Explore all sections of the currently existing Ridge Trail loop.


All You Need to Know.

When you've decided to go the distance on the Ridge Trail.

Weeks or months spent in nature is good for body and soul. It’s a magical experience. You’ll meet countless wonderful people and join them in the Ridge Trail community. Breathtaking 360 degree panoramas are the rule...and on the Ridge Trail you are free to choose your mode of adventure whether it's backpacking, bikepacking, horsepacking, or thru-hiking. Some choose to complete it in one sprint and others enjoy exploring the Ridge Trail by section. The Ridge Trail runs through all of the Bay Area's nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, as well as Santa Cruz. As of Fall 2019, you'll be able to access the Ridge Trail by BART. What better way to discover your local wild?


The official guide book to the Bay Area Ridge Trail is packed full of useful information for planning hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trips including maps, detailed trail descriptions, curated trips and more. Buy the book

Trail Tracker.

The Trail Tracker tool allows you to track mileage, elevation gain, gaps in the Trail, and other notes. Download the tracker


Today 375 miles are currently open for hikers, runners, cyclists, and equestrians. This interactive map provides details on each trail section, as well as trailheads, curated trips, photos, descriptions, and trip planning. Explore the Interactive map

Hot Topics.

Camping and Hostel Map Download PDF
Trail by Meetup Join a Meetup group
Parks Contact List Land Agency Partners
DIY Fundraiser DIY Fundraiser

Spotlight Stories.

Stories of people who have hit the trail, hard.

Making the loop - two friends share their circumnavigation Read full story
A Trail Runner's Perspective Read full story
Molly and Donna's 3-year section hiking adventure Read full story

Gear Essentials.

Suggested items to help you on your way.

Overnight essentials for backpacking, cycling, and horseback.


  • Camping/Fire etc.


  • Map
  • Compass
  • GPS (optional)
  • Altimeter (optional)

Sun protection:

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun-shielding hat


  • Jacket/Vest
  • Hat, cap, skullcap, balaclava or headband


  • Headlamp/flashlight
  • Extra batteries


  • First-aid kit
  • Trip itinerary left with friend and under car seat
  • Whistle


  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Duct tape strips


  • Meals
  • Snacks
  • Extra day's supply of food

Emergency shelter:

  • Tent, tarp, bivy or reflective blanket


  • Sleeping bag
  • Stuff stack
  • Sleeping Pad


  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Cookset/pot
  • Bowl/Utensils/Cup

Personal Items:

  • Camera
  • Route description or Guidebook
  • Small amount of cash
  • Toothbrush & toiletry kit
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Camera/Phone

Warm Weather Clothing:

  • Wicking T-shirt (synthetic or wool)
  • Wicking underwear
  • Quick-drying pants or shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirt (for sun, bugs)
  • Bandana or Buff

Cool Weather Clothing:

  • Wicking long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Wicking long underwear (good sleepwear)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Rainwear (jacket, pants)
  • Fleece jacket or vest

Backpacking Specific


  • Backpack
  • Trekking poles

Special clothes:

  • Hiking Boots or hiking shoes suited to terrain
  • Socks (synthetic or wool) plus spares

Cycling Specific

Special clothes:

  • Helmet, bike gloves, cycling shorts, windshell, cycling socks & shoes


  • Multi tool, tire levers, spare tube, patch kit, bicycle pump, (tire boot, plugs if tubeless), zip ties, spare bolts, (stem, chainring bolt, brake and shoe) quick link for chain


  • Chamois butter packets
  • Helmet cam

Horseback Specific

Special clothes:

  • Helmet, gloves, riding boots, long pants

For your horse:

  • Hoof pick, Currying equipment, Treats, Equine first aid kit, Fly spray, Emergency boot, Shipping boots or leg wraps, Copy of health papers


  • Halter and lead, Bridle, Saddle and Pad, Cinch or girth, Saddlebag, Portable Paddock

Trail Running (Single day)

  • Light weight Backpack
  • hydration pack
  • Trail running shoes suited to terrain
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • GU gel, bars

Day Hike

  • Light weight Backpack
  • hydration pack or water bottles
  • Hiking Boots or hiking shoes suited to terrain
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Trail snacks (GU gel, bars, trail mix)

Stay in the loop.

Join the Ridge Trail eNews, for all the latest events and trail news.



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