Hours: half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset

Fun trail that is not very intense. A few hills, mostly when you come back up from Horseshoe lake. At the beginning you can hear road noise but once you go almost a mile it is more serene.

So peaceful and definitely not crowded on a Friday afternoon. Also saw a mountain lion from across the lake and plenty of birds and bush rabbits!

Gorgeous and challenging!

Beautiful views of ocean and bay. Some sunny spots and some dark, oak-shaded spots. We had a nice picnic lunch by horseshoe lake, watching the mallards and koots.

Lovely views. Road noise can be
Loud at times

Great hike, nice lakes and pleasant views. We took Butano Loop off Sunny Jim and signage didn’t point us towards Alpine Pond so we had to backtrack. Worth it as Alpine is peaceful and serene. Came back Ipiwa and the around Horseshoe. We logged a little over 5 miles.

Great place for hiking.

This loop is a bit of a challenge for kids under 10yo, but doable as a 3-5h walk. It definitely has enough variation to keep them interested for the whole distance. Alpine Pond is a good midpoint, and it's possible to shortcut the loop there if the ascent to Borel Hill turns out to be too much. During our visit in early May we saw amazing wildflower displays, lots of birds and two coyotes wandering near the trail.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Views of the lake from higher elevation section of trail were nice, but the rest of the trail was just ok. Very easy for the kids.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Must do trail Ipiwa trail from Alpine Pond to Horseshoe lake, take the rim trail around Horse shoe, then return Sunny Jim trail to Butano trail to Sunny Jim trail back to alpine pond to trail head. About 3 miles, Do it with you family including kids. Not too bad, moderate, some moderate climb on return, look/beware for/of rattle snakes in the brush (We saw two) , spring wild flowers were awesome, can see the great Pacific ocean from the Ipiwa trail. Picnic Benches around both pond and lake rim and couple on trail

The first part along the ridge trail is just fantastic. The bench almost at the crest of Hickory Oaks Trail has THE BEST views.

Going down Table Mountain trail wasn't my favorite, typical east side of skyline scrub and rocky path (easy ankle turner). It would be scorching in the summer. But it gets better close to Stevens Creek.

There is a sign at the beginning of Table Mountain that says trail may be closed if there is flooding but it doesn't tell you IF there is flooding. I went one day after rain and it was crossable. You have to walk across some fallen logs here. Then jump across the other tributary.

Canyon Trail is beautiful. BUT the last connector to Skid Road Trail IS CLOSED which meant I had to hike out to Montebello and hitch a ride back to the parking lot where the trail starts at Skyline Ridge Open Preserve. For now you may be better served going up Grizzly Flat trail back up to chestnut trail on the west side of Skyline.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The lake is beautiful, even in the middle of January. The trails weren't too crowded, and they all connect in one way or another, so we continued up Ipiwa and Alpine when we were done with the loop for some more exploring!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

This was a great hike with small children. Part of the trail has picnic tables that look over the lake. FYI, the trail is not dog-friendly. Dogs are not allowed, which was disappointing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Excellent hike. Trail was 2.5 miles at best (not 3.5 miles as shown), also is not difficult (flat except for few sections). It's not crowded and great opportunity to spot red shouldered hawk, red tailed hawk, moorhen and spotted towhee.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Very nice hike. Perfect for young children. Lots of parking. Can hear the road from time to time but it's not that bothersome.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Perfect for my family with two young children.

We went there with our almost 3years old son. The trail offered so many attractions for him and so much variety of the landscape that he walked for 2.2 miles all by himself. Starting from the parking lot, there is a small tunnel under the road entering the wild area. That was already a highlight for him - running and shouting through it and getting all the echo in return :) Then you reach the Alpine pond - another highlight by itself. After we spent 20-30 minutes playing around it, we went for the hike. You have a climbing (~200 feet elevation) on the northern side of the trail. It goes through the wood, so we had shadow during the climbing. While it was bit chilly (in March), this would be perfect for hotter days. The return goes on the south side and the landscape changes a lot. This part of the trail is sunny. It offers an awesome view to the Pacific ocean. A lovely wooden bench under a lonesome tree was one of the highlights here - great to take a 10-15 minutes break. Reaching back the pond, we found the small Indians' mortars site - no need to mention how exciting this was for our son :)

There is a small short-cut from the northern side to the southern side right next to the top. We saw that our son won't make the whole track, so we got the short-cut - one more great feature of this trail for families bringing their little explorers outdoors for the first time.

Next time, we hope we will make the full track.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

We followed this guide today with 3 generations of my family. The trail is short and easy, which is great for small kids. The tour stops (POIs) are well laid out along the trail and make for an engaging experience. It really makes this otherwise straightforward hike a lot more interesting, and you notice things you wouldn't notice by just following the trail without the guide.

The Daniels nature center was the highlight for the kids, esp the life-sized food chain puzzle on the wall. There are 2 picnic tables next to the nature center.

Everyone had a great time. Highly recommended.

* There is no cell phone data coverage, so make sure you download everything to your device ahead of time.
* The temperature here can be quite a bit lower than in the valley, due to elevation (about 700m / 2100 ft).

Friday, June 17, 2011

I wandered up to the Skyline Ridge open space this afternoon, and what a beautiful drive up! I had never been in the area before and it is a gorgeous. The trails are nice, well marked and fairly easy to navigate. I walked around for several hours, to the alpine pond, across some nice ridges and through large wooded valley. All in all a nice outing...

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