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Hiking the Coyote Trail at Foothills Park

Location : Foothill Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, CA

Parking : $6

Trail type : Loop

Trail Length : 4.4 miles

Elevation Gain : 705ft

Difficulty : Moderate

Trails traversed : Coyote Trail > Panorama Trail > Bobcat Pt > Panorama Trail > Vista Hill > Chamise Trail


Foothills Nature Preserve is fast becoming one of my favorites park to hike, as almost all the trails are shaded, well-marked and hardly crowded. Coyote Trail is a beautifully well-maintained trail which starts close to the Interpretive Center, where parking is available. This park gets crowded during weekends, so come early!

The A-line building which holds the Interpretive Center.


The trail starts a little further down the Interpretive Centre, as you walk away from the parking lot. We hiked the trail on a beautiful fall morning just as the fog lifted over Boronda Lake and the sun came up above the mountains.

We passed by a numerous cob webs covered with dew drops and stunningly lit up by the morning sun.


The inclines are gradual and the views of Palo Alto and beyond at Bobcat Point and Vista Hill are stunning.


The trail is fully shaded and lined with oak trees and manzanita shrubs.


Yet another great feature of Foothills Park is the number of benches strategically placed to catch your breath or to just rest awhile and take in the view.






Overall, this is a lightly-trafficked, pet-friendly hike, perfect for a Fall morning or for a hot summers day. Bring along a picnic basket in your car to picnic at beautiful Boronda Lake after your hike.






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