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Russian Ridge Russian Ridge

In the spring, this 3,137-acre preserve explodes with color as the native wildflowers – primarily poppies and lupine – put on a showy display. By May and June, gumweed, mules ears, farewell-to-spring, and brodiaea bloom. The hills turn to gold in the summer, with the late evening sunlight. Autumn, when the fog recedes, is the ideal time to enjoy the ridge views of San Francisco Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains through the crisp, clean air. Winter storms occasionally dust the top of the hills with snow.

Russian Ridge

Diverse plant communities, miles of forest edge, and abundant springs make Russian Ridge an outstanding habitat for wildlife. Large numbers of raptors soar over the lush grasslands, and coyotes patrol the ridges. The steep forested canyons create a secure refuge for a tremendous variety of animals, including the elusive mountain lion. These beautiful animals have large territories that extend far beyond the preserve boundaries, up to 100 miles! The preserve is also one of the best places in the Bay Area to see raptors. Red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, Cooper's hawks, sharp-shinned hawks and golden eagles have all been seen on the preserve.

Eight miles of trails are available for you at Russian Ridge. The Bay Area Ridge Trail continues north from Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve along the ridge to Rapley Ranch Road, providing breathtaking views of both the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. The trail passes by Borel Hill, the highest named point in San Mateo County, which offers a 360-degree view.


The Russian Ridge parking area is located on the northwest corner of the Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) and Page Mill / Alpine Road intersection (across Skyline Boulevard on the right). Additional parking is located at the Caltrans vista point opposite Russian Preserve gate #RR01 on Skyline Boulevard.

Download a map of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

  Latest News

Measure AA for Access, Preservation and Restoration of Open Space Lands
On March 7, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District's bond measure to make major capital improvements to open space lands was assigned the letter "AA" by the Registrars of Voters in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.  More>>

Activities at the Preserve

World-Class Wildflower Walk

Wildflower Bouquet for Mother’s Day

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People with Disabilities

Trail Conditions

The following trail changes at Russian Ridge Preserve are effective immediately. Please see the Special Notice for more information.

* The trail formerly known as the Mindego Ridge Trail between Skyline Blvd. and the Mindego Hill Trail is now called the Charquin Trail.

* The lower portion of the former Mindego Ridge Trail is renamed as the Mindego Hill Trail.

* To protect a federally listed endangered species (the San Francisco garter snake), the final mile of the Mindego Hill Trail (formerly the Mindego Ridge Trail) is now CLOSED to bicycle use.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that seasonal trail closures may change from day to day without notice, based on changing weather conditions. Also note that during winter storm season high waters can make creek crossings hazardous, so plan your outing accordingly.

Last updated on: 4/19/2014

Additional Information

Fighting Invasive Weeds Through Prescribed Burns

Natural Highlights - Birds

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