Explore the most popular trails near Portola Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking

birding

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

trail running

dogs on leash

forest

wildlife

mountain biking

Portola Valley, California Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

First of all, this is primarily an area with mountain bikes. So this review is for hiking. While most bikers are friendly it’s just not a pleasant experience when 4 guys on bikes are flying down the trail in your direction at 20mph and leave a huge cloud of dust for you to breathe and hike through.

They recorded route is very odd and is through areas with signs that clearly show the route is closed at the start of the hike. Ignore the red route at the start/finish and follow the obvious trail out of the parking lot to meet up with the weird recorded route.

Unlike nearby trails like in purisma there are no coastal views here. Meh.

We parked on Ohlone and walked to the start of the trail. Nicely signposted trail with a good mixture of tree covered shade and open areas which was nice on this very hot day.

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
14 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice wooded trails with periodic views towards the bay and pretty wildflowers, flowering bushes and madrone. Lots of healthy poison oak, too. Parking spaces for about 8 cars along Alpine Rd. Many cars parked alongside Willowbrook, also.

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!

3 months ago

Not actually dog friendly. Dogs are allowed on nearby trails, but not on this one.

NO PARKING!!!!!!!
There is parking anywhere near by, it’s all private property

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.

good and easy for 4+ years old. lot is shades on the trail. Not suitable for strollers.

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

Quiet place, nice walk in woodsy area.

Great shaded trail, easy for trail running. The swings along the trail are so cute! Went at noon on Saturday and 9a on Sunday and was able to find parking on Willowbrook Dr near Alpine Rd easily both times.

Nice secluded trail, a little hard to find but a great quiet walk with some great shaded areas. Lots of fun checking out all the different mushrooms!

9 months ago

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

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

nice creek along the trail. the trail isn't very long though, and walking on the road isn't as fun.

Lots of climbing

hiking
10 months ago

Actually hiked Toyon trail instead

mountain biking
11 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.

Load More