It was a foggy morning with just a slight chance of rain when we found ourselves among the giants. The hubs and I love to explore Marin County and all her beauty every chance we get. Roy’s Redwoods has been on our list of hikes for a while now so we finally took the opportunity last weekend and it did not disappoint! The preserve is only 293 acres but so worth the effort finding it and hiking around.
The drive through the backroads of Sonoma and Marin County are gorgeous as they wind up and down and through the hills often with fog below. The green hills, the dense fog, and all of the familiar bumps in the road are worth getting up and out the door on a Saturday to enjoy the peace and quiet along the trails. We found parking alongside Nicasio Valley Road and put on our backpacks and headed into the arms of the mighty redwood giants. There was just enough water in the small creek running through the redwood grove to saturate this area. The fog was hovering above and the cars were zooming by. It was great to see this preserve saved from traffic.
We hopped on Roy’s Redwood Loop Trail heading counterclockwise. This part of the trail was a bit boring as it followed Nicasio Valley Road with only views of the golf course. The hubs and I chatted about our week as we hiked along the gravel trail that wound around and behind a restaurant garden. Crossing a couple of bridges we ended up in a marshy area with some local ducks and a fork in the road. We stuck to the Roy’s Redwood Loop trail and started heading uphill into a forest of bay trees. The green from the trees was so beautiful. The switchbacks led us through moss-covered trees and bay trees that kept us safe from the impending sprinkles of rain.
At the David Hansen trail sign, we took the unnamed trail that went up the opposite hill (straight up) to a grassy knoll. Here we found a half-circle of serpentine rocks with some amazing views of San Geronimo Valley below! I would love to sit on one of the rocks and meditate one evening as the sun goes down. The feeling we had while in that spot was amazing. It felt almost sacred. I wonder how many people have gone up there to have a moment of silence and ponder life or say a prayer for a loved one. Heading back down the hill we ran into a nice lady with an adorable pup. She was looking for ticks on the pup’s head as we approached. This caused the hubs to then start checking himself constantly for ticks. Of course, I giggled at this and…of course kharma smacked me for this (more on that later in the story)!
From here we headed up the Dixon Ridge Fire Road. According to Redwood Hikes, this is a 17% grade. My calves would have to agree with this! It felt like the fire road would never end! The hubs and I gave each other pep talks as we kept going up and up. I had to stop and take my shoe off (the one with the KT tape) to fix my sock that had disappeared into my shoe! The views were what kept us climbing. Every turn had amazing views of the valley below. One of us, not naming names, kept saying “let’s just see what the view is around this corner”. So we kept climbing. I can’t blame this person, it was all totally worth it. 😉
A gate at the park boundary kept us from going any further. Not sure why we would anyway. The views from here were stunning. San Geronimo Valley below us. Mount Tamalpais to the west peeking out from the fog. The Richmond bridge toward the south beyond the rolling green hills. Olema Valley and all her beauty to the north. And the hubs happily taking pictures. After celebrating making it to the top and enjoying the much deserved rest we started heading back down as sprinkles of rain started to land on us. This was so welcome as we were overheating from the strenuous climb up.
Heading downhill my knee began to remind me how old I am getting! Thankfully neither of us slipped on the steep gravel fire road on the way down with our weak knees and slick trail. Once we got back to the mossy tree marker we headed down into the meadow to say our farewell to the giants. It always amazes me how some areas of redwoods were spared. I feel so grateful to those that felt the need to leave some of the giants behind for us later generations to enjoy. In our video, you can see us giving some love and hugs to one of them. It would have taken 4 of us to give it a proper hug!
We checked ourselves for ticks before we hopped back in the truck. I didn’t see any trying to hitch a ride home with us. The hubs is super paranoid about ticks, have I mentioned this? The drive back was gorgeous as the sun had started to peek through the clouds and lit up the fields of mustard on the backroads of Petaluma. As we were chatting about lunch in the truck in downtown Petaluma I felt what I thought was a stray hair tickling my forehead so I reached up to swipe it away and my hand landed on a tick……a tick on my forehead!!! I calmly grabbed it in my hand (it was just crawling) and tossed it out the window and debated on telling the hubs. I thought it would be fun to watch him squirm a bit so I told him and then he proceeded to check himself over again as I shook my hair out the window. I am guessing the tick was in my sweaty matted hair and had enough and wanted to be free which is why it came out only to be thrown out on the streets. Was it the right thing to do? Not sure. The only thing I do know is it was definitely not going to stay on my forehead! At home, we stripped down and washed our hiking clothes when we walked in the door.
What are your thoughts on ticks? Would you have saved it? Killed it before throwing it out the window? By the way, we now have a tick remover tool in our backpack for hikes!
Parking=free, portable potty at trailhead, 50% sun, 4.8 miles with the extra hike up to the top, 900 ft elevation gain, dogs on leash. The nearest food area was the cute town of Nicasio. We used the RedwoodHikes trail description and took the extra trails up to the grassy knoll and up Dixon Fire Road.
Map My Walk Stats (No laughing! We enjoy the hikes, we don’t speed hike!)
Things We Love:
Speaking of ticks. This is the Tick Remover Kit we now have in our backpack. Thankfully we haven’t had to use it yet but this is really the first year we have experienced so many ticks on the trails. If you don’t buy this tick remover kit (we can’t say how wonderful it works because we haven’t had to use it but it does give us peace of mind that we have tools with us), we would suggest buying some sort of tick remover to keep in your pack. Oh and did you know that you can have the tick tested to see if it carries lyme disease? Check out the County of Sonoma page for details or google your local site for testing.
Where else can you find us?
Don’t forget to check out the video of the hike on our Hike Then Wine YouTube channel!
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Since I have an old dog with mobility issues, I haven’t been able to go very far into Roy’s Redwoods. So I very much enjoyed such detailed coverage of yr hike, in words, video, and stills! Thank you! As for ticks, I would placed the tick in front of my tire and driven over it over, which I have pulled-over and done before….
The short loop inside the redwood grove is so beautiful! It’s good you take you dog out on little adventures!
😁 my first reaction with the tick was to get it far away from me! Next time, I will smoosh it!