Redtail Loop Trail to Arastradero Creek Trail Loop

MODERATE 189 reviews
#1 of 9 trails in

Redtail Loop Trail to Arastradero Creek Trail Loop is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Palo Alto, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.2 miles
708 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


no shade

Pearson Arastradero Preserve has 10 miles of trails and is located in Palo Alto, California. The loop trail offers great birding opportunities and the trails are used by hikers, cyclists and equestrians. Some trails are closed seasonally due to wet conditions. The preserve has 10.25 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Most of the trails (6.6 miles) are open year-round. Some trails (3.6 miles) are designated as "seasonal" and are closed at the trailhead after heavy rain (see table below). When the ground is firm enough to ride and hike on without causing erosion damage, the trails are re-opened by preserve rangers. Please be courteous to other trail users. Always yield to equestrians. Bikes must also yield to hikers. When in a group, avoid blocking the trail. Help preserve the land by staying on trails. For daily trail condition updates please check the bulletin board in the preserve parking lot, or call 650-329-2423 and ask for the for the latest trail conditions in the Pearson Arastradero Preserve.

5 months ago

My dog and I had a lovely stroll! Nice on a cold day because there are a lot of sunny spots!

6 months ago

Convenient to drive to, but a small parking lot. A nice weekend morning destination with all exposed trails for when you need some sun light. However, trails were not marked most of the time, so it was confusing to choose a way at the forks.

7 months ago

Bad trail marks, virtually all out in the open so no shade, too many animals and bikers. It should more accurately be called easy not moderate

7 months ago

Beautiful trail too enjoy quality time with your best friend 

9 months ago

Beautiful grassy hills, great for jogging, slightly hilly, must be even nicer when it is green

11 months ago

Pro, outside. Stellar bathrooms for public park. Not that crowded. Con, not all that scenic/trees and covered the entire map in two hours. There's not a lot of trail distance. Nice little pond.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Great trail!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Pretty easy

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Beautiful hike. Easy to turn it into just a 2 mile loop.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I was worried about mud after all the recent rains but the trails were very well maintained and mostly gravel. Beautiful hike'

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Very pretty views and a well-maintained trail. Really nice that I can take my dog. I went on a weekday morning and saw about 15 other people total.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lots of horse poo on the trails.
Other than that, it's a very nice hike. Pretty views from the top.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Beautiful hike especially in Winter. There are lots of trails in this area and you will see many forks along the way. Because of that we strayed from our path 2-3 times so then we tracked out path using AllTrails app.

We saw rabbits, horses and quite a few birds. There is lake too on the trail.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Tuesday, August 02, 2016


Monday, July 25, 2016

Drove to this trail to take my dog on a walk. Not many trails around San Mateo/Alameda allow dogs, so this trail looks promising. I'm a hiker who likes steep inclines and tough workouts where it's a strenuous feat to average more than three miles an hour. This trail is anything but that.

The trail starts off parallel to a road, but this does not last long as you turn Southwest onto a dirt road. A bike designed for roads could do this trail without much hassle; in fact, we saw a few bikers doing just that. This is also a perfect horseback trail to go solo on.

The only primary attraction is the lake. In the winter, I'd imagine that there are streams feeding into a clear, blue lake. However, this is summer, and the lake is entirely stagnant. The reflection appears more of a dark muddy color than the sky, due in part to the trees on the south side of the lake.

There are some great views at select locations of the trail, but not nearly enough considering that 85-90% of the loop is unguarded by trees. The only relatively moderate elevation gain comes at the switchback just past the entrance of Woodrat Trail.

This is a great trail to take toddlers and young children on, and you can shorten the loop in a variety of ways. This is a great beginner MTB trail and a nice, peaceful trot can be done with your horse. This is not, however, a hiking trail.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Good exercise, not well traveled. Pro is that dogs are allowed!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Beautiful and quiet small lake. A nice place nearby for a short relaxed hike.

mountain biking
Friday, March 11, 2016

It's an easily accessible trail, plenty if moderate climbs, great view from a few choice spots. You can cover 6 moderate miles in about an hrs time. Great weekly work out, 2mins off 280.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Very beautiful and relaxing! Lots of views of the rolling hills surrounding Portola Valley!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Wow, extremely boring and not very scenic. The parking was very crowded on the weekend. Only good if you live nearby and use this as a workout trail or if you need a beginner MTB trail.

mountain biking
Saturday, March 07, 2015

Pretty good trail to get started on mountain biking. Moderate to heavy traffic

mountain biking
Monday, November 04, 2013

Love this place but the trails are too short. Pretty nicely maintained. Nothing really technical and great for beginners. Some rolling terrains and single tracks. Lots of horse dodos but horseback riders are very nice and yield to bikers.

The climbs here are moderate but definitely no need to HAB. Good place for a quick work out. It's close by and does not require the drive up to Skyline for some fun.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Very fun trails. Bring sunscreen as the is minimal shade on the hike. The lake is pretty and I know I will be back to fish it. Quiet and relaxing. :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Love this place! Lots of great birding-- chickadees, bluebirds, wrens, swallows, kites, woodpeckers, buntings, and flycatchers. Pretty oak woodlands and rolling hills. Nice view of the pond and great sounds of chorus frogs. Sometimes large gopher snakes cross the trail too which is fun but kinda scary at first glance. Watch out for ticks and poison oak! And bring sunscreen and water. Gets hot in the hills!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A very short route that can be completed in less than one hour. Better for cyclists or runners than hikers. Most of the crowds here were cyclists. Not very interesting really but if you're local to Palo Alto this is nice and close.

There are toilet facilities by the car park at the start of the trail. Maps and information on the preserve can be found in the nearby office for free. There isn't very much parking and no street parking nearby (at least not that we saw). But parking is free.

Overall a very short and easy route. If that's your thing then this is a nice spot. For those that prefer more intense hikes give this one a miss.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

It was nice day to walk. however, too many horse pu-pu on the road. I had to see way I went to eliminat to step on them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nice easy walk. Perfect for nature lovers. Lots of various water fowel.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Perfect place to "go take a hike" and "go fly a kite," the group of us found out one breezy sunny cali day. That is dog-friendly, has dancing tall grasses, and photogenic views make it a must-do.

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