3 Ridge to Bridge training hikes and bikes

Feb 18th, 2020

Start training for Ridge to Bridge
Ridge to Bridge is the Bay Area’s most gorgeous hike and ride through Marin to the Golden Gate Bridge. Hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians all join the fun with moderate to challenging options.
Want to sign up for a long hike, trail run, or mountain bike ride, but aren’t feeling 100% prepared?  These are 3 long (over 10 miles), challenging trails are designed to get you in shape and ready for the big day! If you haven’t already, register for Ridge to Bridge now!

NEW! Get Ridge Trail maps on OuterSpatial Mobile Map: 
Download OuterSpatial

1. Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve: Mount Umunhum
County: Santa Cruz
Mileage: 8.1 miles one-way (Jacques Ridge Parking Area to summit) 16.2 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,435 feet/385 feet one-way (from Jacques Ridge)
Difficulty: Difficult
Accessibility: Hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers

The Mount Umunhum Trail provides an opportunity to experience the mountain’s ecosystem before arriving at the 3,456-foot summit. Most of the well-graded uphill trail is in a bay, oak, and madrone woodland with sections opening up to fantastic views of the Santa Clara Valley. The summit provides unparalleled views of the Bay Area and the ocean, and an opportunity to learn about the mountain’s cultural and natural history through numerous interpretive panels. Be prepared for extreme temperatures and wind on the summit.

Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve: Mount Umunhum
Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve: Mount Umunhum Map

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:
Budget – Pomodoro Pizza
Moderate – Elements Contemporary Vietnamese Cuisine
Splurge – La Forêt

2.Mission Peak Regional Preserve and Ed R. Levin County Park
County: Alameda/Santa Clara
Mileage: 9.9 miles one-way, 19.8 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,190 feet/2,030 feet one-way
Accessibility: Hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers

Climb through high grasslands past three lofty peaks that top a rugged ridgeline. You have views of rippling hills, tree-filled canyons, and bayshore marshlands from these exposed and often windy trails. You encounter some very steep segments in the final 4-mile descent to a pretty lake in a quiet valley. The side trip to Mission Peak’s summit is on a narrow, steep, and rocky trail; expect to see many people on their way to and from Mission Peak. Get an early start to do the climb before the day warms.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve and Ed R. Levin County Park
Mission Peak Regional Preserve and Ed R. Levin County Park Map

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:*
My Shabu House
Naan-n-Masala
The Pizza Box

3. Lake Merced to Stern Grove, Stern Grove to the Presidio, San Francisco Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco via Ridge Trail!)
County: San Francisco
Mileage: 13.4 miles one-way, 26.8 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,320 feet/1,190 feet one-way
Accessibility: Hikers and mountain bikers

These 3 connected trails are the entire Ridge Trail route in San Francisco, crossing the city south to north. This first segment offers an opportunity to experience the natural side of San Francisco. On a mostly level route, you travel the length of Lake Merced, pass through residential neighborhoods, walk or ride by another freshwater lake in a sunny and protected glen, and visit iconic Stern Grove. In the next segment, San Francisco’s spectacular bay and ocean views reward you on gradual climbs along city streets and park paths. Visit a number of parks, playgrounds, and unique residential and commercial neighborhoods. The route takes you near Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower, and through Buena Vista Park and the Panhandle.
In the last segment, explore the charm, seclusion, natural wonders, and historic and cultural variety of the 1,491-acre Presidio. Stunning views await you on this trip through forests and along coastal bluffs that ends at the Golden Gate Bridge. Interpretive panels along the route provide information about the Presidio’s unique natural and cultural history. Be prepared for San Francisco’s foggy and breezy weather.

Lake Merced to Stern Grove
Lake Merced to Stern Grove Map
Stern Grove to Presidio via Twin Peaks, Mt Sutro and Golden Gate Park (reroute)
Stern Grove to Presidio via Twin Peaks, Mt Sutro and Golden Gate Park (reroute) Map
San Francisco Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge Map

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:*
4.8 miles – West Portal
Sports Bars
Dubliner
McCarthy’s

Quick and Easy food
Nicer
5.8 Miles – Portola / Tower Market
Sports Bar

Miraloma Club

Quick and Easy food
Tower Burger

9 Miles – Cole Valley
Sports Bar

Finnegans Wake

Quick and Easy food
Padrecito

11 miles- Richmond District Clement Street
Presidio- You’ve made it!
Sports Bar

*Do you have a favorite spot we missed? Let us know! Email us at info@ridgetrail.org

Looking for more curated adventures? Check out the Official Guide Book to the Bay Area Ridge Trail – it’s packed full of useful information for planning hikes, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trips with maps, detailed trail descriptions, curated trips and more.


@bayarearidgetrail

DONATE TO SUPPORT THE TRAIL

We're a membership organization built of trail
lovers like you. Become an important part of the Ridge Trail community.

Donate to complete the trail