I’m increasingly obsessed with hiking on the peninsula, especially in the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can catch views of the ocean, the bay and all of the hills and valleys in between. My excitement for this part of the region is probably due to novelty – after seven years here, it’s fun to explore not-Marin. It’s also probably due to the fact that even when it’s foggy, it’s beautiful. And, having previously hiked Russian Ridge in the sun, I can say it’s even better then.
Crowd factor: Moderate
Exposure: Russian Ridge OSP was totally exposed, while Coal Creek OSP was more shady.
Distance: ~4.5 miles on the Ridge Trail to Clouds Rest and Meadow Loop and back. Plenty of other trails in Russian Ridge OSP to make it longer, shorter or steeper.
Difficulty: Dare I say it was a walk in the park?
Pro tips: It’s windy on the ridge so pack accordingly. When you’re done, stuff yourself on Oren’s Hummus in Palo Alto.
Date hiked: 3/18/17
Source: 101 Great Hikes of the Bay Area by Ann Marie Brown