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Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail

Enjoy a rare opportunity to hike, bike, or ride

View of Crystal Springs Reservoir from the Ridge

Local nature lovers can enjoy the rare opportunity to hike, bike, or ride their horses through pristine stands of old growth Douglas Fir, evergreen and fragrant coastal scrub while enjoying ridge-top vistas of our watershed lands, reservoirs, the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Trained volunteer trail leaders will head excursions three days a week.

Small groups of hikers, bicyclists, or equestrians can now make reservations for guided excursions along the Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail. Because of environmental restrictions within our fragile ecosystem, groups must be accompanied by a volunteer trail leader and are limited to approximately 20 people (fewer on horseback), scheduled no more than three times a day on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You can reserve spaces for as many as five people for any one event.

Sign up for an event using our on line reservation system.

Events are led by volunteer docents. If you are interested in becoming a docent, there is a link to an application form at the bottom of this page. If you are already a docent and want to lead an event, go directly to the sign up page.

Trailhead Locations

  1. Skyline Quarry – access to this trail head is at Skyline Quarry Gate, which is 0.7 miles west of the intersection of Lower Skyline Boulevard and Highway 92. Look for the sign.Drive westbound on California Highway 92 crossing under Interstate 280. The "T" intersection before you cross the reservoir is Lower Skyline Boulevard. Go straight through it. Remain on Highway 92 crossing over the reservoir. After you have passed the reservoir drive approximately .5 mile. Look for a gate on the north side of Highway 92. Enter through the gate. Drive .5 mile to the parking area.
    (Look for Skyline Quarry in the lower right hand corner of the map on this page).
  2. Cemetery Gate – access via Skylawn Cemetery.
  3. Portola Gate – access via Army Road from the terminus of Sneath Lane.

Trail Length

Our managed segment of the Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail from Highway 92 to Sweeney Ridge is 10 miles long and takes approximately 5-7 hours to complete on foot, with shorter events to be scheduled as needed.

Trail Connections

Fifield-Cahill Ridge connects with the 3.7 miles of the Sweeney Ridge Trail open to the public. Visitors interested in connecting their trek on the Fifield-Cahill Ridge Trail with Sweeney Ridge can contact the Golden Gate National Recreation Area .

Trail Condition

The trail is a gravel service road, with periods of loose base rock. Grades range from 0% to 21%. The steepest grade stretches 1.3 miles from Skyline Quarry (elevation 400 ft.) to Cemetery Gate (elevation 1,050 ft.) on Cahill Ridge, with a vertical elevation change of 650 ft.

Time to Complete the Hike

Approximately 5-7 hours to complete the entire 10 miles on foot, with shorter events to be scheduled as needed.

Weather Conditions
 
Temperatures vary greatly over the length of the trail. Prepare for potential extremes in temperature and conditions due to microclimatic influences particularly in the summer. Trail users can expect as much as 20 F variations in temperature.
 
Trail Amenities
 
Toilets at approximately 2-mile intervals along the trail, starting at Skyline Quarry.

NO WATER IS AVAILABLE ON THE TRAIL. You must bring your own water. At least 1½ quarts per person is recommended.

Persons with Special Needs: Trail users with disabilities may access the trail at Cemetery Gate. The accessible portion of the trail stretches 1.4 miles north of Cemetery Gate to a rest area with accessible restroom facilities. Accessible trail event opportunities will be available for independent use for persons of all abilities. Please call (650) 652-3207 for information on special needs access to the trail.

Vegetation: Primarily coastal scrub, old growth Douglas Fir, and mixed hardwood/Douglas Fir woodland.

Last updated: 5/16/2012 11:39:54 AM