ElevationAscent: 4,147' 1,264 m
Descent: -4,148' -1,264 m
High: 2,701' 823 m
Low: 1,236' 377 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)
Current trail conditions
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“A linkup of 7 Open Space Preserves through sweet singletrack and steep fire roads.”— Johnny Yip
I chose to ride clockwise because it seems to maximize the amount of downhill portions on singletracks. But you pay the price by riding up some pretty steep fire roads in Skyline Ridge and Steven Creek.
The route takes you through forests, open ridge tops and even a creek crossing! Each OSP hosts its own network of trails so there is more than one way to do this. If it's your first time biking there, check out the maps at the trailhead to make sure the trail you are taking will link-up to the next park.
If you chose to make Steven Creek your last stop like I did, be aware that you have to ride up Charcoal Road, which is a steep climb at the end of a long day. Alternatively you can skip Steven Creek and exit out of Monte Bello via Skid Road trail, and return to your car by either going on Skyline Blvd or retracing your route starting from the Ridge Trail.
Cross Skyline Blvd to enter Long Ridge OSP. Take the Hickory Oaks trail along the gorgeous ridgeline, and take the right when you encounter forks on the trail. Eventually you'll see an entrance on your right for Peters Creek Trail - take that, go through an open "gate" and enjoy some nice singletrack switchbacks. At a fork, keep right to stay on Peters Creek Trail, then make a left to Ridge Trail (going right will take you to Grizzly Flat Trail).
The Ridge Trail should take you all the way to Russian Ridge OSP through a bunch of road crossings. When you arrive at a picnic area with a parking lot, the trail continues behind a shack at about your 10 o'clock position (it may be hard to see but there is a sign). Continue on Ridge Trail through singletrack until you pop out to a fire road right next to the hwy. Take a left here and at all subsequent forks. You'll pass by Horseshoe Lake on a small bridge, and very short thereafter a split in the trail - take a left again to go uphill, and this is one of two steep uphill sections. Push through it until you reach Alpine Pond and the Russian Ridge Parking area.
The Ridge Trail continues through Russian Ridge. At the split where you can turn left to go down Hawk Trail, turn right to go underneath some power lines and behind a hill, this is a seldom traveled trail that is really fun and takes you all the way to Rapley Ranch Road. Turn right onto the paved road and then right again onto Skyline Blvd.
This is the only section of paved road on this ride. Continue on Skyline until you see Crazy Pete Road to your left. This is the entrance of Coal Creek OSP. If you follow the route shown here, you'll end up popping out at Page Mill Road, and Monte Bello is right across the street. Take the White Oak Trail and stay right on forks - this is probably the best singletrack portion of the entire ride. You'll cross Steven Creek and come up to an Skid Road Trail. If you turn right, it takes you back to Skyline Blvd - a worthy option if you are low on energy. Or you can turn left and for Steven Creek County Park.
If you chose to turn left, take Skid Road Trail, then turn right onto Stevens Creek Nature Trail, then right onto Canyon Trail. Ride through mostly fun downhill fire roads until you see a sign for Table Mountain Trail (should point you back to Charcoal Road). Cross the creek and start going uphill. There isn't much at this point so when in doubt, go uphill. Table Mountain Trail is a singletrack but Charcoal road is... a road. Grunt through it and you'll intersect Saratoga Gap Trail. Turn left at that point and enjoy a well deserved ride back down to your car