Smith Ridge Fire Road
ElevationAscent: 848' 258 m
Descent: -5' -2 m
High: 1,343' 409 m
Low: 496' 151 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
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“A fire road climb from White Hill School to 680 Trail and the top of Loma Alta.”— S. Lengyel
It's a good, long fire road climb with some short steep sections, or a rolling descent from 680 Trail or the Top of Loma Alta summit. This is also great as a training climb for those who need long climbing intervals.
While not an epic singletrack adventure, Loma Alta is a special spot. At 1,592', the top of Loma Alta is one of the highest points in Marin County. There are expansive views on the climb. On clear days you can see the San Francisco Sky, Mt. Diablo, and beyond. There are also lots of spring wildflowers (poppies, lupine, etc). In the summer the grass turns golden and you can often see the fog rolling in over the hills from the coast, and when the wind blows you can see the grass move in waves. It's the classic California golden-hills experience, though you may be a bit hypoxic on a few parts if you are climbing it.
The lower end of the trail starts at the end of Glen Drive behind White Hill School. The upper end of the trail actually ends atop Loma Alta (about 1/2 mile farther than this GPS track), and can be accessed from Big Rock Trail on Lucas Valley Road.
From the trailhead at the end of Glen Drive in Fairfax, go left around the two water tanks and up the short steep climb. The climb just past the water tanks is the steepest part, then it mellows out. Happy climbing!
Note: Marin County Parks has Loma Alta named as Smith Ridge Fire Road. Call it Smith Ridge Fire Road, and none of the locals will know what you are talking about. The local name is "Loma Alta," or the Loma Alta climb.
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Photos, Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed