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San Andreas Fault Trail

 3.7 (3)

A trail amongst examples of earthquake activity along the San Andreas Fault.

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Point to Point

2,105' 642 m


2,018' 615 m


78' 24 m


93' 28 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Wildlife

Family Friendly This is an easy route with information about earthquakes, making it an educational outing. The trail is well marked, and kids are fairly free to roam where they like.

The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset. No mountain biking is allowed in the preserve.


The San Andreas Fault Trail can be accessed via the Franciscan Loop Trail from the parking lot on Page Mill Road or the small pull off near the Page Mill Trail. There are several stations on the Franciscan Loop Trail that provide visitors with information about the San Andreas Fault and earthquakes in general before getting to the Fault Trail. When you reach station 4, you are on the lollipop portion of the trail which is clearly labeled Fault Trail.

From there, the trail meanders through the woods, highlighting various geological aspects of earthquakes. For example, stations show how much the earth can move by highlighting how a fence might become separated along the fault line during an earthquake. Due to the presence of springs around a fault line, there are examples of landslides that happen due the saturation of the ground.

The path zig zags across the fault line as it rises gently along the hills before descending deeper into the woods. The area is well shaded, making this a good area for hiking during the heat of the day. In the mornings and the evenings, you can encounter various forms of wildlife (deer, turkeys, woodpeckers, squirrels, etc) as they feed.

After passing station 9, where you cross the fault again, the trail begins to climb back to its origin. It's an easy climb back out of the valley from here on out. You emerge back at the bench where you broke off from the Franciscan Loop Trail. From here, you can head back to your car or follow the Franciscan Loop Trail deeper into the preserve.

Flora & Fauna

The area is well shaded with various forms of plants and trees throughout the area. Deer, turkeys, squirrels, lizards, and woodpeckers can be seen along the trail, especially in the mornings and evenings when they are feeding.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes


  3.7 from 3 votes
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1,996 Since May 29, 2016



The San Andreas Fault Trail breaks off to the left and works it's way into the woods.  The bench offers a place to rest.
Sep 24, 2016 near Los Alt…, CA
Franciscan Loop Trail.
Sep 28, 2016 near Los Alt…, CA
Old farm equipment sits rusting off to the side of the trail.
Sep 24, 2016 near Los Alt…, CA
The trail is a loop that is close to the Franciscan Loop Trail.  You can see it through the woods.
Sep 24, 2016 near Los Alt…, CA
This exhibit shows how earthquakes can move the ground by several feet.
Sep 24, 2016 near Los Alt…, CA


Current Trail Conditions

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Add Your Check-In


Jun 4, 2021
James Smith
1.4mi — 1h 00m
May 10, 2020
Duncan MacCannell
Jan 30, 2020
Valerie Norton
May 20, 2018
Jens Müller
Sep 18, 2016
David Hitchcock