“A trail amongst examples of earthquake activity along the San Andreas Fault.”
— David Hitchcock
Birding · Wildlife
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.