City of San Carlos - Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve Trail


Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve Trail

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Where: Maintained and supported by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, the 366-acre Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve is located near the intersection of I-280 and Edgewood Road, just outside of San Carlos.

Plants and Animals: Mixed woodland Oaks and Laurel trees cover much of the Preserve, while the hilltop is a mix of grasses and remnant non-native plants such as eucalyptus. A tuberculosis sanitorium owned by the City of San Francisco formerly occupied the site. Mountain lions have been sighted here, and helpful guidelines regarding the big cats are posted at trailheads. Rattlesnakes are native here, adding more excitement to your visit.

Attractions: On clear days the open hilltop provides a sweeping view of San Francisco Bay, the southern peninsula and south bay cities, and the peaks of Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton. Cordilleras Creek originates in the Preserve canyon, coming to life in winter and spring. The Hetch-Hetchy aqueduct passes through the Preserve in an underground tunnel.

This is one of a few Open Space Preserves to allow dogs, on a maximum 6 foot leash, except when in the 17.5 acre off-leash area in the center of the preserve. Dog owners are required to pick up and remove their dog's waste.  Horses and bicyles are not allowed in the preserve. 

Trails: The elevation gain on the trails only amounts to about 300 feet, and the rate of incline is very gentle. Polly Geraci Trail (hiking only) winds along the Cordilleras streambed and meets the paved Hassler Trail on the 650 foot hilltop. The Blue Oak Trail begins just past the private Redwood Center and climbs through oaks to meet the paved trail around the 450 foot elevation. The paved road continues across the grassy hill to the edge of a roadside viewpoint on I-280. Constructing a loop of the Cordilleras, Polly Geraci, Hassler and Blue Oak Trails constitutes about 3 miles.  New trails include the Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail and Dick Bishop Trail.  

How to Get There: Exit I-280 at Edgewood Road and turn east, towards San Carlos. At Crestview, turn left, and another quick left turn at Edmonds Rd. You'll see the Cordilleras trailhead just to the right of the entrance to the private Redwood Center on the right hand side of the road. A little further, you'll find a roadside pullout on your left and the Blue Oak trailhead on your right.

Parking:  There is a small parking lot on Edmonds Road at the Blue Oak Trailhead.  The Cordilleras trail splits and one section goes to the parking lot at the Blue Oak Trailhead.

Hours:  Preserve hours are from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

For More Information:
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
330 Distel Circle
Los Altos, CA 94022-1404
Voice: (650) 691-1200