The 2019 challenge is now closed. Check back in February for 2020. Ridge Trail Challenge.

The 2019 Ridge Trail Challenge is closed! Please check back in February for 2020 Challenge.

Discover 375 miles of your local wild.

Want to get outside? Need ideas for where to go? Looking for adventure in the Bay Area?


Go on 5 of the 30 local adventures we handpicked for our 30th Anniversary and enter to win prizes! It’s easy. And free!


Join Us!


You Win Prizes!
Sign up and you automatically get:
  • A very cool Ridge Trail bumper sticker
  • Maps and #protips and other great information about where to go, what to do, and how to do it in style
Finish the Challenge and you automatically get:
  • The newly released Guidebook to the Bay Area Ridge Trail by Elizabeth Byers and Jean Rusmore, OR
  • A stylish Ridge Trail hat
Everyone who signs up will be entered to win one of these very cool packages from REI Co-op:
  • REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack with REI Co-op Hydroflask Bottle and REI Co-op Traverse Trekking Poles. A $220 value!
And everyone who finishes the Challenge will be entered for the Grand Prize drawing for one of the following prize packages!
  • REI Prize Package: REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack, REI Co-op Flex Lite Chair, REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with footprint. A $280 value!
  • A Certificate for a Free REI Class / Outing for Two. A $180 value!
  • Limited edition authentic Ridge Trail trail sign in a 5”x7” shadow box

Wherever you are, the Ridge Trail isn’t far away. This long-distance trail circumnavigates the Bay Area through all nine counties. And you can too! Walk, run, bike, or horseback ride your way through selected local adventures and explore the many beautiful miles of the Ridge Trail for 360 degrees of inspiration.

For 30 years, the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and people like you have been building and taking care of the Bay Area’s very own long-distance trail. Celebrate our 30th birthday with us by signing up for the Ridge Trail Challenge today.

How It Works:

  • The Ridge Trail Challenge runs from April 15 through December 15, 2019.
  • All registered participants will be entered into drawings for “Challenge Taker” prizes. Drawings take place on the last day of May, August, and October 2019.
  • Complete 5 of 30 local adventures listed below and complete our finisher form telling us about your experience.
  • All Ridge Trail Challenge finishers will be invited to our annual members-only Winter Solstice event, acknowledged in our email newsletter and social media, and entered into a drawing for the “Challenge Master” grand prize.
  • Participants must be 18 years old or older and U.S. residents. No purchase necessary to win.
  • Additional resources below:

30 Local Adventures

Select your 5 adventures from the 30 adventures we've hand picked for you here. Pick a date, grab a friend, and go!
Short and Happy

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

This 3-mile trail parallels Ritchey Creek and is largely shaded by redwoods, perfect for hot days and equestrians.

Learn more.
Hiddenbrooke Open Space

These rolling grasslands offer expansive views of San Francisco and San Pablo Bays and the mountains that encircle them.

Learn more.

Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area to Five Canyons Parkway

A summer-time hit! This recreational area features shady creekside stretches as well as rolling grasslands and a popular swimming, fishing, and picnicking site at Cull Canyon.

Learn more.
Vargas Plateau Regional Park

You don’t have to walk far here to see wildflowers in the spring and views of the bay all year long. When looking north from the top of the plateau, you will see glimpses of the future seven-mile Ridge Trail section scheduled to open in 2020 that will connect Garin Regional Park to Niles Canyon Road.

Learn more.

Mount Madonna County Park

On an uphill trip beginning in the redwoods, you'll take in excellent views of southern valley of Santa Clara County and the inner Coast Range mountains.

Learn more.
Sanborn County Park: John Nicholas Trail

A mountain biker’s dream and a hiker and equestrian delight. Enjoy the twists and turns on this shaded trail with sweeping views of the South Bay.

Learn more.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve

Follow the Windy Hill ridgeline through a sheltered forest and across rolling grasslands on a narrow footpath and broad wagon road.

Learn more.
Sweeney Ridge

A trek along this 1000-acre ridgetop visits the historic Portolá San Francisco Bay Discovery Site and offers sweeping views of the coast and mountains.

Learn more.
Mt. Sutro Trail and Phil Arnold Trail

Wind your way through the ancient Oak Woodlands in Golden Gate Park then connect to Mount Sutro Preserve and eventually to iconic views from Twin Peaks and beyond for excellent cross-city trekking.

Learn more.
San Francisco Presidio

Explore the charm, seclusion, natural wonders, and historic and cultural variety of the Presidio. Stunning views await you on this short trip through forests and grasslands and along coastal bluffs.

Learn more.
Not Too Easy, Not Too Hard, But Just Right

Marin Headlands from the Golden Gate Bridge to Tennessee Valley

This dramatic trip takes you from the landmark Golden Gate Bridge into the hills of the Marin Headlands.

Learn more.
Vallejo-Benicia Buffer

Take this varied trip along the ridgeline greenbelt between Vallejo and Benicia.

Learn more.

