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Monte Bello and Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserves

Date: (Sun.) Sep. 27, 2009
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Event Director: - 408.599.9709
Course Setter: Kent Ohlund
Type: B; The map got a rest last year, so hopefully it will feel a little fresher this year. Come out and enjoy! PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL COURSES!

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Note: Pre-registration is required for ALL the courses!

After letting the fields lie fallow for a year, this fall we hope for a fruitful event at Monte Bello-Skyline Ridge with the usual 7 courses, plus a Trail-O training course and a junior training camp. Parking will be at the equestrian lot at Skyline Ridge. The White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, and Trail-O courses will be on the Skyline Ridge map, while the Green, Red, and Blue courses will have a remote start on the Monte Bello map. A shuttle will take the advanced runners to the remote start.

Please note that we have a few important restrictions for this event:

  1. We are limited to 225 total participants, with 150 for the beginner courses and 75 on the advanced.
  2. Pre-registration is required for all courses. To reserve a spot, please send me an , or phone 408.728.3706 (cell) or 408.225.8138 (home), with your name and expected course. Entry fees will be collected on-site, and your name will be checked off the list. Anyone who shows up at the event without preregistering will be allowed to enter on a first-come first-served basis until we reach the limit. Once the limit is reached, we will hold back any further non-preregistered entries until 12 noon to see if any preregistered people do not show up.
  3. We must carpool, having at least two persons per car, preferably three. If you have less than two persons, please meet others at a parking lot beforehand to carpool. One option is pay parking at Foothill College for those driving up Moody Road, and another is at the Park & Ride at the SE corner of Hwy 280 and Page Mill.
  4. Please follow the usual trail etiquette rules: Give horses and hikers the right of way, and slow down to a walk when approaching horses so as not to spook them. If you are not familiar with the details please read the Trail Etiquette Brochure (
  5. Please take caution crossing over Skyline Boulevard when returning from the advanced Finish to the parking lot, and pay attention to the crossing guard.


The course statistics are as follows:

  Course     Length    Climb
  Trail-O    0.6 km     10 m
  White      1.3 km     35 m
  Yellow     1.8 km    105 m
  Orange     2.4 km    180 m
  Brown      2.7 km    200 m
  Green      3.7 km    250 m
  Red        4.8 km    390 m
  Blue       7.3 km    530 m

Note: The Green, Red, and Blue courses will be on the Monte Bello map, with a shuttle ride to a remote Start. Please allow an extra 20 minutes for the shuttle drive and walk to the remote Start area.

More information about the courses is available in the Course Setter's Notes.

Trail-O Training Course

The course is on the Skyline Ridge side of the map, along with the White, Yellow, Orange, and Brown courses. The Start is about 200 m down a road from the Start for those courses—I will mark the way with streamers.

You may start any time from 10:00 to 12:00. I recommend that you do the Trail-O first, especially if you are going out on Green, Red, or Blue.

The map is printed at 1:2500. The course has four controls, ranging in difficulty from fairly easy to fairly hard. You will be following a relatively level, well-graded trail. The course is free, and will not be officially scored—answers for each control will be posted shortly after you finish each one. I will give a short clinic on request at the Start.

More information about the Trail-O Training Series is available here.

Driving Directions

From I-280 coming from the North, in Palo Alto, take the Page Mill Rd exit (check at the Park & Ride lot for carpoolers), head west (uphill) just under 10 miles to the stop sign at Skyline Blvd. Turn left (cross traffic does not stop!). Proceed about one mile on Skyline, and turn right into the parking lot for Skyline Ridge OSP. Park in the lot to the left (the equestrian lot), after negotiating the traffic circle.

From I-280 coming from the South, take the El Monte/Moody Road Exit and proceed west up Moody Road until it intersects with Page Mill, and then follow the Page Mill directions above.

An alternate, somewhat faster route from the South Bay is to go up Highway 9 from Saratoga, and after 7.5 miles, turn right onto Skyline Blvd. Go about 5-1/2 miles to the Skyline Ridge OSP, and turn left into the parking lot.

From the north, it is prettier and less curvey to take Skyline Blvd south from the Hwy 35 exit off I-280 near San Mateo. (Hwy 35 is Skyline Blvd.) From this exit you will have about a 35-minute drive. Immediately after the exit you will have a few decision points; just keep following the signs to Skyline Blvd/Hwy 35, and soon you will be on a beautiful stretch of two-lane highway. Halfway there, at the junction with Woodside Road, you can visit the legendary Alice's Restaurant.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. (You can drag the map to center the point of interest, and zoom in to see more detail.)