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Copyright © 2000-2002 by Michael Wimble, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Windy Hill

Dirk Kathy and Michael take a long, leisurely hike from Portola to the ridge top and back. We pace the hike at over 5 hours, taking in the lush mosses and fungi, the rabbits, ducks, quail, flowers, acorn woodpeckers, animal tracks, and views of San Francisco.

We took Hamms Gulch Trail to the Anniversary Trail at the ridge top, then back down via the Spring Ridge Trail.

For the gallery of pictures from the hike, click HERE.

This park offers guaranteed views of an acorn woodpecker near Sausal Pond. There are several hiking loops, ranging from the short and easy to 3 climbs ranging from about 2.5 to 6 miles (one-way) climbing a little over 1000 feet to Skyline Boulevard. Along the way are plenty of mountain lion tracks, wood rats, bobcats, quail, rabbit deer. At Skyline Boulevard, you can see San Francisco and Oakland, on a clear day. Crossing the road, you may see the ocean and, occasionally, hang gliders.

This trail is easy to moderate on the "Wimble Scale". Plan on one or more large water bottles and one or two snacks. The longer loop hikes will usually take 3 or 4 hours or more.

Toilet facilities and a pay phone are available at the trailhead.


From I-280, take the Alpine Road exit heading south. After about 3 miles, turn right onto Portola Road. About a mile down the road is the park entrance on your left. The sign into the parking lot is easy to miss.

On line information

The official park site can be found at

Another description can be found at

Virtual reality panoramic views are at