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Resumed hiking after 2 years with this one. We also followed counter clockwise. About 4 hours we completed with few stops. It was difficult but I was able to complete. falls, birds, redwoods and you will enjoy.

great hike!

The area is multi-use, so you will be sharing the trails with mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and cows. Most people start at the parking lot at the base of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park off of Foothill Road.

Most of the Ridgeline Trail section has very little shade so expect a lot of sun exposure. The air can also be quite dry during the dry seasons, and temperatures can get into the 90s during the summer. There are more shades from trees when you get to the Shady Creek area, and it is also quieter once you are on the other side of the ridge away from the highway.

There are a lot of intertwining trails so it’s easy to make a wrong turn, but often (but not always), if you keep going it will reconnect back. When you approach some of the steeper peeks, you typically have the option of going over or around.

There are more connected trails beyond Shady Creek Trail so if you are so inclined you can go well beyond the ~14 miles covering Ridgeline and Shady Creek. I suspect you can do a 50k loop out of this ridge system, but haven’t tested it personally.

You could go south on Ridgeline Trail instead of north, but it ends relatively quickly, and I personally didn’t find it as worthwhile as heading north so I have done it once, and haven’t gone back since. It just ends at some private property so it really isn’t worth going there unless that was your property.

Most of the creeks in the Shady Creek area are dried out by late summer, but if you go in winter or early spring you may need to get your feet wet at a few of the creek crossings.

I use AT&T, and I had a signal most of the front section of this loop, but I did not have any signal near the back section of Shady Creek. Very few people venture that far back so you may be quite isolated back there. Though I did make a wrong turn and saw a house on top of the ridge so there must be some kind of road back there.

Scenery: 4
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 3
Shade: 3

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

hiking
19 days ago

A bit tough. I’d take everyone’s advice and do counterclockwise, we unfortunately did the opposite per the rangers suggestion and we only saw one other couple doing it this way. Much easier doing it counterclockwise and I know why now. Beautiful place and waterfalls are amazing to see.

I had hoped to do the Whitemore Gulch and Purisma Creek Loop, but felt I was running out of daylight, and so came up the Harkness trail instead. I have to say it wasn't my favorite. After an initial pretty exposed portion along the beginning of North Ridge, this dips into pleasant shady Redwoods territory. Beside the beginning of the return loop near the creek -- where I saw a beautiful banana slug in the middle of the trail -- coming up the Harkness Ridge portion really was mostly a miserable slog in the heat. It might be better clockwise as others suggest, or early morning.

I’ve been hiking this trail with my pup (off leash) for a little over a year now. I love this trail because in just 3 miles you get a pretty solid workout. First mile is easy, after you pass the cattle gate (end of city trail) it gets deeper in and more incline but nothing strenuous. Just be aware it’s a HIKE. The trail ascends & descends rapidly. The view at the top is so rewarding, usually windy. You can see all of the Tri-Valley. But it opens up to several other trails if you wanna go a different direction too.
This trail has a great balance of shade and sun. My dog loves the creek during the fall/spring where she can cool off. Which personally I think is the best time to hike.
Park after the second stop sign on Silvergate. (Left) The trail head is right at the front of the gated community.

FYI: there are bobcats and lots of wildlife on this trail so be cautious.

Watch out for coyotes! Saw one down by the creek, but otherwise a very easy nice walk, not really a hike...

Good trail the last part is a bit steep buts it’s worth the effort u could see the whole of city from the height

on Berry Creek Falls Loop

1 month ago

Bring water and look out for banana slugs! Great hike.

Started early and by the time we reached it was around 7:15 am and cold. Very few cars were parked due to the cold I guess. Found initially little confusing where the trail started and took us some time to get on the trail. As per the review I read by lots of hikers we wanted to do the anti clock wise hike but came across a detour sign asking us the go on the clock wise direction. We ended up doing that and did not encounter any one until we reached the falls and decided to try the other side to get back to the parking when saw few people coming from the counter clockwise side of the trail. There was no issue with the trail not sure why they had put a detour sign. Took 5 1/2 hrs for us to finish the trail.

This is a great hike. Started off of skyline and did Harkins ridge first since it was 9:30 am and already feeling the heat. It's even more beautiful once you are down in the groves. Take a few extra minutes and just sit there. Saw a handful+ of people but mostly had it to myself. I would say it is moderate to hard.

