nature trips

trail running


wild flowers

dogs on leash


Windy Hill offers sweeping views on the San Francisco Bay from its steep trails. The difference in elevation between its highest and lowest points is about 400 m (1300 ft). Windy Hill's 3 main trails that run roughly in parallel provide equally attractive routes to ascent or descent the park. From this trail network visitors can create various options for loops or out-and-backs: Spring Ridge Trail, mostly straight up through meadows with great views, and Hamms Gulch Trail and Razorback Ridge Trail with both lots of switchbacks mostly through dense forest. At the top of the park these trails are connected by the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and at the bottom by Eagles Trail, connecting to Sequoias Trail and Ridge Trail. The park is a local favorite for hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horse back riding (about 65% of the trails are multi-use). Hours: Open half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset

3 days ago

Lots of sand. Very windy. Be prepared for elevation and very little shades.

Great trail for running - it’s half shaded in hot summer months (the spring ridge part of the trail has no shade) and it’s not very steep (only 1000 feet over distance of 2 miles). Views coming down on spring ridge are great!

Beautiful and great views!!

We took the Hamms Gulch up amd instead of taking this loop, turned left and took the lost trail to Razorback Ridge trail and back around - about 10 miles per the Fitbit and a lovely hike for a warm day as almost all in redwood and laurel first. Wildflowers everywhere, even at the end of May and many birds, including a peregrine falcon. Saw a baby gopher snake on the trail - I liked that. Anyway a great moderate hike. Will need to go back and go up to the actual windy hill!

This is my local go-to hike, and I try to do it once a week. The first climb up to Windy Hill is strenuous but can be done in 45 - 60 minutes depending on your pace. There is a picnic area with lunch tables and a bathroom about 10 minutes past the Windy Hill summit. After that the Lost trail is a nice and relaxing walk through the woods, and the Razorback Ridge trail is the best way to get downhill without destroying your knees. Total hike time for me (with a short lunch break) is about 3.5 hours.

After seeing the reviews here and on Yelp, I had to try this route and I am glad we did it this way!! If I took Spring Ridge Trail first going uphill, I would have gotten an Uber to bring me back to Portola parking!! Haha That hill going up for how many miles would have been torture to my shins and knees!

Take Hamms Gutch Trail to Springs Ridge Trail. Trust me! Park at the Portola parking lot. There is plenty of parking there and it’s free! Came here after the rain last weekend and it’s pretty muddy so wear waterproof hiking shoes for better grip. My friend’s knees wore out and he slipped on the road down Springs Ridge Trail. Be careful if you go here when it’s wet.

During Hamm Gulch Trail, there is plenty of shade if it’s warm out and sun is beaming but on the Spring Ridge Trail, make sure to wear sunblock and a hat. There is no trees to cover you from the sun. Also, bring a battery charger for your phones and a first aid kit, just in case!!

This was not really under 7 miles but almost 8 miles according to my Apple Watch and 20k steps. It would take us about 3.5 hours but our friend got injured so it was 4.5 hours. We walked from 1.5-2 mph since it was uphill. And faster going downhill. I suggest to bring water and snacks or even a sandwich, and make a picnic out of it during half point. There is a bathroom at Skyline Blvd parking lot with picnic benches. Over the views and did not see much Banana slugs like everyone else.

I would not consider this moderate but moderate to hard especially, for first timers like me. I hike in my area which was considered moderate and this trail wasn’t even close to it! I think it was the length of the trail that got to me. I felt accomplished after finishing it though! Will try this trail again in the summer and trying other trails! Totally recommended.

Up up up! A nice hike to get your blood pumping. Views get better the higher you go!

Fun all around trail with a decent climb and solid view (for around the Bay Area). Fairly crowded as you’d expect for an accessible trail on the weekends but there’s lots of route options to pick from and explore around.

Expect plenty of competition for parking, one restroom at the TH and no water on the trail.

My dog and I loved it! Follow the recommendations to take the trail clockwise- so much better!

I loved the view there just simply amazing!

7 months ago

Blue sky day today. Awesome hike. Well maintained trail.

7 months ago

Beautiful trail! Really pretty views when you reach the top!

Nice trail, good uphill climb & great views at the top.

9 months ago

Actually hiked Toyon trail instead

mountain biking
9 months ago

no mountain biking one side of loop - Betsy Crowder trail closed to bikes. Bikers wear helmets - son got $300 ticket from nasty MPOSD ranger.

Pleasantly shaded despite 90+ degree heat. Eagle trail involves several stretches walking along Alpine Rd past private property.

10 months ago

nice trail, beautiful open views of the bay area in the distance. little to no tree cover, so be prepared if it's a hot day.

Really great. We started by the south-east side with the forest. With our experience, I would start by the north-west side under the sun, and finish the trail with the forest, which is easier after 14 km.

11 months ago

Great for a family hike with the dog.

11 months ago

I finally saw why it is called windy hill, because the day we went there was extremely windy. Most of it is rolling hills, a few shaded areas, and at the beginning there is a nice river which you could see up close and touch the water through a tiny 10 foot path. There were a couple of poop bags on the trail sides. Some steep parts. At the later part of the trail and especially the summit, there was extreme fog. Awesome 5 mile trail.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nice trail. Mostly flat with a few hills. It's very overgrown right now so bring bug spray!

Recently moved to NorCal and his is the first trail I completed with my dog. Definitely an enjoyable one, I started off at the summit and walked counterclockwise through the forest first. Lots of neat scenic sites and wildlife--a very small amount of construction due to recent rain (just cleaning a few exposed roots and smoothing the path), but nothing distracting. Great trail for dogs, just watch out for the ticks, they seem to be everywhere. The last portion of the hike climbing up to windy hill was a bit strenuous but well worth it in the end. Bring lots of water for your dog.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Make sure to check out the Windy Hill and Herb Grench overlook as well! Its along the Anniversary Trail and the view is beautiful. A great 360-degree of view of the peninsula! Easy hike but just make sure to watch out for the rocks so you don't trip yourself.

Really pretty route with views and plenty of wildflowers- including thistles so beware if you're wearing shorts. Also I think I saw some poison oak or ivy so there's that. Well maintained trail.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Very good hike - easy to find TH with no gate - plenty of parking. I went clockwise, which is much better bc of switchbacks going up. Mile 2-4 were the best for me although great views at the top. Keeping it from 5 stars - too many people and boring on the 2nd half/ on the way down. Lots of sun on the way down which was nice

Sunday, March 19, 2017

An easy 6.5 mile loop. First 3 miles are all downhill in an open setting. Not much foliage. By the time you reach the bottom there's a calm stream. The 3.5 mile ascent is gradual and not strenuous. However, the climb offers a better variety of scenery as must of it is covered. Started at the Skyline trailhead.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Nicely shaded and led up to a gorgeous view of the Bay.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

gorgeous views throughout. as others mention, a bit muddy due to recent rain so don't bring your nicest shoes! Sweeping views of the bay, green grasses and some flowers that are starting to bloom. Dogs are allowed but no trash cans for poop bags and ticks in the grass. :-/

I recommend keeping your dog on leash because of the ticks but otherwise it's an awesome hike!

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