Ancient Oaks Trail

Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

Explore in Detail
Ancient Oaks Trail

Share:

Advertisement
  • A parking area on Alpine Road approximately 1 mile west of Skyline Boulevard provides access to the Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • A parking area on Alpine Road approximately 1 mile west of Skyline Boulevard provides access to the Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail has two components: high (right) and low (left).- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve from the Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • A full parking lot is available approximately 2 miles west of Skyline Boulevard on Alpine Road.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • A full parking lot is available approximately 2 miles west of Skyline Boulevard on Alpine Road.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • Audrey's Way, a paved walk from the parking lot to a vista.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • The vista at the end of Audrey's Way.- Ancient Oaks Trail
  • The Ancient Oaks Trail.- Ancient Oaks Trail
Advertisement
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Mixed vegetation. Excellent spring wildflowers.
Cons: 
Equine droppings on the trails.
Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
2,200 ft (671 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
600 ft (183 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back/Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No

Current Local Weather

Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
56°F
38°

Sat

Light rain starting in the evening.
53°F
40°

Sun

Drizzle overnight.
53°F
42°

Mon

Partly cloudy in the morning.
55°F
38°

Tue

Clear throughout the day.
55°F
35°

Wed

Clear throughout the day.
60°F
36°

Thu

Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
64°F
36°
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Ancient Oaks Trail is a pleasant 1.7-mile trail in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve that offers an enjoyable mix of vegetation from grassy hillsides with sweeping vistas to forests of California live oak covered in moss. Easily accessed from a roadside parking area, the Ancient Oaks Trail can be linked with the Charquin Trail and Mindego Hill Trail to create a nice 3.5-mile loop.

Russian Ridge is a well-regarded local hotspot for spring wildflowers, the beneficiary of energetic campaigns by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to curb the spread of invasive plant species. As you hike, look for blooming owl's clover, johnny-jump-up, checker-bloom, lupine, filaree, clarkia, California poppy, blue-eyed grass, mule ear sunflower, and tidytips. 

Wildlife species are also present in the preserve with regular sightings of deer, occasional sightings of coyote and bobcat, and rare mountain lion encounters. Numerous bird species flit about the woodlands and grassy hillsides, with raptors patrolling from above, including American kestrels and northern harriers.

If you find yourself wanting to spend a night in these hills, check out nearby Black Mountain Backpack Camp.

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(15 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(103 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It

1 Members

Who's Done It

2 Members

Submission by

Pro Contributor
67 Adventures Explored
17 Adventures Published
Advertisement

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info