Windy Hill - Trail, Portola Valley, California

Windy Hill - Trail, Portola Valley, California

DESCRIPTION

The trail starts with a small climb ("the little orphan") and is followed a little later by a steeper climb ("the ugly sister"). Just when you get your wind back, you are hit by two successive steeper climbs ("the nasty twins"). You continue to climb to the top through a windy valley (hence the name) only to confront the last steep climb ("the old lady"). The climb is around 1300' and once at the top you get a nice view of the Bay area. When you are short on time (e.g., after work), you can't beat Windy Hill for giving you a quick mountain biking fix.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 12  
[Aug 27, 2009]
jcyoung
Weekend Warrior

Good for a quick workout. I get up this hill in 35-38 minutes, and coming down takes 10 or 11 minutes. I like it because the trailhead is a 15 minute drive from my house, which means I can do this ride anytime I have a free 90 minutes. There is also Alpine Road/Coal Creek close by if I find I have extra time.

There is a legal 0.4 mile doubletrack shortcut that bypasses some of the fireroad.

Customer Service

Up the hill from the Portola parking lot, then down.

Similar Products Used:

Alpine Road, Coal Creek, Russian Ridge, Arastradero

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 18, 2005]
Anonymous
Cross Country Rider

Getting dropped off at the top and bombing down is fun, but it's kinda wimpy. You need to ride UP this trail or you've accomplished nothing. Try not to use the granny gear too much and you can do it in less than 30 minutes. Great views and wildlife, and pretty fun to rip down. Long sections where you can see far ahead means you can hit high speeds without crashing into hikers or freaking 'em out...recommend slowing where you can't see ahead 'cause there's lots of foot traffic and we don't need complaints that'll end up getting the trail closed. Got radar'd by ranger last week, but could see 'em way before I got there, so just went by at walking speed. She still kept the radar pointed right at me, like she couldn't see I was just going 3 mph. This is a great climb, but too short. There are other better descents off Skyline, but this one is a fun change of pace at non-peak hours for a high-speed experience.

Customer Service

Ride UP. It is a crime to ride down this trail without climbing up it first.

Similar Products Used:

Up Alpine Rd, Montebello to Grizzly Flat Trail to Long Ridge to Skyline Ridge to Russian Ridge, then back down Crazy Pete's or Coal Creek to Alpine. Not too technical, but a good workout with great views. And of course Skeggs for the more technical challenge.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 22, 1999]
Anonymous

I have never tried climbing it, however it is a great trail for speed shuttle runs. Its a smoooth fireroad with sweeping turns. You can drive from the bottom all the way to the top. No Climbing!!! It's not very technical but it is good for speed turn practise, and overcoming fear of going too fast.

Customer Service

Shuttle the Trail

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 04, 1999]
Anonymous

This trail is smooth and steep (well kinda). But the horses seem to dominate it always keep speed in the sub-low range. Don't bother.

Customer Service

Up towards Skyline.

Similar Products Used:

Saratoga Gap, Skegg's Point, Purisma Redwoods

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 15, 2000]
Anonymous

i really like this trail and ride it every couple weeks or so. i start down at the arastradero open space area as a warm up, then bike up alpine and climb this trail. going back is all downhill. it's a great workout with a cool view. plus the weather always seems nicer in portola.

i certainly wouldn't say that horses dominate this trail. i do see them occasionally, but this trail seems to attract hikers in large groups (that tend to take up the entire trail until they see you), so yes this trail isn't for lazy speed demons who only bike down hills. i happen to enjoy the climb at least as much as the return.

the only downside to this trail is that when you make it all the way to the top you're greeted by a road (skyline dr.) and a parking area... kinda anti-climactic. also, bikes aren't allowed the last quarter mile that runs to the very summit of the hill.

Customer Service

start at the bottom (alpine rd), end at the bottom.

Similar Products Used:

arastradero open space area

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 24, 2000]
Anonymous

Windy Hill is a small Open Space Preserve that is steep and open. It's perfect for hikers and good view. Personally, I think it's a horrible mtn bike ride. It's rutted, exposed, crowded, short, straight up. It's the kind of ride you would do if you didn't know any better. For a much better ride, climb up Alpine Road. Once at Page Mill, turn right, then right again on Page Mill. Go down Crazy Pete's trail which meets up with Alpine again. Now THAT's a good ride.

Customer Service

Skip Windy Hill.

Similar Products Used:

Monte Bello

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[Jan 20, 2001]
Anonymous

Lots of hikers on weekends, including "local old ladies with small dogs and a disapproving look". If you'd rather run them over than slow down, better go somewhere else, as I bet those old ladies will persuade MROSD to close this trail to bikes! Since the trail is exposed, it is one of the first to dry after rain.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Feb 01, 2001]
Anonymous

Very steep, very rutty, very populated, only one trail, few woop-dee-woops, fast singletrack. This trail goes bump bump bump, seeing as the irrigation sucks, so the ruts run both parallel and perpendicular to the fall line. This is not challenging and might as well be closed to bikers. One star for the wild turkey i saw there once.

Customer Service

Top to bottom, not reverse.

Similar Products Used:

Carlmont High School in Belmont of the Alameda (crazy DH stuff), and CSM (College of San Mateo) Dual Slalom course off west hillsdale blvd off 92

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 25, 2001]
Anonymous

The fireroad is not much fun unless you a phat DH Rig and like going 50+ mph. But there's 2 single tracks decents. ILLEGAL. Hams Gulch is the funnest, but your more likely to run into irrate hikers or a ranger there. The 2nd is Razorback Ridge, this trail get's very little traffic. I've ridden both trails 100s of times and never been busted, HAVE FUN !! Watch out for screaming old ladies on horseback.

Customer Service

UP ALPINE ROAD, NORTH ON SKYLINE BLVD, DOWN THE ILLEGAL SINGLE TRACKS.

Similar Products Used:

Corte Madera, ELEVATOR SHAFT, aka PIPELINE, it's freaking scrap your nads on your rear tire steep.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Feb 26, 2002]
Anonymous

Watch out for rattlers, had one hanging under my swinsuit the other day. Also there is tons of wildlife aroud here. Sometime i liek to go see the wombats and even a koala in the euclaptus trees as you ascend up hwy. 84. when i was a kid i thought there were tree snakes, adn made my mommy roll the sunroof closed. Be careful if you travel on skyline, in lahonda. Many of the residents are drunkards and drive while they are. Also try going along skyline drive-its a peacful wooded community where i live. hehe. come and find me. number 27. Nice place. No i dont live thee, udes too though. nice up there, now i live down in da hood of pv. betcha didnt know there was a power posse there with gangsta thugs. nono, its a perfect lil place. Well, if it werent so boring then maybe there wouldnt be, butcha gotta have fun right?

Customer Service

Go up alpine, to the very end where theres a turnoff for bikes and gated road thing, then go all the way to skyline, over to windyhill.When you get here go stright down making the shape of a letter in the grass, make sure to turn as much grass as you can down, so when you get to the bottom you can read what you wrote and where you went. Stay off the trails though, too many tourists.

Similar Products Used:

I reccomend going north 4 hours to fort bragg/mendocino, then going east for an hour or two. there there are beautiful redwood forects and groves. theyre not extreme, but very very peaceful and beautiful.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 12  
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