Stanford Dish Loop Trail

MODERATE 424 reviews

Stanford Dish Loop Trail is a 3.8 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
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
534 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

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
8 days ago

hiked back end again to 2nd gate and back. beautiful sunset and cool. saw 2 separate deer families!
(faster than before, i think!)

hiking
8 days ago

I use this trail for exercise more than a nature hike, but it’s one of my favorites and scenery is awesome. It never disappoints.

hiking
12 days ago

up main trail to L5 on top level path, not as far as dish. gorgeous sunset, fog over san fran, city lights, foothills! closed it down.

17 days ago

Very nice trail. Moderate is very appropriate.

hiking
18 days ago

Was able to push a stroller the loop is paved

hiking
18 days ago

Was able to push a stroller the loop is paved

hiking
no shade
23 days ago

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

We saw two coyotes! Pretty cool. Good exercise. Did the loop in 1 hour and almost 10 minutes. We were faster than most other people walking the loop. On a hot summer day, I would aim for 1.5 hour.

There’s no bathroom, and don’t forget to bring water. We parked in the street 10 min walk from the entrance.

hiking
1 month ago

I accidentally dropped and lost a Garmin GPS device in the small parking area to the entrance to the Dish Trail this morning.....corner of Alpine Rd and Piers Rd. I didn't realize it until I got home. I returned to hunt for it to no avail. I suspect that someone picked it up and may be attempting to return it to me, as I believe that I taped my email address or phone # inside. If found, please give me a shout. It would be much appreciated. This occurred at approximately 07:45 this morning. 3/18/19 Thanks, Russ
jrj222333@yahoo.com
(650)454-0025

1 month ago

Paved trail with okay views and minimal tree cover...mostly a lot of grass. Easy walk and a decent amount of traffic. Parking can be difficult and they are serious about closing hours.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

recorded Stanford Dish Loop Trail

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

no parking at gate 1 and gate 2 entries. parking near gate 2 is easier.

2 months ago

casual

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

2 months ago

Amazing view and a lot of trails

hiking
4 months ago

This loop trail will take about 45 minutes to walk. There are two major inclines. Doable. Wildlife present. Parking is limited.

trail running
6 months ago

Great trail for running/ hiking since it is paved. Relatively easy hike more than moderate. Great view at the top esp during sunset. Once you get to the top it’s relatively flat. Finding a parking is pretty hard esp in the afternoon. Did saw a tarantula a few times during my hike

6 months ago

A few very steep (but short) hills otherwise a nice rolling hike. Great views, completely in the sun, so wear sunscreen & bring a hat and your water! Paved trail, well maintained, great for strollers but NO dogs allowed. Parking can be a challenge esp in the mornings-8:00am-11:00am, so be patient.

6 months ago

nice view

Nice beginner hike. Can be completed in an hr and a half.

7 months ago

Ideal time would be October-April if coming from afar. It’s green and therefore full of oxygen. Remaining months are nice too, just not green — dry and golden instead.

hiking
8 months ago

tricky parking

walking
8 months ago

"Due to Maintenance – Stanford Dish will be closed from July 28, 2018 to August 11, 2018."
check dish.stanford.edu

8 months ago

Nice paved trail for everyone. Short, some pretty steep parts but has great views of the bay. I could see the Dumbarton, San Mateo and can also make out the Bay Bridge, not to mention the outline of part of the SF city.

8 months ago

Drove to the Stanford Dish from the East Bay and found out it is closed until August 11th.

hiking
10 months 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
11 months 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
11 months ago

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

hiking
11 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).

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