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Stanford Dish Loop

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Location : Palo Alto, CA.

Parking : Free

Trail type : Loop

Trail Length : 3.7 miles

Elevation Gain : 534 ft

Difficulty : Easy

Trails traversed : Stanford dish loop trail

Post-hike pit stop suggestion : Reposado on Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA




The Stanford Dish loop trail is popular amongst Stanford students and residents of Palo Alto for a quick workout or an evening run. The trail is named after the large radio telescope placed at the top of the hill. Although the entire trail is paved, it does not provide any shade, thus making it popular during the early morning hours or before sunset.

There is no designated parking area for this trail. However, ample parking is available within a couple of blocks, along Stanford Ave. The trail entrance closes at sunset but you can exit the trail after sunset. So plan your visit accordingly.

The trail is actually a wide paved road made one-way due to Covid. Although the climb is gradual, it is steep in a few areas. AllTrails has categorized this hike as moderate, but I found it to be on the easy-moderate side. As you reach the top of the hill, the massive and impressive Stanford dish comes into full view. Take your time to admire its enormity before you head down back to the entrance.

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