Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve to Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve Professional Review and Guide
"Travel through moist evergreen forests, oak-madrone woodlands, and high grasslands along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stunning coast and bay views greet you on this Ridge Trail route through three Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District preserves and one county park. The trail roughly follows old Summit Road, a wagon route used by early settlers before Skyline Boulevard was built. Trail width and surface varies from a narrow path to a wide patrol road, soft in forests and along creekbeds, and firm and bare through grasslands. You’ll gain and lose 400 feet in elevation, plus experience several ups and downs en route of 100 to 300 feet. Be prepared for wind and fog on exposed ridgetops, and for heat on protected west- and south-facing slopes. The Hickory Oak gate on Skyline Boulevard makes it easy to break this route into two trips—a shady, moderately level, 2-mile trip from Saratoga Gap to Long Ridge Open Space Preserve, and a 5.8-mile trip from there to the Horseshoe Lake parking area in Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve."