This guide covers a 13 mile section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. It is a through hike that starts at the Sweeney Ridge Trailhead behind Skyline College and ends at Skyline Quarry near Hwy 92. Elevation gained is about 2400' with 2800' lost.
The Fifield-Cahill Ridge trail traverses coastal scrub and old growth douglas fir forests. The majority of the hike sports great views of the Pacific, SF Bay and the Coastal Range. Wildlife spotting should be more favorable than other parks due to less human interference and the wildflowers are stunning in spring.
This trip takes some planning in that you need to select a date that is available, get your permits, and arrange for enough vehicles to shuttle your group North to Sweeney Ridge to start the hike.
Plan this hike well in advance so you can procure a permit for your group.
Dress in layers. The ridges can be very windy and entrenched in fog while other sections have no shade and warm up quickly.
Pack a lunch for the the lunch break.
Bring plenty of water, there is none on the trail.
Toilets are located about every two miles.
Bring a camera for the views, wildflowers in the spring and the wildlife that isn't exposed to humans as much as in other parks.
Wear good shoes and socks with good padding. It's a long hike on packed gravel roads.
Bring enough cars to shuttle everyone to Skyline College and at the end take everyone back up there to get the shuttle cars. The docent will most likely ride with you.
Refer to your permit on where to meet and check the phone line a day or two before the hike for final instructions.
Available hike dates and permits are available here: http://sfwater.org/msc_main.cfm/MC_ID/20/MSC_ID/176