Explore the most popular forest 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.

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.

Quiet place, nice walk in woodsy area.

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

Lots of climbing

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.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Portola Valley Ranch is a rustic and upscale town in the peninsula (SF Bay Area). The extensive trail system is open to residents and visitors. The featured 3.5 mile loop is a dog friendly (on leash) easy hike. Los Trancos trail --> Sunrise trail --> Buck Meadow trail --> Blue Oak trail --> Black Oak trail.

Detailed Blog: http://shompens.com/canvas/1474499870209

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, July 03, 2017

Great for a family hike with the dog.

Monday, June 19, 2017

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

Good for trail running, not so much for hiking, few Vista points and cold in the winter.

My sister, boyfriend and I hiked the dirt trail 3.7 miles from the Portola Road parking lot up to the Windy Hill Summit! It was long, but worth it (7.4m round trip). We loved the sun, cool breeze, and panoramic views of the bay area leading up to the peak. I'd rate this hike difficulty as medium.

The trails are dog and horse friendly and we encountered many cute puppies and some horse poop but no horses. Many people do not clean the poop off the trails so remember to look down when you are hiking to avoid a stinky situation. It was hot and we enjoyed the shade and trees at the beginning of the trail. There is a steeper stretch in the middle of the trail with no shade but it passes quickly. Don't forget to bring water, especially if its a hot day.

Unfortunately, halfway on the trail my sister had to run back to the trailhead and parking lot to use the bathroom. She ended up getting an extra workout and running back to meet us (there is cell service on most of this trail so we could call and text each other). Her bathroom experience included sharing the toilet with flies but there was toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

28 days ago

2 months ago

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