Russian Ridge Trail Run
San Francisco › Russian Ridge
Added by Christopher Bobel
- Minimal elevation change (just over 500 feet)
- Not too crowded if you get to it during the week
- Great opportunity to take in blooming wildflowers if in season
- ~4 miles of trail running
- Duration: Less than an hour
Russian Ridge offers a great place to jump on the trail and in the right season, see some of the best wildflowers blooming. On top of that, you get access to amazing views from the ridge.
Once you hit your parking space, add a little extra warm up before jumping on the trail to make this 3.7-mile run into a 4-miler. In order to make it to the ridge, gain a little elevation and head uphill on the Ridge Trail. As you make it up this trail, you'll quickly reach the ridge. Take a few seconds to stretch it out and take in the view. Maybe even snap a photo or two for that instagram later on.
After just over a half mile, you'll come across the sign that leads to Ancient Oaks Trail. Hang a left here. As you head away from the ridge line, you'll be able to look down on Alpine Road. At ~1.2 miles, you'll cross a signed area where you can head back to the parking lot if you're not feeling well, or continue to the left and stay on Ancient Oaks if this run is for you.
Once Ancient Oaks comes to an end at about a mile and a half, jump onto Charquin Trail. At roughly 1.9 miles, the trail will split. Stick to your right and take the trail uphill. Continue on this route until you reach Ridge Trail and head right, which will return you to the car.
Looking to relax after your run, head to local favorite Alpine Inn.
- Trail Shoes
- Running Clothes
- Light Jacket
Fitness, Photography, Running
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Great after work escape
When the days are longer, its possible to head up here after work. The run itself is varied as you go through oak forests and open grassland. The sunsets up here are also awesome because you can actually see the ocean and the fog/clouds generally create some nice colors.
Loved this suggestion, but like someone else said, watch for trail signs. Once you're on Charquin Trail, the "split" is not very obvious- it's more of a hairpin turn. If you get to a fence and a sign about garder snakes, turn around and you'll see it. If you hit the cattle enclosure, you've gone too far. My 4-mile run turned into an 8-mile run because I missed that turn.
Beautiful Views On Any Kind Of Day
I've hiked there 4 times in the last 2 months. On a clear day you can see all the way to San Francisco from Borel Hill and all the way out to the ocean. On a foggy day, be warned. Wet wind and fog roll over the hill and you could end up soaked, though plus side, it seems like you're in the Scottish Highland. The spring is especially beautiful because the wildflowers are all in bloom; there are at least 20 different kinds. The state poppy is especially abundant. Also, the area is very popular on weekends. There are two options. Go earlier in the day to avoid the crowds or drive further down Alpine Rd to the second parking lot that many people aren't aware of. Have fun!
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.