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  • Portola Valley
  • Portola Valley, California

    Portola Valley in California is a top destination for outdoor adventures. The Windy Hill Open Space Preserve offers the best trails for hiking. Its scenic beauty includes grasslands, forests, and a stunning view of the entire San Francisco Peninsula. The Spring Ridge Trail, a moderate 7.2-mile loop, is a must-visit. It offers a panoramic view of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. For a more challenging hike, the Razorback Ridge Trail is a steep 2.6-mile trek with views of Portola Valley and the surrounding hills. It's perfect for those looking for a physical challenge amid beautiful natural surroundings. Near Portola Valley, the Coal Creek Open Space Preserve offers more trails, creeks, and wildlife sightings. These are just a few examples of the best trails and outdoor activities available in and near Portola Valley.

    Top Spots in and near Portola Valley

    • Cowell Ranch Beach Access, California

      Picnic at Cowell Ranch Beach

      5.0
      Hike half a mile to this beautiful, secluded beach.  There are high cliffs with a steep staircase down to the beach.  The beach has wonderful rock formations on one side.  It is a great place to watch the sunset or bring a picnic.  A great place for a beach day if you are looking for something le...
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Bike the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail

      4.0
      This trail begins at the Cowell State Beach parking lot and is only open on the weekends. From the lot, take the short Cowell Ranch Access trail to a scenic overlook. There are steps down to the secluded pocket beach just above the main trail. The trail playfully meanders along the cliffside with...
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Hike the Cowell-Purisma Trail

      5.0
      7 mi / 400 ft gain
      This is a popular trail that has beach access to Cowell Ranch Beach.  Along the trail, there is a steep staircase that goes down to the beach.  The trail also features fields, a bridge, and beautiful views of California's rugged coastline.  This trail is paved in some parts, and can also be biked...
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    • Belmont, California

      Hike San Mateo's Sugarloaf Mountain

      5.0
      1.5 mi / 500 ft gain
      Sugarloaf is tucked away in Laurelwood Park which is located in a residential neighborhood right off of Hwy 92 in San Mateo, making this a great hiking & trail running option for Peninsula residents.I always park on Glendora Dr. and follow the paved path down towards the playground. At the bo...
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Goat Yoga at Lemos Farm

      5.0
      This is a great way to destress and have fun!  Goat yoga is like normal yoga, but with goats.  Goats tend to like higher ground and flat surfaces.  So, when you are in table top position, they are highly likely to jump onto your back!  These goats are still young, and so do not weigh as much as f...
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    • Saratoga, California

      Hike the Seven Springs Trail Loop

      2.8 mi / 500 ft gain
      The Seven Springs loop is only one great option of several in the preserve. Starting from the Prospect Rd parking lot the loop is 2.8 miles of rolling hills in and out of the shade. Most of the trail is at least 2 person width so easy to walk with a friend or furry companion. There have been larg...
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail

      3.64 mi / 322 ft gain
      Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see local wildlife located near Half Moon Bay, California.
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    • Foster City, California

      Paddle the Foster City Lagoon

      The Foster City Lagoon is one of the most calm waters to paddle on.  This is a great spot for beginners to learn how to paddleboard for the first time. The lagoon gets very still and makes it the perfect spot for reflection photos.  On sunny days, there are many kayakers, SUP, small boats, and ev...
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    • San Mateo County, California

      Run Sawyer Camp Trail

      5.0
      12 mi / 300 ft gain
      The Sawyer Camp Trail is a popular paved trail that stretches alongside the Crystal Springs Reservoir all the way to Hillcrest Blvd. The sixth mile crosses over the San Andreas Dam with nice views of San Andreas Lake.There are markers every half mile which makes timing and tracking your run easy....
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Camp at Francis Beach Campground

      4.0
      If you love to log as much water time as possible, this little gem is the campsite for you. Half Moon Bay State Beach is actually four smaller beaches, with a total of two miles of sandy shore, but you'll be camping right at Kelly Ave., one of Half Moon Bay's most consistent surf spots. Keep in m...
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    • Half Moon Bay, California

      Hike Along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail

      4.6
      5 mi / 104 ft gain
      Start at the visitor center along Kelly Avenue. Take note that the day parking fee is $10 in 2016 for each vehicle. You will then be able to enjoy both the Coastside Trail and Francis Beach (plus other beaches) with access to the amenities such as coin-operated showers and a semi-private beach.Th...
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    • Saratoga, California

      Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

      4.5
      30.22 mi / 3409 ft gain
      Want to experience one of the bay area's most memorable backpacking trips? We've got the details to get you out on the trail. To start the trek, drop your car at the Castle Rock State Park Parking Lot, which is located ~2.5 miles south of the junctions of Highways 35 and 9 off of Highway 35. Not...
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    • Saratoga, California

      Backpack Castle Rock State Park

      4.7
      Castle Rock Trail Camp has a different policy than other backcountry camps in the area (i.e. campsites along Skyline to the Sea). This campground is open all year and is available on a first come, first served basis. If you can, grab a spot a Frog Flat Camp. To get to the camp, park your car at t...
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    • Los Gatos, California

      Hike the Saratoga Gap Trail

      4.6
      4.7 mi
      The Saratoga Gap Trail is relatively lightly trafficked trail that is good year round, although waterfalls peak in late winter and spring. Overall, this 4.7 mile partial loop hike is moderate, with about 1000 feet in elevation change. Trailhead elevation is about 3090 feet. The featured hike desc...
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    • Pescadero, California

      Camp at Butano State Park

      Butano State Park definitely flies under the radar. But for those who love quick escapes, small crowds, fun hikes, and beautiful redwoods, it's a favorite. The park features miles of hiking trails, 21 drive-in campsites and 18 walk-in campsites. Restrooms with running water are provided. Drinking...
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    • Pescadero, California

      Hike the Little Butano Creek Trail

      1.5 mi
      This short hike follows Little Butano Creek through a lush redwood forest. The trail crosses the creek multiple times as you walk over redwood pine needles and through pockets of ferns. Dogs can join on this trail, but must be on leash.
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