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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Notch Trail begins at Skyline College, a 20-minute drive south of San Francisco, and at first glance it appears to be a very common hike. After just few hundred meters, however, the trail leaves the trees for an impressive vantage point from which to view the Bay Area. The climb up a series of substantial, rolling hills is assisted by steep wooden staircases, rendering the trail unfit for mountain bikes and equestrians. Registering only 1 mile, hikers seeking more mileage often continue on to Mori Ridge and Sweeney Ridge trails.

An abandoned Coast Guard outpost sits atop the exposed ridge of costal scrub and wildflowers, and you'll see mission blue butterfly habitat along the way. This endangered species can only be found in the Bay Area, and it is generally threatened by the preponderance of invasive species that crowd out the plants needed for survival. Mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats are known to frequent the hills above San Bruno, and they are generally not aggressive unless provoked. Remain calm, control your pets, and stand your ground if you encounter wildlife.

There is limited parking reserved for Golden Gate National Recreation Area hikers at Skyline College lot #2. Parking in other lots requires a student permit, although street parking is available across campus in a residential neighborhood.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Close to San Francisco. Joins with additional trails. Coastal views.

Cons

Short. No dogs. Residential.

Trailhead Elevation

750.00 ft (228.60 m)

Net Elevation Gain

400.00 ft (121.92 m)

Address

College Dr
3300
San Bruno, CA 94066
United States

Features

Historically significant
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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