OverviewBorel Hill is a minor peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, near Portola Valley and Palo Alto, California. Borel Hill is a popular destination in the spring when it is covered in wildflowers, primarily poppies and lupine. In the winter, Borel Hill frequently sees snow, a fact that sometimes takes those who live closer to the San Francisco Bay by surprise.
Getting ThereTake Interstate 280 and exit at Woodside Road (CA-84). Go west on Woodside Road (CA-84). Bear right on La Honda (still CA-84). Turn left on Skyline Boulevard (CA-35). Go about 8 miles to Cloud's Rest Road. Just before Cloud's Rest Road on your left is a parking lot. Park here. Walk along Skyline Boulevard until you reach the park entrance for Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. The summit of Borel Hill is only half a mile away from the park entrance. Once in the park, follow the sign towards the Bay Ridge Trail. After about 20' on the Bay Ridge Trail, an unmarked trail goes off to the left. Take this trail to the summit of Borel Hill.
Red TapeRussian Ridge Open Space Preserve is open from 8am to half an hour after sunset. No dogs are allowed. Horses and bikes are allowed on nearly all trails in Russian Ridge, except for a few trails which are clearly marked "no bikes" with a wooden sign. (These trails are not on the map).
CampingCamping is not allowed in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, and as Borel Hill is only 0.5 miles away from the park entrance, this peak can definitely be obtained in a day trip.
External LinksMap of Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve (includes Borel Hill)
Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve web site