Ridge-to-Ridge on San Bruno Mountain

Located just outside of San Francisco’s city limits, San Bruno Mountain is a well-kept secret. This 9.26 mile trail offers a refreshing and quiet reprieve from the busy urban sprawl that surrounds the mountain. From the summit of San Bruno Mountain, hikers are rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the entire Bay Area, and the views continue as you walk the ridgeline from one peak to the next.

The park has recently invested in new trail markers that make navigating a breeze. The hike starts at the Old Guadalupe Trailhead and follows a paved fire road for less than a quarter-mile before connecting to the Bog Trail, a flat, scenic loop. Whether you decide to take the right or the left side of the Bog Trail loop (both paths are equally great!), keep your eyes peeled for birds and you just might be lucky enough spot an owl or a hawk. The mile-long Bog trail will lead you through scenic Eucalyptus groves and marshlands until eventually guiding you into the main part of San Bruno Mountain. You’ll follow the trail as it continues past the picnic area and winds under the road. Continue walking along the road, next to the secondary parking lot and connect to the Summit Trail, located near the information kiosk (you can also pickup a trail map here).

The Summit Loop Trail is a single track trail that switchbacks up the mountain. If you want to add an additional mile to your trek, you can take the longer Summit Loop Trail that leads to the Ridge Trail. Or use the route that is mapped below and follow the trail markers for the Summit Loop Trail towards the Eucalyptus Trail. As you continue to climb, the Eucalyptus groves thin and views of the city will slowly peek above the chaparral. Shortly before reaching the summit, take the Ridge Trail and continue admiring the views as you walk along the trail for 5 miles out-and-back. After hiking back along the Ridge Trail, vary your hike a bit by taking the Dairy Ravine Trail back to the picnic area and re-connecting with the Bog Trail.

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The Trailhead

Park on Crocker Avenue and access the trailhead by passing through the gate.

The Route

From the Old Guadalupe Trailhead take the Bog Trail until you reach the picnic area. Follow the paved path under the bridge and along the parking area until you reach the information kiosk and connect to Summit Loop Trail (heading towards Eucalyptus Trail and Dairy Ravine Trail). Follow the Summit Loop Trail and connect to the Ridge Trail. Follow the Ridge Trail until it ends and then retrace your steps back toward the Summit Loop connector. At the three-way junction with Summit Loop and Ridge Trail, follow signs for the Dairy Ravine Trail and eventually connect with the Bog Trail again and head back to your car.

Other Details

Trail Safety

Like all outdoor pursuits, hiking can be dangerous. It is up to you to assess your fitness level and education yourself about any potential dangers. While I try to regularly update these hiking guides, you should always research trail conditions before heading out.

Being prepared means arriving at the trailhead with water and some basic provisions. Each and every time I hit the trail I bring a backpack with more water than I think I need, a small first aid kit, and a snack. I also share my itinerary and plans with friends or family and I carry an InReach so I can summon help if needed. If you want to know what I carry in my pack during day hikes check out my blog post about essential gear for day hikers.

Stay safe, enjoy the trail, and soak up the magic of nature!

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