Wildflower Hike in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

The Bay Area is a beautiful place that we’re lucky to call home. This is especially true in the Spring, when a combination of sun, blue sky, moderate temperatures and plentiful wildflowers make for a great time to explore the abundance of trails on the peninsula.

A few weekends ago, we decided to head to Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, which sits along CA-35 in the mountains west of Palo Alto. Driving time from San Francisco is ~45-50 minutes, but that can easily go up with traffic. Parking also fills up quickly, so we’d definitely recommend going in the morning – the trails are also less crowded and more enjoyable then. The best time for wildflowers in the area is from April to June. We went on May 24th and flowers were definitely still in full bloom.

We decided on a ~4.5 mile loop from the main parking lot. There are a few other options (see map here), but we liked our combination of Ridge Trail, Ancient Oaks Trail and Charquin Trail.

But enough words for now. Below are some impressions from our hike.

Sign at the main parking lot
The start of our hike — Ridge Trail

There were lots of wildflowers along the hike – below are a few close-up shots we took:

Heading towards Ancient Oaks Trail
View of the Pacific Ocean to the West
Wildflowers, layers of mountains and the Pacific
We also saw this little guy on the trail …
Lots of trail markers make it easy to navigate the loop

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