Clouds Rest - Meadow Trail Loop
ElevationAscent: 520' 159 m
Descent: -518' -158 m
High: 2,337' 712 m
Low: 1,844' 562 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“A shaded loop through an oak forest with views of the San Francisco Bay Area.”— David Hitchcock
At roughly .3 miles, the trail passes through a gate system and transforms into a dirt track. In another .1 mile, the Meadow Trail continues straight ahead while the Clouds Rest Trail breaks off to the left. A small singletrack (Clouds Rest Alternate Trail) breaks off to the right and leads through the fields out to a point that overlooks the South Bay Area before descending back to the main Clouds Rest Trail. The trail descends steeply at this point, with views of private residences off to the left before passing a power tower at .8 miles and entering the woods. At this point, the trail is shaded and relatively quiet.
Emerging at the junction with the Alpine Road Trail, be on the lookout for cyclists coming down from Page Mill Road. Follow the trail to the right as it climbs gently uphill through the woods. The trail is fairly wide as it follows an old road trail, but most of the traffic follows a narrow area heavily traveled by cyclists.
Climbing gently for about half a mile, the trail finally meets up with the junction of the Meadow Trail, which breaks off to the right and climbs along the ridge. The trail narrows at this point and climbs through a forest of moss-covered trees. Mushrooms can be seen growing along the trail before it finally emerges in an area of shrubs and young trees. The canopy opens up, and the trail is eroded in places through this section of the loop.
The trail then re-enters the woods at 1.8 miles before climbing steeply for about a tenth of a mile. The trail begins to level out before emerging back at the junction with the Clouds Rest Trail. From here, follow the trail back up the road to the parking lot where you parked. Enjoy the views at the Vista Point as you catch your breath, stretch, and prepare to leave.
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Land Manager: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space