So gorgeous! Tough hike but a good one!

hiking
2 months ago

I took the advice here and went early, parking lot at 8 and also took the trail counter clockwise
I only saw three peoples going down and lots of birds! At the falls it began to seem like a freeway but still very beautiful and cool on a hot day.
Took me a little over 4 1/2 hours - I’m older and moderately fit.
Would totally recommend this hike.
Also bring $10 cash if you get there before the park opens to pay for parking - I didn’t have change so then for $20 from me.

I love to do this hike but always do it in reverse. start and endon Purissima Creek Road. I like to get the hard work out of the way first and then coast downhill to finish

Strenuous but great! Really beautiful waterfalls

hiking
2 months ago

Good moderate trail with some inclines on the track. Some beautiful scenes of the Forrest on the way.

A tale of 2 trails... The bottom mile is a pretty dull gravel road that is a city of Dublin trail and by itself I would rate 1 1/2...
You then go through a gate to the Contra Costa part of the trail and it is very good at 4+.
The good thing about both sections is that it is mostly shaded. I also notice a couple of single tracks that if I ever did it again I would explore. The trail goes beyond what is mapped here as well...

mountain biking
2 months ago

Strange little gravel trail starting just inside a subdivision and skirting a nice creek with some shaded areas in the more flat beginning mile or so. Trail had a lot of ups and downs that a well engineered trail would have avoided. Not much for bikers, prob very good for families out for a nice walk with a bit of shade. We did not even attempt the steep part past the gate.

Good hike , view was disappointing

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little sunny trail with a little up and down. Some decent views as well. Beautiful oaks and some nice houses on the edges.

Hike was beautiful! We took Harkins Ridge down and Whittemore Gulch back up and managed to be in the shade a majority of the time.

hiking
2 months ago

Started from Skyline Blvd, arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday and the parking lot was full. However, the trails were fairly quiet, garbage free and sparcely populated. Whittemore Gulch Trail was beautiful: Redwoods, shady, ferns, etc, but all downhill. Harkins Ridge was a killer. STEEP uphill and in the sun. Not pleasant at all. Did see two little foxes running across the trail.

The climb out is ennervating

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the loop, counterclockwise, last week (07/21) and started about 06:07am and finished back to car at 09:43am, which included at 15/20 minute break at Berry Falls. I've done this hike in the past couple years ago.

GAIS GPS clocked in at 10:55 miles roundtrip, while the Apple Watch clocked in at 10.46miles.

You'll be mostly in the shade. There are some section of the trail that are closed so watch for the detour signs. Can't miss them. A lot of up/downs. If you start counter-clockwise, you'll be mostly going down, or up gradual inclines but nothing too crazy. The last three miles is mostly up, but gradual.

Overall, nice hike through the redwood and peaceful and calm (as I was there pretty early). Go early if you can. It's nice and peaceful early in the morning when it's quiet.

hiking
2 months ago

Quite strenuous loop, considering few closures along the hike. Get early to avoid the crowd. 3 waterfalls along.

Arrived at 8:45a on Sunday and found the lot closest to HQ already full. Per the recommendation of the Park Aide, I hiked this trail counter-clockwise and was I glad I did since I was fresh and going downhill through the gorgeous upper part of Sunset trail as it winds through redwood groves. Most of the Berry Creek Falls trail is also very pretty. Completed the hike in 5.5 hours with a brief layover at the falls and numerous photo stops. There’s a big tree across Berry Creek Falls Trail right at the juncture with Sunset Trail, so it looks like the Berry Creek Falls trail is closed. But it’s not.

hiking
2 months ago

Truly beautiful Hike. I started around 5:30AM. Saw the forest wake up as I made my way to Berry Creek Falls. I recommend doing this counter clockwise as well. The uphill on the return is long but gradual. I did the 10.5 + detours within 4 hours, that included pit stop for photos and snacks. Doing it that early I did not run into anyone till I was pretty much back at Park Headquarters. It was truly epic. Highly recommend it.

This was a great hike if you were going evening time anytime lotta shades good day have fun with the kids so we had a good time

Good workout. Nice views. Suggest getting there early (before 10am) if you want convenient parking and a peaceful hike.

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