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A cool, shaded trail along an old road through oak and madrone forests.

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Point to Point

2,150' 655 m


1,693' 516 m


53' 16 m


461' 141 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset.


To access the Crazy Pete Road Trail, take Page Mill Road to Skyline Boulevard, and take a right, traveling past a Vista Point and parking area of Russia Ridge. Shortly after the parking lot, there is a pullout right before Crazy Pete Road, where you can pull over and park your car. The trail follows the road for about .4 of a mile as it descends into Coal Creek Open Space Preserve. There are several private residences along the road, so be on the lookout for cars driving along the road.

Around .3 miles, there is a view of a barn and the surrounding hills that is worth stopping to take a look at. Continuing straight ahead, the trail passes through a gate system and transforms from gravel to dirt as it comes to a fork, where the Coal Road Trail breaks off to the right while the Crazy Pete Road Trail continues straight ahead. There is an information board here where you can pick up maps of the area and learn about what is going on in the preserve.

The trail descends steeply at this point until it reaches .7 miles, where it begins to level off. There are some obstructed views of the South San Francisco Bay at this point, but no sweeping vistas. Shaded by the oak and madrone forest around you, this is a pleasant hike even in the middle of the day with the sun overhead. Due to the elevation difference and location in the mountains, it is also several degrees cooler than the valley below.

At around .9 miles, the Coal Road Trail breaks off to the right and climbs back to the trailhead, which makes for a nice round-trip hike. The Crazy Pete Road Trail continues straight ahead, although more level at this point. A bridge crosses a stream at 1.1 miles, which can be flowing year round. In the spring or after a major rain storm, a waterfall is visible off to the right of the trail while the water continues to make its way through a gully on the left side of the trail.

The trail wraps around the ridge and finally emerges at Alpine Road, which at this point is a dirt road used heavily by mountain bikers, especially on the weekend. From here, you can turn around and make your way back to your car retracing your steps or taking the Coal Road Trail, whose climb is less steep back to the gate you passed through. For those wanting to continue their adventure, you can hike along Alpine Road to the entrance by going to the left, of hike to the right and explore the Clouds Rest and Meadow Trail that wind through another part of the preserve.

Flora & Fauna

The forest that you hike through is a oak and madrone forest. It is cool and wet, so various mushrooms, mosses, and ferns can be found along the trail. While there aren't many fields along this trail, animals might be moving through the area in the mornings or evening. Deer, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, turkey vultures, and various types of birds have been seen in the area. Mountain lions have been seen in the area, and signs provide guidance on what to do if you encounter one during your hike.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

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  2.0 from 1 vote
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in California


4 Views Last Month
344 Since Nov 12, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Even though most of the views are obstructed, you can see Stanford and the surrounding South Bay area from parts of the trail.
Nov 13, 2016 near Ladera, CA
Around .4 miles, the road ends, and you pass through this gate system. The Coal Road Trail breaks off to the right shortly after passing through, while the Crazy Pete's Road Trail continues straight ahead.
Nov 13, 2016 near La Honda, CA
This small bridge passes over a small creek in the fall and offers views of a small waterfall on the uphill side.
Nov 13, 2016 near Ladera, CA
A view of this barn and the surrounding hills sits off to the left of the trail as you descend into the preserve. It is closed to the public.
Nov 13, 2016 near La Honda, CA
Nothing more than a trickle at this point, after a rainstorm or in the spring this small creek forms a waterfall as the water makes its way downhill.
Nov 13, 2016 near Ladera, CA
While the majority of the trail is wide, it is used by equestrians and mountain bikers, which leads to certain portions of the trail being more well worn than others.
Nov 13, 2016 near Portola…, CA



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Nov 12, 2016
David Hitchcock
Combined with the Crazy Pete's Road trail for a lollipop hike. 0.8mi

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