Nestled in the heart of Palo Alto, California, Skyline Ridge offers a harmonious blend of trails for both beginners and avid mountain bikers. Stretching 10 miles and touted as an intermediate network route, this trail system offers a range of experiences. Whether it's a gentle ride along Horseshoe Lake or the rush of the Ridge Trail, Skyline Ridge holds promises for every rider.
- Horseshoe Lake: Ideal for novices, this mile-long trail is perfect for introductions to mountain biking. However, experienced riders might find it underwhelming. A word of caution – paths around the lake are strictly for hiking. Ensure no bikes tread these pathways, and always maintain a considerate speed considering the significant foot traffic of hikers and families.
- Ridge Trail: Heading south from the lake unfolds the adventure of Ridge Trail. This 3-mile one-way ridgeline singletrack offers tranquillity and thrill. The journey initiates with a fireroad leading past a Christmas tree farm, eventually transitioning into rolling singletrack till the connection with Long Ridge emerges.
- Northern Excursions: Riding north from the lake presents riders with myriad trails connecting to the Russian Ridge and Monte Bello Openspace areas – a true testament to Palo Alto's rich trail network.
From those who've pedalled this trail:
- A first-time visitor touted Skyline Ridge as a place worthy of repeated visits.
- Weekdays offer the best of both worlds – smooth singletrack with the added bonus of solitude. The panoramic views, encompassing Mt Tam, Mt Diablo, Mt Hamilton, and Mt. Carmel to the south, are just the cherry on top.
- The Ridge Trail's singletrack, though not technically challenging, offers speed enthusiasts an opportunity to quench their thirst.
- For a change in scenery, divert up into the Coal Creek preserve on the Alpine trail, with water bars awaiting to intensify the return journey.
Venturing to Skyline Ridge requires a drive on Highway 9 from Saratoga leading up to Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35). A right turn past the Saratoga Gap trailhead brings riders to two parking options – either park at Long Ridge and embark on the entrance trail or continue a few miles to the main entrance, offering ample parking. Notably, facilities are also available at Skyline Ridge for rider convenience.
Skyline Ridge, with its multifaceted trails, beckons riders from all walks of life. Whether introducing someone to the world of mountain biking or seeking an undisturbed ride, this Palo Alto gem caters to all. Remember to ride responsibly and soak in the beauty that surrounds. Happy riding!