Tall trees and wildflowers await off the beaten path.
A scenic drive on Lucas Valley Road west from U.S. 101 leads to the trailhead for Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve, a secluded grove of tall redwoods. A 3-mile loop trail winds through meadows and past stands of pines, Douglas firs, and other trees. The groves of Muir Woods may be grander, but the preserve is far enough off the beaten path that even on a sunny spring or fall weekend (the best times to visit) you’ll have the trees nearly to yourself and perhaps a few quail.
Spring Wildflowers Steal the Show
It’s all about the trees at Roy’s, except in springtime when white and purple irises and other wildflowers steal the show. The redwoods never disappoint, though, nor do the birds (hawks, woodpeckers) and wildlife large (deer) and small (fence lizards, spiders).
Roy’s Redwoods Tips
Follow the Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail signs for a 3-mile hike. For a scenic bay- and valley-view detour, walk a ways up the steep Dixon Ridge Fire Road, then backtrack to the loop trail.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate.
Why locals love it: Redwood grove; solitude.
Reward yourself: After your hike, continue a half mile south on Nicasio Valley Road to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, where you can turn right (west) to check out tiny Lagunitas and its Arti Natural Organic Indian Cafe. Head left (east) to get to Fairfax and sip tea, kava, or beef broth at Wu Wei Tea Temple, which also serves light snacks.
Head west from U.S. 101 on Lucas Valley Road for 13.5 miles and south on Nicasio Valley Road just under 3.5 miles. There are places to park on the gravel shoulder near the trailhead, which is on the east side of the road. You can also drive west from U.S. 101 on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to Nicasio Valley Road and turn north (right); the trailhead is a half-mile on the right.
Nicasio Valley Rd. near W. Nicasio Rd., Woodacre, CA 94973
Marin County Parks
More Hikes Locals Love
Battery Mendell to Battery Townsley
Coastal Trail to Bass Lake and Alamere Falls
Coastal, Wolf Ridge, Miwok Trails Loop
East Peak Mount Tamalpais
Mount Tamalpais Muir Woods Loop
Olompali State Park
Rodeo Lagoon to Point Bonita Lighthouse
Rodeo Lagoon Trail Loop
Steep Ravine to Matt Davis Loop
Tule Elk Preserve
This story first appeared online in 2017; it was fact-checked and updated in 2020.