Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail

MODERATE 117 reviews

Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Palo Alto, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

6.5 miles
1,354 feet



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


no dogs

- Wear layers -The wildflowers are usually at their peak in late March/early April -Large portions of the track are entirely exposed; on a sunny day it can get very hot - On the descent along the ridge, check out the views of Stanford University's Hoover Tower 7.5 miles to the north, and Moffett Field 9 miles northeast -Bikes and horses are allowed during certain seasons, please see signs for up to date information.

16 days ago

I like this trail except way too many bicycles and loud talkers (both hikers and bikers). Not a great place to go if you want solitude. Even with the smoke in the air, it didn't keep people away.

I enjoyed the variety of trails on this loop. I was huffing and puffing a bit on the way up to the top of Black Mountain. I wished there hadn't been so much smoke in the air as there was very little to see at the top. It did make me pause and be grateful for areas that are still alive with vegetation and not burned.

This area fooled me into thinking it would be cooler than the east bay. WRONG! It was a warm hike towards the end. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a good sun hat as a lot of the trail after mid way is exposed. I went through almost 2.5L of water on the hike today.

This is a bit of a drive to get to for me, so I'll probably not do it again. If I do, I will do it in the fall/winter/spring when there is no smoke in the air and the land is green.

2 months ago

glad this was preserved. open land pretty close to the road but still deer, rabbits and other wildlife. even a small 4 site campground. A nice bit of Nature so close to the urban area.

5 months ago

Gorgeous variation in ecosystems and a touch climb up Black Mountain. Great workout and the perfect length for a morning or afternoon hike!

7 months ago

Enjoyed this hike.

10 months ago

great views

10 months ago

Trail was nice. But, you must know the is no such trail as the Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail. What All Trails calls the Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail, is really a mix of 6 or 7 trails pieced together. It breaks down as such.

first you start on the White Oak Trail this leads you to the Skid Road Trail then to Stevens Creek Nature Trail then to Canyon Trail then to Indian Creek Trail. here you break off and go to Black Mountain. Sit here have lunch and enjoys the views. The hard part of the hike is over. Turn around head down towards Old Rach Trail then to Bella Vista Trail then to Canyon Trail then to stating / ending parking lot. That's to loop.... would be better if All Trails actually listed these things properly.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The trail was great but it was so poorly marked that my fellow hiker and I ended up going 4 miles in the wrong direction and it went from a short planned 3 mile hike to a total of 7 miles really quick! The nature and wildlife is a 10/10, beautiful stream that runs through the trail, a bonanza of butterflies and lizards but it's hard to enjoy it when you can get lost so easily! Not for beginning hikers at all. Definitely need to be an experienced hiker for this one.

mountain biking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Done on a very hot day. Still love it. Although I admit I walked part of the climbing to Black Mountain (The Indian trail).
Very nice and great views. I'll defenatelty come back.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Beautiful rolling hills with views from Santa Cruz to the Bay. Best time to go is in the spring when the wild flowers are blooming or in the Fall were you can see a lot of wildlife (deer, quail, turkey, etc)

Other Activities: Hiking, backpacking, mountain biking

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Great views, beautiful oak trees, lots of running little streams along the way, and deer around every corner. Loved the hike!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Such a pretty hike. Mixed use. The assents were rough for me a part of the trail had washed away but this was clearly marked. Unbeatable views.

trail running
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Very Nice. A lot of water after the rains. A bit muddy but not something an average runner cannot handle. Its unfortunate that it closed for bikes at this season.

trail running
Monday, December 12, 2016

Trail is closed to horses and bikes at that time of the season - that makes it a nice and quiet run ! A little slippery after yesterday's rain though. Great trail!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Nice hike post turkey coma. Clear marked and great views of SF the day we went

Thursday, November 10, 2016

First hike since we moved here a few weeks ago. Fab walk, wonderful natural walk.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Fantastic. This hike really gives you the feeling of being far far away from the bay area. The vista west from black mountain is well worth the climb.

mountain biking
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Beautiful view many trails for biking

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gorgeous views! Bring a lot of water since it can get hot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Great trail for a day hike on the weekend. Plenty of shaded and open space parts of the trail and beautiful views along the way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Great trail for morning to day hike! It gets quite hot later on in the day so be warey! There are some paths that have shade. This one splits into multiple other trails which is really cool! Many of those are dead-ends which is perfect because you get to venture into an area where the view may be amazing!

This can be a bit challenging if you take the sky-something trail portion. As near the end it will be deathly incline! Going to black mountain point and back was simple.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Nice trail for a day hike. There isn't much shade on the way up, but plenty on the way down. No drinkable water so bring plenty on a hot day. I have asthma and did this trail easily, but it would be difficult for someone with mobility restrictions. At the top there is a backpacker camp if you have made reservations, and some really beautiful views. Lots of mountain bikers and a few other hikers.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Go early. Not a lot of shade

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Solid hike 90 minutes at a March. Keep your phone on for pics of wildlife and great views Lots of deer , turkey, birds and reptiles Very well maintained trail and only saw 3 people from 5:30 to 7 on a Friday afternoon. Drive up to it from Palo Alto is a bit precarious on a windy road so take that light Have fun

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sold hike 90 minutes at a March

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Again, there are NO DOGS signs all over the place. The "dog on leash" rule mentioned in another review applies to specific places in the map NOT including this.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lots of windflowers. A not-insignificant number of hills. Beautiful.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Great trail, incline, path, nature and distance. Dogs are allowed on leash. You just need to read the sign and not the sign logos. We took both dogs and did about a 5 mile loop. Great pace and plenty of nature.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Perfect sanctuary minutes outside the congested suburbs.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Still some green to see on the second half but definitely getting brown. So many newts in Stevens Creek- saw at least 20.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Great views, easy to hike loop trail. Highly recommend! :)

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