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A trail that descends from the Ridge Trail to the Mindego Hill Trail.

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Point to Point

2,343' 714 m


1,819' 555 m


119' 36 m


614' 187 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

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


The Charquin Trail begins where the Ridge Trail, Borel Hill, and Charquin Trail meet near the Vista Point along Skyline Boulevard. The trail descends along a gravel, doubletrack trail through a ravine. The Ridge Trail is above you to the left, while deer and turkeys can be seen feeding in the gullies along the trail on the right. At .3 miles, the Alder Spring Trail breaks off to the right and heads out toward the Hawk Ridge Trail while the Charquin Trail breaks to the left and enters the woods. The trail crosses a ravine that can be full of water if it has been raining. Cane can be found growing along the gully, indicating that there is a lot of moisture in the area. Around .7 miles, the Ancient Oaks Trail climbs to the left as the Charquin Trail descends for a little while longer until it emerges along a hillside with views off to the west of the mountains and Mindego Hill.

The trail descends until roughly 1.5 miles when the trail re-enters the woods. The trail climbs steeply for a short amount of time in a forest where ferns now dominate the landscape. As the trail leaves the drier fields, the plant life has transformed into the varieties that thrive in creek valleys or where seasonal creeks exist. The trail finally climbs up a small hill and emerges at the junction with the Mindego Hill Trail. If you go to the right, the trail leads to Mindego Hill, but is closed to mountain bikers. If you go to the left, the trail climbs back to the parking area along Alpine Road near the Audrey C. Rust Commemorative Site. From here, you can follow the Ancient Oaks Trail back to the upper parts of the preserve, and use other trails to get back to where you parked. Otherwise, follow the trail back uphill to where you parked.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes


  3.3 from 4 votes
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in California


2 Views Last Month
268 Since Jan 28, 2017
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



The Ancient Oaks Trail joins up with the Charquin Trail in the oak woods.
Jan 29, 2017 near La Honda, CA
A view from he Vista Point overlooking the Stanford Dish Area and the South Bay area.
Nov 27, 2016 near La Honda, CA
The Charquin Trail passes through the woods as it approaches the Mindego Hill Trail. Tree limbs can be found on the side of the trail, especially after storms.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA
Cane grows in this wooded ravine, where water provides nourishment for the trees and plants.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA
At this point, no mountain bikes are allowed on the trail to help protect San Francisco Garter Snakes, which can be found in the area.
Jan 14, 2017 near La Honda, CA
The trail drops to re-enter the woods after descending down the hillside.
Feb 2, 2017 near La Honda, CA



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Aug 11, 2019
Hannah S
Jan 29, 2017
David Hitchcock
Connected the Alder Springs Trail and Ancient Oaks with the .3 mile segment. Lots of water, but not terribly busy. 0.3mi
Jan 28, 2017
David Hitchcock
Hiked the whole trail, combining with the Mindego Hill, Ancient Oaks Trail Bo Gimbal, and Ridge trails for a good loop total of 6.5 miles. 1.9mi

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