Arastradero Preserve Loop
ElevationAscent: 626' 191 m
Descent: -618' -188 m
High: 737' 225 m
Low: 294' 90 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)
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“A nice loop in a beautiful preserve area, just a bit off the beaten path. Features a lake and quite a bit of wildlife.”— Doug Baer
This loop features some good hills and nice views. There are no traffic lights to worry about and it was not crowded at all when I went early on a weekday. My start/stop was at the parking lot on 1530 Arastradero Rd, which has drinking fountains (for you and your pet) and restrooms. Much of the trail is dirt singletrack or doubletrack, but there are some areas "paved" with gravel, and it looks like they are going through the main trails with gravel to help preserve them and/or make them more accessible.
I started with the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail and then broke off to the Wild Rye Trail to head up the hill where it met with the Paseo del Roble Trail at Arastradero Lake, where it turned into the Arastradero Creek Trail, which I followed until it met with the Woodrat Trail. That trail is aided by some nice switchbacks up another hill -- all packed dirt, so probably not a good plan after rain. I followed the path to the Meadowlark Trail and then took Woodland Star Trail and Bay Laurel Trail to the Ohlone Trail that connected me back to the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail. That got me back onto the Meadowlark Trail, which turned into the Portola Pastures Trail back out to the road (Arastradero). I crossed the road and took an abbreviated version of the Redtail Loop back to the parking area.
It sounds pretty confusing, but I took this opportunity to create the route and try to learn it. I think I can run it next time without stopping to look at the map nearly as frequently.
There is a also a great map available from the city of Palo Alto: cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/…
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Land Manager: City of Palo Alto, CA - Open Space and Preserves