“A steep climb through the woods in the Skyline Open Space Preserve, with great views of Horseshoe Lake.”
— David Hitchcock
Views · Wildlife
Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve is open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset throughout the year. Horses are not allowed on this trail.
The trail is a double wide trail, making for easy passing and there are few obstructions, making running easy.
The parking lot for this trail is located along Skyline Boulevard close to the Christmas Tree Farm. The Sunny Jim Trail departs from the same trailhead as the Ipiwa Trail
and heads off to the left toward Horseshoe Lake. The dirt and gravel trail passes another parking area where horse trailers can be unloaded.
From here, the doublewide trail begins to climb above Horseshoe Lake, which sits off to the left of the trail. The trail climbs steeply at this point as it makes its way steadily uphill. At roughly half a mile, the trail crosses the Ipiwa Trail
. If you take this trail to the right, it leads back to your car at the parking lot.
Continuing uphill, the trail climbs into the woods. As you climb, several paths lead off to the left providing access to the Butano View Trail, which runs along the other side of the ridge. Reaching the summit at roughly 0.8 miles, the trail descends through the woods and the shade. At roughly one mile, the trail does a hairpin turn and passes an old basketball court and an area where the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District stores some of the materials to maintain the trails.
From here, the trail descends into the maintenance facility. After a few turns, the trail passes the Ipiwa Trail
again and approaches the Alpine Pond. A small side track leads to the pond while the main trail drops below the pond. It climbs back up the hill, briefly joins Alpine Pond Loop Trail
, and then climbs to the left to Alpine Road. From here, you can turn around and follow the trail back to your car, or join up with the Ipiwa Trail
and circle back to your car.
Flora & Fauna
Deer can be seen grazing at night and in the morning. Hawks can be seen flying overhead, and turkeys feeding late in the day. Lizards scamper along the trail and signs warn of rattlesnakes that can be found along the trail on warm days.