Explore the most popular birding trails in Windy Hill Open Space with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It is a great hike during warm days. Nice balance of shade and open trails. Views at the top are incredible. If you make the hamms gulch trail (left side of loop) turn first, the incline is gradual and not steep enough ( at least for me). If you want to get straight incline on the beginning of your hike, make the turn at spring ridge trail first (right side of loop). The trail at Spring side is good for running uphill and downhill. There’s a lot of parking which I like but google maps brought me to the sequoia’s so had to turn and find the right parking lot. It is well marked in the beginning of the trail but got a little confusing at the top.

Did this hike with my dog today. Good work out, and it was pretty along the way though not the MOST interesting. The views at the top are a nice prize. Way more shade on the southern side of the loop. Probably saw 6 people the whole time.

A nice walk up and down, with great views from the top.

Always a nice hike, mostly shaded on the way up Hamm’s Gulch. (You can go back down the same way if it’s hot to stay on the mostly shaded trail.

We went for Hamms Gulch Trail in and out but we ended up doing a loop , Hamms Gulch & Spring Ridge Trail back.
Hamms started a little boring for the first 0.4 miles but after that was pretty decent through mixed forest and plenty of shade. Toward the end we reached the highest level where it was Windy Hills Summit. Breathtaking views from San Francisco down to San Jose.
From that point we ended up taking the Spring Trail back to our initial departure.
The loop was shy off 7 miles (6.7 miles).

Sufficient parking at trailhead even on weekends. There are a couple of picnic benches and a bathroom near the lot. Well-marked trail with good views of the valley and bay. Kid-friendly.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick hike right off the highway. Pretty short and easy, but spectacular views.

Definitely go early, especially if you're bringing your pup. Trail starts in a heavily shaded forest (loved this part of the trail) but quickly is exposed. After exiting forest, it's a pretty good climb / good workout. There's no shade, no water source for your pup to cool down (well..there is a pond but sign says no swimming) and some steeper climbs. Suncreen and water are a must. Views are pretty good at the top.

definitely gets your heart going and it’s dog friendly (on-leash) but it’s a fairly exposed hike with few shaded areas. highly recommend going early in the morning to avoid the strong sun! windy hill is quite the reward for your climb though because it’s true to it’s name - very windy at the top! you get a great view of the bay and in the morning you can watch the fog come in over skyline. however it’s a steep hike and can be hard on the knees on the way down.

Beautiful and more challenging than expected on a warm day. Loved it and would do it again if I was back in the Bay Area. I completed this trail in mid-March and it wasn’t heavily trafficked at all. Watch out for issues with phone signal .... have a back up plan if you are traveling and relying on a car service to get you out.

We took Hamms Gulch up for a pleasant shady ascent, visited both hill tops, and took Spring Ridge back down (exposed and hot, but nice views out towards the bay for most of the way). There are still some wildflowers by Lost, Anniversary and Spring Ridge trails.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a beautiful hike, the only thing I didn’t like it’s that there is not much shade. The views were amazing specially getting to the top.

We took the Hamms Gulch up and then took the Lost trail and Anniversary trail to get to Spring Ridge Trail to get down - this was about 7.5 miles. The Anniversary trail has awesome bay views. Hamms Gulch was mostly covered with trees and wild flowers. The other three are very sunny.

The northern part of the Spring Ridge Trail is a wide dirt fire road that is completely exposed with a moderate uphill climb. This trail takes you to the Windy Hill summit, where you get a panoramic view of the bay. Once you hit the Lost Trail, the path narrows and descends into mossy woods. This woodsy aesthetic continues along the Razorback Ridge Trail. Eagle Trail interweaves with the road. The Hamms Gulch Trail and the Spring Ridge Trail leading back to the parking are exposed, flat fire roads and not terribly scenic. There's some poison oak along the trail, but isn't too much of a problem if you stay within its bounds.

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.

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!

11 months ago

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

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

hiking
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Actually hiked Toyon trail instead

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

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.

Monday, June 19, 2017

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

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