep walking up the fire road and enjoy the ridgeline.
About a mile later, just past the last antenna farm and now well out of sight of Skywalker Ranch, we reached a promontory with views of Hamilton Wetland and San Pablo Bay to the east and Sonoma Mountain to the north. They were worth the extra steps. Plus, we got another nice view of San Francisco.
The day was lovely and it was tempting to just keep hiking, but our car was parked back by the Big Rock at the trailhead that presumably gives the ridge its name, so we turned around and headed back. Next time we’ll bring our Jedi jumpspeeder!
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 230.7 out of 400 miles58.4%