Alpine Road to Russian Ridge
ElevationAscent: 1,577' 481 m
Descent: -1,577' -481 m
High: 2,508' 765 m
Low: 1,173' 358 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
Current trail conditions
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“A very scenic tour with a healthy climb and some fun singletrack.”— Brendan Busch
This loop is mountain bike friendly, but has the full mix of hikers, horseback riders, dogs, and cars -- especially on weekends.
Ride up a sustained climb, winding through the woody double and singletrack to Page Mill Road. The old road sections are a moderate grade. The singletrack "bypass" section (required) is steep in places but can be ridden uphill by the determined. Eventually reach the top and turn right on Page Mill Road (paved - not steep) for 0.6 miles. Go across Skyline Blvd, and proceed on Alpine Road (paved - not steep) until it is just about to go downhill. Enter Russian Ridge Open Space on the right (first entrance on the right has a short climb and logs to hop over--if you go another couple hundred feet on Alpine Rd there is another entrance you can ride through), and shortly thereafter turn left onto Ancient Oaks Trail.
There are lots of options for looping around in Russian Ridge--this loop has some good singletrack, epic views of the bay and ocean, and a couple short climbs. The loop is: Ancient Oaks Trail -> Bo Gimbal Trail -> Ridge Trail -> Hawk Ridge Trail -> Alder Spring Trail -> Charquin Trail -> Skyline Blvd.
Exit at Russian Ridge onto Skyline at the Vista Point. Turn left (north) on Skyline Trail and very soon take the first road on the right "Clouds Rest Road." Go down this semi-paved road to its end and enter Coal Creek Open Space through a gate. Shortly after, veer right at the fork onto Meadow Trail. Follow Meadow trail down to Alpine Road
Meadow trail has a couple steep and rutty sections to keep you on your toes. It can be a swamp in wet weather and Crazy Pete's Rd. Trail is preferred (see below).
As an alternative, go a mile further north on Skyline Trail, turn right on Crazy Pete's Rd. Trail and enter Coal Creek Open Space at the end of Crazy Pete's Road. Stay left at the fork for a better downhill and eventually reconnect with Alpine Road.
Either way, reconnect with Alpine Road and follow it back downhill to the car.
Note that there are lots of options to this loop including crossing Page Mill and entering Montebello Open Space, taking different routes through Russian Ridge Open Space; or using different combinations of Crazy Pete's, Cloud's Rest or Meadow Trail through Coal Creek OSP either up or downhill.
Alpine Road is getting overgrown and is effectively singletrack in many places, and recently has sprouted a bunch of sporty kickers. When riding up, watch for downhill traffic, and when riding down be aware of uphill riders, hikers, horseback riders and dogs--all of which are on the trail at times.
It was open to cars until the 1960s and maintained as a fire road suitable for cars and road bikes until the early 1990s when mudslides in the lower section took out large parts of the road.
Land Manager: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space