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Windy Hill Trail Hike Information

This popular hike provides beautiful views of the entire Peninsula from the summit of Windy Hill.

Watch for:

Look out for coyotes, raptors, songbirds and, in spring, wildflowers. Mt. Diablo, Mt. Hamilton and Mt. Tamalpais are visible on clear days. There are picnic tables next to Spring Ridge parking area off Skyline Blvd.

Hiking Details for Windy Hill Trail

Distance: 7.5 mile loop

Elevation change: 1400′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 2-3 hours

Trail surface: Packed dirt

Best Season: All year

Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is a popular spot along Skyline Boulevard with several different options for day hikes. For a strenuous 7.5-mile hike with a mix of shade and sun, take the Spring Ridge Trail to the Hamm’s Gulch Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail, and the Anniversary Trail to reach the summit. This hike has an elevation of 1,400 feet, but is worth the views.

On a clear day, you have views of San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, San Jose and the Stanford Hoover Tower. Descend via the Spring Ridge trail to the Betsy Crowder Trail. The Betsy Crowder Trail is a bit quieter and only open to hikers and equestrians; cyclists are permitted on the rest of the Spring Ridge Trail, so watch for bikers on corners and hills. It is usually best to do a Windy Hill hike early in the morning, as the preserve gets quite warm in the spring and summer months and the parking can fill up quickly.

Directions to the Windy Hill Trail Hike

This hike starts from the parking lot off Portola Road in Portola Valley. To reach the lower portion of the preserve from I-280, exit at Alpine Road and go south 2.9 miles to the first stop sign. Turn right on Portola Road and travel 0.8 mile to the parking lot on the left. The upper portion's Spring Ridge parking area is on Skyline Boulevard 2.3 miles south of Highway 84 and 4.9 miles north of Page Mill Road.

More about the Windy Hill Property

Windy Hill was the first land protection project POST ever completed. Today, it’s an ideal spot for flying kites, walking dogs, mountain biking and horseback riding. The grassy ridge top of this popular 1,312-acre open space preserve is clearly visible from many spots along the Peninsula.

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