Ridge Trail: Hwy 92 to Saratoga Gap 2018-09

I’ve looked back at all my Ridge Trail hikes, and noticed that I missed several, including Sneath to Daly City, Fifield-Cahill docent hike through San Francisco watershed, Daly City to Golden Gate Bridge, and some Ridge Trail Council day hikes. But the major trip I’ve missed is Highway 92 south to Saratoga Gap, so here is that one.

I took various forms of transit from San Francisco to the Highway 92 summit at Skylawn Cemetery, the last being SamTrans bus 294. South from here there is no trail, so I walked on the shoulder of Skyline Blvd, which is not pleasant but is not horrible,, 4.6 miles. The trail starts again in Purisima Creek Redwoods, dropping through oak and then redwood forest to Purisima Creek, and then climbing back to the ridge. The elevation loss and gain, and distance, is worth it, and much more pleasant than walking along Skyline.

The next section to Wunderlich County Park mostly parallels Skyline, but most of the time is far enough away to not hear the traffic. The forest is mostly oak and oak woodlands with occasional views. South of Wunderlich, the trail is a fire road, not officially part of the Ridge Trail but easy to walk and easy to follow. I stopped at Alice’s Restaurant in La Honda, where I could have got anything I want, but only had a beer, and then continued south along the shoulder of Skyline. The official trail picks up again at Windy Hill Open Space. The next day started with heavy fog below the ridge but bright sunlight and no wind above. After a short gap, the trail starts again in Russian Ridge Open Space and continues into Skyline Ridge Open Space, most across open hillsides of grass, with occasional patches of forest.

fall grasses along Ridge Trail

The ridge trail continues through various open space preserves, along the ridge with views for a while, and then dipping into the forest for the remainder to the distance to Saratoga Gap. Though Skyline Blvd is never far from the trail, you hear it only occasionally, and cross it once.

Saratoga Gap is one major trailhead not served by any kind of transit, so I hitchhiked down to the town of Saratoga, where I discovered the the bus doesn’t run on weekends, so had to hitchhike to a Caltrain station. And home on Caltrain and BART and Capitol Corridor.

Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/sets/72157704670762222/. The collection of my Ridge Trail photos, which includes trips not posted about, is at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/allisondan/collections/72157708271186714/.

Category search for Bay Area Ridge Trail

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