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Alpine Road

Alpine Road is a San Mateo County road that is no longer maintained and has reverted to a fire road. In several spots it is not much of a fireroad and has devolved or detoured into singletrack, but it is not very technically challenging. However, it does connect to several other nearby parks and open spaces. As a county road, it is not subject to MROSD restrictions that prohibit night riding.

Park: Alpine Road
Date: Multiple
Distance: 9.5 miles
Ride Time: 1:15
Total Ascent: 1,500 feet
Maps: Detailed official trail map
Overall Rating: 5


I typically park at the corner of Alpine Road and Willowbrook Drive. There is a small parking lot here and some on-street parking on Willowbrook. Head up the paved public section of Alpine Road to the end. The trail starts on the other side of the gate. It is pretty straight-forward as the road basically makes its way up the hill, ending at Page Mill Road. There are a couple of single track sections that avoid areas where landslides have damaged the old roadway. The road is no longer paved, so there are rain ruts and some poison oak on the sides.

Once you get to Page Mill Road, you can decide where to go. Crossing the road and turning left takes you into the Montebello OSP and Stevens Canyon trail. Turning right and riding about a mile takes you to the junction with Highway 35 (Skyline Road) and the Russian Ridge (on the right) and Saratoga Gap (on the left) open space preserves.

There are some side trails in the Coal Creek OSP that connect between Highway 35 and Alpine Road. At the northern end is Crazy Petes Road. This starts out paved and turns to dirt after a gate. This can be a nice ride (downhill mostly) to Alpine Road. Farther south and across from the base of Borel Hill and near a scenic vista point on Highway 35 is Clouds Rest trail. This also starts out paved and transitions to dirt.

Alpine Road is usally ridden in connection with other nearby open spaces. Some suggestions for rides involving Alpine Road include:

  • Start at Russian Ridge and go to the far end at Rapley Road. Come out to Highway 35 and ride south to Crazy Petes Road. Connect to Alpine Road and ride back up to Page Mill and back to Russian Ridge.
  • Ride the length of Russian Ridge and then ride north on Highway 35 to Windy Hill. This will take you back to Willowbrook Drive.
  • Follow the above route, but ride up the Meadow Trail, cross Highway 35, and ride more trails in Russian Ridge.
  • Ride the length of Alpine Road, cross over into Montebello OSP and descend White Oak and ascend Skid Road back up to Highway 35. Cross over the highway into Skyline OSP and then traverse Russian Ridge and back to Alpine Road.
  • Ride the length of Alpine Road, cross over into Montebello OSP and ascend to the top of Black Mountain via the Old Montebello Road or Belle Vista trails (see the Stevens Canyon page).
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