Stanford Dish Loop Trail

MODERATE 411 reviews

Stanford Dish Loop Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Stanford, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
521 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The Stanford Dish loop is a popular route for Stanford University students as well as Silicon Valley professionals. The area is named after the large radio telescope that can not be missed. Its steep paved trail is suitable for running, walking, and hiking. Bicycles are not allowed. Opening hours vary depending on the month of the year: January 6:30 AM-5:30 PM February 6:30 AM-6 PM March 6 AM-6:30 PM April 6 AM-8 PM May 6 AM-8 PM June 6 AM-8 PM July 6 AM-8 PM August 6 AM-8 PM September 6:30 AM-7:30 PM October 6:30 AM-6:30 PM November 6:30 AM-5:30 PM December 6:30 AM-5:30 PM

hiking
1 month ago

If you're used to wooded hikes on small trails, consider this a semi-urban novelty. Panoramic views over Stanford/Palo Alto and hills, enough rolling hills to get some exercise. If you do this on a hot day, bring plenty of water as the concrete path offers little shade.

walking
1 month ago

Enjoyable morning on the trail! Loved the view along the entire hike, as well as seeing cows and turkeys! We started at the Stanford gate and leisurely did the whole loop in about and hour and 20 minutes.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail for an evening walk. Great view of Stanford Campus. Not too many trees. Well maintained.

hiking
2 months ago

I will start off by saying that this trail wasn't for me, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt.

Who this trail is for: the whole family (saw several groups of large families with children of all ages - even parents pushing strollers), track runners (solo or group), small groups looking to chit-chat while getting a bit of fresh air and exercise.

Who this trail isn't for: anyone looking for a bit of adventure, people looking to get out into nature (the paved path and tons of people kind of ruin the experience there).

The trail is rather easy, but it does have hills and areas of pretty decent incline/decline - this probably wouldn't be good for someone with bad knees. Other than that, it's pretty much all-ages. The path is wide and paved smooth. At the high points, there are pretty nice views (nothing exceptional or anything that will make you stop and say "wow", but this trail isn't really for the views). There isn't really any tree coverage, so take that into account during sunny/hot days. Also, the trail is marked "highly trafficked" for a reason - there are tons of people here.

The biggest thing this trail has going for it is location. If you're near Stanford, this is an easy place to get to that offers outdoor activity with minor exertion. There are several entrances, and while there is a decent amount of parking at them, they're often very full (as I said, lots of people).

trail running
3 months ago

A great trail for either an end of day walk or morning warm up. The cows were my personal favorite!

hiking
3 months ago

Short and sweet hike with greenery all around . Its an easy hike with not much elevation.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views of San Francisco and most of the Bay. Will be back again.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views and smoothly paved.

5 months ago

marvelous place to walk, full sun

5 months ago

If you’re looking for a paved trail this is great. Beautiful views all around and good odds of seeing wildlife (deer, snakes, birds etc.), but very heavily trafficked so not as serene as other trails in the area. It makes for a nice but gentle workout and can be done in a little over an hour. The wide road makes it perfect for going with friends or family and chatting along the way.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a nice 3.7 mile hike on pavement up and down inclines. Very busy area for walkers and runners. Parking is hard to find and no Restrooms.

6 months ago

Parking is definitely an issue here but the trail is nice and well maintained

6 months ago

It’s a fairly easy walk with a paved walkway kid and wheelchair friendly.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice for a brisk walk with friends or alone.

walking
7 months ago

The trails is easy with paved road and wheelchair accessibility. It has small elevation changes which gets your heart pumping. The valley views are simply gorgeous, especially with fall colors popping here and there. Great trail for a quick morning workout close to urban area.

7 months ago

Really beautiful views the whole hike. Nice and hilly but all on cement

7 months ago

It’s not a real hike.

8 months ago

Love, this trail. Closed to home and work. I feel safe and the view is gorgeous. First few times are the hardest after it can be done in a hour or less. Go there 3 days a week.

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely amazing. Try going later, closer to sunset.

8 months ago

Great hike and safe to go solo.

hiking
9 months ago

I go to the dish on regular basis. The pavement is great to bring a stroller along and do a kid friendly workout activity ;) There are plenty of squirls that chase each other to watch and even deers once in a while. Once you master the initial hill - the rest is pretty easy.

trail running
10 months ago

Awesome trails for hill workout.

10 months ago

Memorable!!

hiking
10 months ago

Note that there are no restrooms near this trail! It is perfectly challenging with many hills but still relaxing.

hiking
10 months ago

Note that there are no restrooms near this trail! It is perfectly challenging with many hills but still relaxing.

10 months ago

Note that there are no restrooms near this trail! It is perfectly challenging with many hills but still relaxing.

hiking
10 months ago

Very busy trail with some nice views

walking
11 months ago

Busy but nice

hiking
11 months ago

Its cool. Buildings and trees. Students aplenty. Great for people watching. Cool historic sites.

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Nice, beautiful open trails with stunning views and ground squirrels abound. Mind the hours since they lock it up dusk until dawn and avoid it in the midday during summers since there isn't a lot of shade.

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