Looking for wildflowers and a view? Milagra Ridge delivers. Located off of Skyline in Pacifica, Milagra Ridge offers a sanctuary for many native species. Directly where the 1.5-mile loop trail starts, a healthy coastal scrub environment hints at what the San Francisco peninsula used to look like. Thick coyote brush, sage, and lupine shelter rodents, rabbits, coyotes, and critically endangered butterflies. Milagra is home to the mission blue and San Bruno elfin butterflies as well as the California red-legged frog. You’re not likely to see these rare animals on a walk here, but in spring you’ll find many wildflowers (paintbrush, silver lupine, clarkia, checkerbloom, and more), and there are great views any time the fog’s out.
As you ascend the gently sloped trail, watch for raptors riding the strong north-westerly winds. A few more steps up the nicely groomed path bring you to a panoramic view of the Pacific. On a clear day, you’ll see Mount Tamalpais to the north, Montara Mountain to the south, and San Francisco Bay to the east. Whether you want a short escape into nature, a hunt for wild-flowers, or a quest to find butterflies, you’ll find it at Milagra Ridge.
Getting There: From Skyline (Highway 35), follow Sharp Park Road to the west. Turn north on College Drive and continue about a quarter mile; park along the road at the Milagra Ridge gate. From Highway 1 follow Sharp Park Road east.
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Veteran environmental activist, writer, editor, publisher, educator, and coastal wetlands scientist Phyllis Faber has made countless contributions to the Bay Area environmental movement.