Crockett Hills Regional Park

Climb to high grasslands for East Bay views from Carquinez Strait west to Mt. Tamalpais. A favorite spot for mountain bikers and site of the Ridge Trail’s 300th mile dedication.

Learn more.
Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline to John Muir National Historic Site

Hike or bike up to the ridge for a sweeping view of the historic Carquinez Strait. Continue along the ridge to the John Muir National Heritage site for this physically and mentally enriching experience.

Learn more.

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

The Sierra Road staging area at Sierra Vista OSP provides the perfect jumping-off point for short or long trips in the Preserve and adjacent historic Alum Rock Park. When the Berryessa BART station opens you will be able to reach these remote places by transit along the Penitencia Creek Trail.

Learn more.
Coyote Lake-Harvey Bear Ranch Trail

After a vigorous climb, this trip heads south on a relatively level trail with views of the lake, the surrounding foothills, and the coastal mountains. Make it a day trip or camp overnight.

Learn more.
Sanborn County Park and Castle Rock State Park

Follow the Skyline Trail along the shady ridgeline of two vast parks--Sanborn County Park and Castle Rock State Park.

Learn more.
Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve: Mount Umunhum. From Bald Mountain

Views from high points on the trail gives an aerial view of Santa Clara County from Mt. Umunhum to the peaks of the Diablo Range.

Learn more.

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

This is the location of the first dedicated section of Ridge Trail in May 1989. Five trails in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve link together for a challenging loop through forested canyons and over high ridges.

Learn more.
Wunderlich County Park to Huddart County Park

Follow the gently graded Skyline Trail through redwood and Douglas fir forests just below the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Learn more.
Challenging and Worth It

Bolinas Ridge and Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Walk along the heights of Bolinas Ridge to see magnificent views of the sparkling ocean, tree-covered ridges, and distant peaks. Make it a day trip or camp overnight at Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Learn more.
Jack London State Historic Park and North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve

Jack London State Historic Park features redwood and oak forests, lively streams, and scattered grasslands on the eastern flank of Sonoma Mountain.

Learn more.
Robert Louis Stevenson Park: Lower Oat Hill Mine Trail

This trail climbs through woodlands, chaparral and grasslands, offering views of Napa Valley, Mt. St. Helena and the western Mayacamas ridgeline.

Learn more.
Moore Creek Park

Hikers, mountain bicyclists, equestrians and nature lovers will find this a pleasant and varied experience along the rustic trail through oak woodland, grasslands, madrone and Douglas fir forest, and patches of chaparral.

Learn more.

Tilden Regional Park to Redwood Regional Park

Climb to dramatic views from San Pablo Ridge, descend to wooded streams, and traverse open grasslands.

Learn more.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park

Explore the little-traveled lands of Chabot Regional Park.

Learn more.
Mission Peak Regional Preserve and Ed R. Levin County Park

Climb through high grasslands past three lofty peaks that top a rugged ridgeline.

Learn more.

Santa Teresa County Park and Calero Creek/Los Alamitos Creek Trails

Take a round-trip trail east through high, oak-studded grasslands to Coyote Peak with sweeping views from Santa Cruz Mountains through Coyote Valley to the Diablo Range.

Learn more.

San Francisco Peninsula Watershed

In this remote open space dedicated volunteer docents will lead you through dense forests and over hilly grasslands to extensive views of the entire Bay Area.

Learn more.
Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve to Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Travel through moist evergreen forests, oak-madrone woodlands, and high grasslands along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Learn more.
Guided Adventures and Events

Solano Overnight

April 27 - 28, 2019

This is a 2-day supported hike from Newell Open Space Preserve to the Benicia State Recreation Area staying at McIntyre Ranch overnight on the journey south. The hike will feature panoramic views of San Francisco and Suisun Bay, a docent-led tour through the Vallejo-Swett Ranch, and the opportunity to socialize with other trail enthusiasts!

Learn more.
Mt Madonna Overnight

August 16 - 18, 2019

[Details to follow]

East Bay Hills Hike and Equestrian Ride

August 28 - September 1, 2019

See the East Bay in a new way on this fully supported 5-day hike/6-Day equestrian ride. Hikers and riders are mostly on different trails during the day, while sharing campsites, meals, stories & camaraderie, and enjoying entertainment each evening.

Learn more.
Ridge Trail Day

November 2, 2019

Ridge Trail Day is the Ridge Trail Council’s largest event, with hundreds of volunteers participating around the region. We partner with REI Co-op and local land managers to host a myriad of volunteer trail work parties to build and improve sections of the Ridge Trail.

Learn more.
Pacific Coast Trail Runs - Bay Area Ridge Trail Series

April 20, 2019 - Saratoga 50K/30K/21K/10K

June 1, 2019 - The Ridge 60K/37K/23K

August 18, 2019 - Mt Madonna 25K/17K/8K

November 2, 2019 - Woodside 50K/35K/17K/10K

Learn more.


The Ridge Trail circles the Bay with 375 miles (and growing) of adventures. Find the trail in all 9 Bay Area counties.