Crushin' on Russian Ridge

Hike Russian Ridge Open Space in San Mateo County

Hike Russian Ridge Open Space San Mateo County

We can’t always guarantee timing, but recent rains and warm days can bring a burst of wildflowers to the Peninsula’s Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. In spring this park can be a tapestry of colors, but even if the flower power isn’t full on, the views sure are! For a moderate 5-miler that can pair wildflowers with amazing views, start on the Ridge Trail. If flowers are out then within the first mile you’re likely to see the yellow Johnny jump-ups leap into view, along with blue-eyed grass weaving all across the ridge.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

From 2,500 feet, Half Moon Bay beckons and Silicon Valley and the Bay shine beneath a series of cascading hills. Descend the ridge by making a left onto Hawk Trail where a native blackberry bush brims with white blossoms. Soon you’ll be winding through a furry green grove of knotty and twisted oak trees—some with branches so thick they make good seats for taking a break. On the ascent back to the ridge, milkmaids, hound’s tongue and miner’s lettuce sprinkle the trail. Good Russia color!

The Russian Ridge parking lot is at the intersection of Hwy. 35 and Alpine Rd. Download a map before leaving home or snap a photo of the signboard map before you hike. Follow the Ridge Trail about 2 miles until you reach Hawk Trail. Turn left and take the Hawk Trail and follow signs toward the Ancient Oaks Trail. Take the Ancient Oaks Trail. After .5 mile you can turn left to go back up to the Ridge Trail, or continue on the Ancient Oaks Trail. Either way will take you back to the parking lot. Bring your own water. No dogs.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Shell of a Good Hike!

    Head to the East Bay’s Shell Ridge Open Space near Walnut Creek to find 1,400 acres of rolling hills. This 7-mile ridge rambling loop showcases all that the foothills of Mount Diablo have to offer.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Santa Cruz Epic Views

    Redwoods, wildflowers, and ocean vistas offer the best of the Bay Area at Upper La Honda Creek Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Take a 3.75-mile loop through the preserve's highlights.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Find Your Flow

    Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Uvas Canyon County Park is a compact, tree-filled delight with hiking trails and several waterfalls bunched into a loop along Swanson Creek and amid lush forest.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Ready When You Are: Reno Tahoe

    With outdoors being essential for health and wellness, and new protocols in place, Reno Tahoe welcomes visitors! It's wide open with snowshoe trails, fire pits by the river, skating, and hot springs.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Santa Year Round

    Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale is an 836-acre county park with a namesake dam. Explore highlights on a 4-mile loop featuring a lake, a beach, and beautiful mountain vistas.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Good as Golden

    Golden Canyon in Death Valley has a variety of hiking trails. We like this classic 5.5-mile loop exploring a labyrinth of marbled gold colored hills, badlands, narrow canyons, and tremendous vistas.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Canyons Calling

    Canyon hikes come in all shapes and sizes in Death Valley, and we’ve got two gems. One requires more rigorous scrambling and navigation, and leads to a dryfall; the other takes you up to a brilliant vista.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Dune Swoon

    Of all the places to catch a sunset in Death Valley, we still think there’s none better than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, inspiring many things, including log rolls, cartwheels, and sundown selfies.

    View