Russian Ridge Preserve


What? :
The park is covering a large open space ridge, mainly without tree coverage so you can get nice sunset views to the west.
There are only few trails covering the hills. 
This is a popular mountain biking park.

This park is one of the best skyline ridge location for sunset watching.

Russian Ridge park located at skyline ridge along hwy 35 near the junction with Alpine Rd..

Additional parks near by:

The best time to visit this park is at late afternoon where you can enjoy the sunset view.
During rainy winter day I will not recommend visiting here, you do not have a lot of protection from the rain and the wind.

The Visit:
From the main parking lot, you will start your hike heading north west on Ridge Trail. This trail following the open ridgeline parallel to highway 35. 
There is a nice viewing point at Borel Hill top.
After almost 1.5 miles you will pass near the highway 35 entrance. Once reaching all the way to Mt. Melville South you need to hike back following the same trail.

I will advise not to hike all the way to Mt. Melville South but rather after 2.1 miles from your starting point at the trail junction turn left into Hawk Ridge Trail that is heading down.
After 0.6 miles you will get connected into Alder Spring Trail. keep hiking on this trail heading Southwest. You have 3 trails connecting you back up to the ridgeline and the direction of the parking lot. You will find Charquin Trail after 0.4 mile heading up, Bo Gimbal after 1.2 miles, and Ancient Oak after 1.5 miles, just before arriving to the road. The way back on the lower trail system will take you additional 3 miles. 
Overall,  This hike will be 5 miles where the first section is following the open ridge and the second is in a more forested landscape.

Another Park entrance option is at the  Silicon Valley Vista Point. This close to cars viewing point is located on highway 35 just north from the park main entrance.

This viewing point provide you the bay area view.

Drive north on highway 35, and right after the close viewing point you will see the park entrance on your left. There are only few parking spots here along the road and you can't park here for the night.

There is another smaller parking lot and hiking option at Audrey C. Rust Commemorative Site, look for Mindego at the park maps.

This entrance & parking is located on Alpine road that is going down west.

From this lower section of the park you can go all the way to Mindego hill or to the viewing point looking over a nice lake.

This will be out and back hike.

Another hiking option from this lower parking lot is to climb to the park ridge section via Charqin Trail and go back down on Ancient Oaks trail.

My thoughts: Open landscape hills, good for sunset viewing and mountain bike trips.




Additional Pictures:

Pictures from Jan 22, 2022 visit: