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Ranch Road



1.0 mile 1.6 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 278' 85 m
Descent: -2' -1 m
High: 465' 142 m
Low: 187' 57 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A paved path heading up to the Stanford Dish.

David Hitchcock

Features Views

Family Friendly The trail is paved and while a majority of it is uphill, it's not too bad.

The Stanford Dish area is closed in the evenings, and the times vary depending on the time of year. Please refer to the Stanford website (dish.stanford.edu) for hours that the trail is open.


Ranch Road starts at the gate into the Stanford Dish area. Once through the gate, the trail gently curves around through a shaded area until the trail begins to climb. The trail climbs a small hill and the Stanford Dish comes into view at the top of the trail. It levels out for a while as it passes a cattle guard, used to keep the cattle that graze in the area from escaping. From here, the trail climbs gently toward the Dish.

Take the opportunity to turn around and take in the view of the surrounding hills and the interstate as it makes its way north. Leveling out, the trail approaches the Stanford Dish and a maintenance building. The Dish is used for research, so you may get lucky and witness them repositioning the Dish as you hike by.

From here, the trail wraps around the Dish and makes a sharp left as it approaches the next cattle guard and the Stanford Dish Loop Trail. Views of the Stanford campus and the South Bay area lay before you, a reward for all the climbing that the trail has done.

Flora & Fauna

There are all types of animals that call the Stanford Dish area home. Deer, coyotes, snakes, frogs, tarantulas, squirrels, and various species of hawks can be seen while continuing along the trail or on the trail itself.

Stanford leases the land around the Dish to area farmers, so cattle may be grazing in the area as well, sometimes using the trail to get from one area to another. If you move around them and don't bother them, you'll be fine.

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Jul 22, 2018
Umar Kalim

Trail Ratings

  2.5 from 2 votes


in Redwood City


  2.5 from 2 votes
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2 Views Last Month
84 Since Mar 10, 2016



The Stanford Dish and moon at sunset.
Mar 6, 2016 near Ladera, CA
A woodpecker sits on a branch alongside the trail.  You can hear them, and catch glimpses of them, as you climb through the lower part of the trail which is more wooded due to its proximity to the creek.
Mar 6, 2016 near Ladera, CA
People enjoy the Stanford Dish Loop Trail on a sunny spring day.
Mar 6, 2016 near Ladera, CA
View from the trail of the surrounding hills as fog rolls in late in the day.
Mar 6, 2016 near Ladera, CA
The Dish is still operational today. This picture was taken before it was repositioned that day.
Mar 12, 2016 near Ladera, CA
Squirrels burrow in the ground off to the sides of the trail. You'll see them feeding on grass seeds and hear them as they chirp warnings to each other.
Mar 6, 2016 near Ladera, CA


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