San Francisco: Upper Wildcat Canyon Loop

Revisit the Bay Area's ranching past on this mellow but view-packed 6.4-miler across the tawny hillsides of Rancho San Antonio Preserve.
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Revisit the Bay Area's ranching past on this mellow but view-packed 6.4-miler across the tawny hillsides of Rancho San Antonio Preserve.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.6

Waypoints

Wildcat Canyon

Location: 37.3311125, -122.1158695

Views open up higher in the canyon. ©Dave Miller

HML001

Location: 37.3296013, -122.0856018

Head W

HML002

Location: 37.3291397, -122.0861969

L @ Y for brief ascent up a gully

HML003

Location: 37.32967, -122.0924988

Turn L onto PG&E Trail

Gnarled Tree

Location: 37.3296793, -122.0922661

An old, sun-bleached tree. ©Dave Miller

HML004

Location: 37.3297997, -122.1093979

R @ Y onto Upper Wildcat Canyon Trail; enter dense, damp canopy of Wildcat Canyon, where buckeyes and moss-covered bay trees frame the murmur of an unnamed creek

Tunnel

Location: 37.329867, -122.1091533

Trail enters a dense canopy. ©Dave Miller

HML005

Location: 37.33041, -122.111702

L @ Y, staying on Upper Wildcat Canyon Trail into a deep, fern understory sprinkled with berry bushes

Bridge

Location: 37.3309505, -122.1126723

Crossing over the seasonal stream in Wildcat Canyon. ©Dave Miler

HML006

Location: 37.3314964, -122.1136379

L @ Y for gradual climb

Mossy Oaks

Location: 37.3310869, -122.1156871

Moss dangles from the thick canopy. ©Dave Miller

Deer Spotting

Location: 37.3330746, -122.122736

A deer hides behind a shrub just off the trail. ©Dave Miller

HML007

Location: 37.3348389, -122.1184998

R @ Y onto wide berth of Upper High Meadow Trail, where numerous vistas open over the Los Altos Hills and bustling South Bay; on clear days, see Mt. Tamalpais to N

HML008

Location: 37.3342896, -122.1138

R @ Y, then quick R, staying with Upper High Mountain Trail by ridgetop

HML009

Location: 37.3343391, -122.1128006

L @ Y into a dense corridor lined with sagebrush and coast live oak

HML010

Location: 37.3346291, -122.1110001

L then L onto High Meadow Trail

Meadow

Location: 37.3337975, -122.1049194

The trail climbs amber hillsides. ©Dave Miller

HML011

Location: 37.3326302, -122.1036987

L then quick L again. Hike past Deer Hollow Farms, an organic enterprise

HML012

Location: 37.3327484, -122.1025009

L onto Coyote Trail, then quick R; return .7 mi. to WPT 3; retrace to car