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Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve: 2.5-Mi Easy Dog Hike w/ 16-Acre Off-Leash Area

2.5-mile easy loop with 400 feet elevation gain. Dogs are permitted on-leash on trails, and off-leash at the 16-acre off-leash dog area.  

Everyone is welcome – even if you don’t have a dog. We will meet at the information signboard.

Street Address: 174 Edmonds Rd
Preserve entrance on Edmonds Road, Redwood CityCA 

Meeting Place: Information signboard.

Getting there: From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, exit #29/Edgewood Road. Drive about 1 mile east, then turn left onto Crestview Drive (just before the entrance to Edgewood Park). Almost immediately, turn left onto Edmonds Road. After about 0.2 mile, turn right into the signed parking lot.

Trailhead details: No entrance or parking fees. There is a vault toilet. There are two designated handicapped parking spots, and two trails are wheelchair accessible. No drinking water. Maps are available at the information signboard. There is no direct public transportation to this preserve.

Hiking time:
1 1/2 hours.

This is a small preserve; a good choice for beginners. 

Mix of shade and sun.

Trail traffic:

Trail surfaces:
Dirt trails.

Nice any time, really special in early spring.

Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:

GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
Latitude 37°28'30.22"N
Longitude 122°16'58.16"W
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)

Gas, food, and lodging:
None in the immediate area. No camping.

The Official Story:
MROSD's Pulgas page.
MROSD field office[masked]

Map Choices
• Map from MROSD (download Pulgas pdf).
 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco, by Jane Huber (yup, that's me, the creator of this website) has a simple map and a featured hike. Order this book from
• Peninsula Tales and Trails, by David Weintraub (order this book from has an overview of the preserve, descriptions of hikes, and simple maps. 
• The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book, by Tom Taber, has a simple map and preserve descriptions (order this book from 
• Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map, trail descriptions, and suggested hikes (order this book from

• View 60 photos from the featured hike (old trailhead shown)

(Text above and below quoted from Jane Huber's Bay Area Hiker Web site.)

After we meet at the information signboard, we will go from there to the edge of the parking lot, and follow the signed trail toward Polly Geraci Trail. The path accompanies a string of power lines to the left, as it traverses a gently sloping hillside. Coast live oaks, California bays, and buckeyes provide shade.  After some easy undulating, the trail bends right, passes through a narrow tree-dotted meadow, crosses a road, and meets Cordilleras Trail at a T junction. Turn left.

The trail cuts through private land, so stay on the trail (don't walk on the road).  

After 0.37 mile, at a signed junction, Cordilleras Trail continues uphill, while a gated trail heads under the trees to the right. (You can continue on the paved Cordilleras Trail to create a shorter, 1.3 mile hike.) Turn right. 

After a few feet, at 0.40 mile, Polly Geraci Trail begins on the left at a signed junction.The trail continuing straight is suitable for wheelchairs. Turn left.
The Trail Center built this segment, and it's lovely. It's a hiking-only, gently-climbing trail that is quiet and shady. In spring, look for mission bells, starflower, woodland star, mule ear sunflower, milkmaids, columbine, hound's tongue, giant trillium, Indian warrior, and fetid adder's tongue in bloom. Deer are common, especially on the eastern side of this canyon. On the way uphill, Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail heads off to the right, taking hikers on a long tour through the preserve's northern area. Continue straight on Polly Geraci Trail

Through chaparral

     Switchbacks ascend under buckeye, coast live oak, madrone, and California bay trees. In the understory, gooseberries, snowberries, and honeysuckle nestle among the ferns. Traffic noise from 280 infiltrates solitude after 0.75 mile or so. The foliage gradually shifts to chaparral near a bench at about 1.07 miles, where a small snip of the highway is visible, as well as some large newer homes on the crest across the canyon to the northeast. This section of chaparral is lovely, with tall chamise shrubs and manzanitas, giving the trail a tunnel feel. Spring flowers include zigadene, bluewitch nightshade, and sticky monkeyflower. Elderberry, yerba santa, ceanothus, pitcher sage, and toyon are also present. The trail becomes sandy, and if you look across the canyon, you can see more chaparral-coated rocky hills with small sandstone formations (unfortunately, those hills are not part of the preserve). 

View from the ridge

At 1.38 miles, the trail ends at a signed junction with Hassler Trail -- Dick Bishop Trail begins immediately across from the junction. Hassler to the right ascends to run along a CalTrans vista point (fenced) -- the other end of Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail connects to Hassler there. Turn left and head downhill.

When it's clear there's a nice panorama of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the right. To the east Mount Hamilton looms in the distance. Hassler Trail is a wide paved road, with a comfortable downhill grade. Some eucalyptus trees line the way. 

The trail splits around the off-leash dog area at 1.54 miles; it's 0.4 mile either way, but I prefer the trail to the right, for nicer views of the slopes of Edgewood Preserve across the canyon to the south. Bear right.

        Blue Oak Trail starts at a signed junction off the right side of the trail, just past the end of the dog area loop at 1.87 miles. Turn right. 

Blue Oak Trail

Blue and coast live oaks, California bay, and madrone shade the narrow hiking-only trail. Almost immediately, the other end of Sagebrush Trail feeds from the right. Indian warrior, shooting stars, and hound's tongue make a strong showing from late winter to early spring, and broom and poison oak are common. Switchbacks keep the descent a gentle one. In mid-spring you might see fairy lanterns along the trail. At 2.3 miles, Blue Oak Trail ends at the edge of the parking lot.

(Text above quoted from Jane Huber's Bay Area Hiker Web site.)

Join or login to comment.

  • Cindy A.

    Great hike! Love Pulgas and it was fun for me, Naomi and Zelda to hike with this group for the first time. Will post photos soon! :-)

    2 · October 21, 2013

  • Wendi

    The 400 feet seemed to be straight up but the road was smooth, coming down was easier as there were many flat spots--All and all 2.5 miles of fun and well-behaved pooches!

    2 · October 20, 2013

  • Philippe

    Thanks Zeta for posting this outing. The kids and I had a great time.

    2 · October 20, 2013

  • Cindy A.

    Just got up (ha--truly love to sleep in!) but we (me, my daughter and dog Zelda) live close and are planning to be there and looking forward it! Is there a cell number to call in case we arrive late?

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Something came up this afternoon, so I can't join you. Had a great time yesterday, so I'm sure it'll be good again today. Have fun!

    October 20, 2013

  • Philippe

    With the kids.

    October 19, 2013

  • Auda

    Sorry for the last minute cancel but they schedule my niece birthday party last minute on this day. Have fun.

    October 19, 2013

  • Michelle G.

    Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to make it. My physical therapist says even a 2 mile easy hike is too much for my back right now. :(

    October 17, 2013

  • Michelle G.

    Does anyone know if the off-leash dog area is fenced?

    October 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's not really fenced, but it's in the middle of the park, and there's not really anywhere for the dog to go other than into the hills. It is good to have your dog under voice command though.

      October 16, 2013

  • Michelle G.

    I've been rehabbing my back, so I'm hoping that I can do this hike.

    October 14, 2013

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