Bear Gulch and Alambique Trail Loop

MODERATE 28 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Bear Gulch and Alambique Trail Loop is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Redwood City, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

10.2 miles 2425 feet Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Explore several ecosystems as you hike from the bottom of the park up to skyline. Check out the Folger estate too. A great loop can be made by climbing up the trails near bear gulch road up to skyline and then along the southern part of the park back down. Towering redwoods and eye-opening vistas make this hike a great escape from the stress of Silicon Valley. This hike at Wunderlich County Park takes you through some of the most common ecosystems in the South Bay: second-growth redwood, oak, madrone and open meadows. The park, just outside of Woodside on the west side of Silicon Valley, draws crowds on the weekends, and it can be hard to find a parking spot. That's why I recommend taking a day off from work (call it a mental health day) when you'll have the trails mostly to yourself. The redwood forest deepens the further you hike in. At one point this whole hillside was logged, but now a new redwood forest is reclaiming the land. It's a great place to experience nature's regenerative powers first-hand. Trails on this track: Bear Gulch Trail, Skyline Trail, and Alambique Trial. Wunderlich is on a hillside at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains; you start at the bottom so it's pretty much uphill for most of the first half; but it's downhill for the rest. Note you can cut this hike roughly in half by looping back to the parking lot rather than venturing higher in the park along the Skyline or Alambique trails. Also, the Redwood Trail is a pretty side trip, and The Meadows is an excellent open area for taking a snack break. Best time to come: With all the shade, this is a great all-year park; springtime will be a bit more scenic as the wildflowers bloom. The deepest redwood section offers a cool break from summer heat. The redwood canopy even offers some protection on a rainy hike.

hiking
23 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

Redwood trail hiking at its best. Lots of climbing, but not too punishing. If you like sun, the lower section of Alambique is nice. For shade I'd go Bear Gulch and Skyline.

Not too crowded, with occasional horses on the lower trails.

3 months ago

Great place to hike! Light traffic and no problems finding parking if you go early in the morning (arrive there by 7am). Nicely shaded except for maybe the Meadows trail which looked uncovered.

3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Relaxing...wonderful nature sounds

hiking
5 months ago

Rehabbing broken back and ankles and this was the closest trail to my house. Varied inclines, nearly all quite steep and for my ankles, difficult, but so beautiful it was worth the journey every time.

hiking
5 months ago

great trail. lot of shade from the trees and amazing for the kids. will do it again next week end

hiking
5 months ago

There are lots of trails so you can customize the level of effort. We did part of Alambique to Loop Trail, so about 1.7 if I am reading the map right. You get to climb and then descend, so that's always nice. Yes, you do have to worry about horse shit, but otherwise, I enjoyed it.

6 months ago

I love Wunderlich. I'm there all the time. Especially good on hot days when you need to seek out a trail with tree cover. It takes you through redwoods and eucalyptus groves. Beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

walking
9 months ago

I walked 10 miles in total. The upward trail is kinda tough and I sweated a lot. The downward trail is very easy. The things I want to complain is the mud and horse shit on the trail. I have to pay close attention to the road in order to avoid stepping on them. Other than that it's a great trail, not much people and great to go in summer because trees can block sunshine.

10 months ago

birding
11 months ago

Awesome!

hiking
11 months ago

A wonderful 12.5 mile family hike, which was broken in two legs by a brief stop at Alice's Restaurant.

1. We began the first hike from the parking lot near the historic Folger Stable and took the Bear Gulch Trail towards the Crossroads, then took the Alambique Trail to the Skyline Trail back towards the Crossroads where we continued on the Skyline Trail out of Wunderlich Park to Alice's Restaurant. A cold beer and good food was our reward after the 8.5 mile hike.

2. After a nice lunch, we left Alice's Restaurant for the second leg of our hike. We took Skyline Trail to the Crossroads, then the Bear Gulch Trail for .6 miles to Oak Trail. We then too Oak Trail to Meadow Trail that ran into Alambique Trail, which led us back to the parking lot. A great 4.0 mile hike to end the day.

There were not too many hikers on the trail due to a light drizzle...highly recommend the hike!

11 months ago

Great, lots of redwoods, great hills, beautiful atmosphere. I even pet the horses though you aren't supposed to.

1 year ago

Wunderlich Park was a pleasant surprise. I did a hike on the opposite side of Skyline (Purisima Creek Trail), and it was actually incredibly strenuous because we started going downhill and ended the three hour hike with an hour-long - and very steep - uphill climb, haha.

Wunderlich has a variety of trails you can do, and they're all fairly easy to follow. We did what was probably the shortest loop -- roughly 3mi. -- and were successful until the end; we ended up having to walk along Woodside Road for the last quarter mile or so. Woops! I'm not sure where we veered off, but we definitely went down a trail path. It just happened to lead down through a neighborhood and onto the main road. If you start going through houses, turn around and try to connect onto the trail again.

There are longer trails as well, around 7mi, and they all have very pretty scenery. We were constantly stopping to admire the nature. There is a lot of cool stuff to see here! Pay attention to the little things and, of course, the really big ones like the massive burnt-out tree. Amazing.

Parking is pretty easy (I'd recommend just parking on Woodside), and the toilet was horrific. There were seat covers and toilet paper coming up out of it, rendering it impossible to use (for the ladies). I never wish I was a dude, but this almost made me consider. Almost...

hiking
1 year ago

Wunderlich is great. Lovely trails and redwoods, great scenery and peaceful surroundings