Hikes Categorized by Exposure

NOTE: The exposure cited here reflects the exposure only for the trails hiked. The exposure on a different set of trails in the same preserve or park might be considerably different.

Completely Shaded

Area Distance/
Time (hh:mm)
Elevation Gain Exposure Parking Fee/
Restroom
Features
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park 4.0 mi
01:40
475 ft Completely shaded PF: None
R: Near the Porter Family Picnic Area
*Old growth redwood
*Redwood forest
*Waterfalls
Huddart Park (hike post) 4.5 mi
01:30
890 ft Completely shaded PF: $6
R: Near the Zwierlein picnic area
*Mixed evergreen forest with redwoods and douglas firs
Castle Rock State Park –
Skyline to the Sea Trail (hike post)
5.30 mi
02:25
1080 ft Completely shaded PF: None
R: At the Sempervirens Point
*Mixed forest
*Sandstone formations
El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve (hike post) 6.40 mi
02:35
1375 ft Completely shaded PF: None
R: In the parking lot, next to the trailhead
*Old growth redwood
*Redwood/
Douglas fir forest
*Sandstone formations
Big Basin Redwoods State Park (hike post) 8.70 mi
03:30
2287 ft Completely shaded PF: $10
R: Next to the Park Headquarters
*Redwood forest
*Waterfalls

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Mostly Shaded

Area Distance/
Time (hh:mm)
Elevation Gain Exposure Parking Fee/
Restroom
Features
Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve 2.5 mi
01:15
440 ft Mostly shaded PF: None
R: In the parking lot, next to the trailhead
*Mixed forest
*Panoramic views
*Spring wildflowers
Alum Rock Park – South Rim Trail (hike post) 4.0 mi
02:00
686 ft Mostly shaded PF: $6
R: Close to all picnic areas and parking lots. One next to the Youth Science Institute.
*Creek
*Panoramic views
Castle Rock State Park –
Saratoga Gap Trail (hike post)
5.5 mi
03:30
1700 ft Mostly shaded PF: $8
R: In the parking lot, next to the trailhead
*Panoramic views
*Sandstone formations
*Waterfall
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (hike post) 7.00 mi
02:20
1060 ft Mostly shaded PF: None
R: Inside the preserve, next to the trailhead
*Redwood forest
*Creek
*Understory of ferns, berries, and wildflowers
Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve 7.10 mi
02:45
1029 ft Mostly shaded PF: None
R: Next to the main parking lot
*Animal farm
*Creek
*Meadow
*Panoramic views
Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve 7.22 mi
03:17
1945 ft Mostly shaded PF: None
R: Inside the preserve
*Reservoir view
*Woodlands

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Equal Parts Shaded and Exposed

Area Distance/
Time (hh:mm)
Elevation Gain Exposure Parking Fee/
Restroom
Features
La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve (hike post) — Permit Required 3.30 mi
01:25
400 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: None
R: None
*Grasslands
*Panoramic views
*Redwood/
Douglas fir forest
*Vista point
Edgewood County Park 3.70 mi
01:55
650 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: None
R: A bit inside the park
*Grasslands
*Spring wildflowers
Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve 4.0 mi
03:00
640 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: None
R: In the parking lot, next to the trailhead
*Mixed forest
*Panoramic views
*Spring wildflowers
Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (hike post) 4.6 mi
02:12
780 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: None
R: At the Skyline Ridge parking lot and at the Russian Ridge parking lot
*Nature center
*Panoramic views
*Pond and lake
Almaden Quicksilver County Park (hike post) 4.90 mi
02:12
980 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: No parking lot, only street parking
R: A bit inside the park near the Mine Hill trailhead
*Grasslands
*Spring wildflowers
Wunderlich County Park (hike post) 6.27 mi
02:30
1247 ft Equal parts shaded and exposed PF: None
R: Next to the parking lot
*Redwood, oak, and madrone forest
*Open meadow
*Creek
*Folger family ranch and stable

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Mostly Exposed

Area Distance/
Time (hh:mm)
Elevation Gain Exposure Parking Fee/
Restroom
Features
Los Trancos Open Space Preserve (hike post) 4.70 mi
01:45
1090 ft Mostly exposed PF: None
R: None here. There is one at the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve directly across the Page Mill Road.
*Oak forest
*Open meadow
*San Andreas Fault Trail
Stevens Creek County Park (hike post) 5.0 mi
02:00
740 ft Mostly exposed PF: None
R: Near the picnic areas around the reservoir
*Mixed forest
*Reservoir view
Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir (hike post) 6.00 mi
04:00
Flat Mostly exposed PF: None (street parking)
R: One at the entrance and another one a mile down the trail
*Reservoir view
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve (hike post) 6.50 mi
05:00 (should typically take 3.5 hours)
1400 ft Mostly exposed PF: None
R: In the parking lot, next to the trailhead and at the Backpack Camp
*Black Mountain summit
*Creekside woodland
*Grasslands
*Panoramic views
*Sag pond

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Completely Exposed

Area Distance/
Time (hh:mm)
Elevation Gain Exposure Parking Fee/
Restroom
Features
Ed Levin County Park 2.18 mi
01:00
3000 ft Completely exposed PF: $6
R: Near the picnic area
*Grasslands
*Panoramic views
*Spring wildflowers
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve 2.85 mi
01:20
370 ft Completely exposed PF: None
R: None
*Grasslands
*Panoramic views
Alum Rock Park – North Rim Trail (hike post) 4.70 mi
02:30
1337 ft Completely exposed PF: $6
R: Close to all picnic areas and parking lots. One next to the Youth Science Institute.
*Panoramic views
Coyote Point Recreation Area (hike post) 4.80 mi Flat Completely exposed PF: None
R: Next to the Coyote Point Recreation Area parking lot, also one next to the Seal Point parking lot
*Bay view
Adobe Creek Loop Trail 6.80 mi
02:20
Flat Completely exposed PF: None
R: Shoreline Lake Boathouse
*Bay view
*Lake
*Sloughs
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve (hike post) 7.30 mi
03:00
1280 ft Completely exposed PF: None
R: Next to the parking lot
*Borel Hill (highest point in San Mateo County)
*Grasslands
*Panoramic views
*Spring wildflowers
Lands End to Ghirardelli Square (hike post) 7.60 mi
03:30
516 ft Completely exposed PF: None if you take the BART to San Francisco
R: One public restroom next to the Lookout Cafe near Sutro Baths
*Bay view
*Golden Gate Bridge view
*Panoramic views
*San Francisco skyline views

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