Trail Review: Russian Ridge

Last weekend we took a great hike at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. I heard this area was good for spring wildflowers, and, my goodness, was it ever! Russian Ridge is located in the hills over Palo Alto, and though it’s just a few miles south of the Purisima Redwoods area, this preserve consists of grasslands with a few groves of old oaks and firs.

California flowers
It was very sunny and bright, and we had a great time looking at flowers that aren’t seen as much in the forests and foggy areas. California Poppies and lupine dominated the landscape, growing everywhere. I really wish I could capture the look of a glittering grassland covered with flowers in a photograph! Newly identified flowers included Woodland Stars, California Buttercups, and Johnny-Jump-Ups.

Woodland Star | California Buttercup
Views were good, and on a very clear fall day the ocean would probably be bright and blue. These photos may look clear, but there’s almost always some water in the air along the coast these days! The bay is visible along much of the Ridge Trail, and at times you can make out the SF skyline in the distance.


My mom is a forest person and my dad is a rock person, and though I love forests, and rocks to a lesser extent, the wide views, birds, flowers, and intense complexity of a natural grassland has always been strangely special to me. I will definitely be coming back to this wonderful spot.



4 thoughts on “Trail Review: Russian Ridge

  1. Aw, thanks! They're kind of "off-topic," so I always assume sewing enthusiasts just skip them 🙂 Hiking and sewing are what I do, though!

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