Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

11 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.

mountain biking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lots of climbing

hiking
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Actually hiked Toyon trail instead

mountain biking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Great for a family hike with the dog.

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.

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.

hiking
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

hiking
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Part of the gulch was really muddy and a bit difficult to navigate. But we were rewarded with the most spectacular views when we got out of the woods. From the top of the trail you have a perfect view of the ocean on one side and the bay on the other. When you get to the top you are just about halfway.

good!

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