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A shorter trail featuring some great views.

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Point to Point

730' 223 m


656' 200 m


113' 35 m


40' 12 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly After the initial climb, great views await. There are lots of side trails up there, so there is plenty for the kids to explore.

The preserve is open from 8 am to sunset throughout the year. Hours are posted at the parking lot and can be found online. The Bowl Loop Trail is one of the seasonal trails and may be closed due to rain. Call 650-329-2423 or check online.


You can reach the Bowl Loop Trail via the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail and the Meadowlark Trail. It can also be accessed by entering gate C, although there is no parking there.

The Bowl Loop Trail climbs immediately uphill from the Meadowlark Trail. If you turn around and look behind you, views of the Stanford Dish, East Bay, South Bay, Felt Lake, and the rest of the preserve spread out before you. Being at the far end of the park, these views allow you to see the area under the protection of the preserve. The trail is narrow and dirt at this point as it climbs the hillside. Once the trail levels out at the top, there are several options for you as there are lots of side trails used by mountain bikers. The trail goes off to the right and moves around a depression (or bowl if you'll) that fills with water after rainstorms. If there has been enough water, ducks can be seen swimming in the water, especially in the spring time. If the area is dry, it's a popular area for mountain bikers to ride through as it offers steep sides to ride down and climb.

After the trail passes this depression, the trail narrows again and descends down the backside of the hill that you climbed. Wildflowers can be seen on either side of the trail and you get a view into the Foothills Park. The trail bottoms out and then climbs up the hill again passing the Bowl Loop Trail Alternative connector that leads back to where you started. Continuing straight ahead, the trail passes Bowl Loop, which breaks off to the right before finally ending at the junction with the Meadowlark Trail.

Depending on the amount of time you have, there are several options for returning to your car depending on where you parked. You can go left and take the Meadowlark Trail back toward the trail where you started, or turn to the right and explore other areas of the park, using other trails to get back to your car. It's all easy hiking from this point as most of it is level or downhill.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, turkeys, hawks, turkey vultures, and other varieties of birds can be seen in the area. Mountain lion sightings have been reported in the area, so keep an eye out.


Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes


  3.0 from 2 votes
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in California


3 Views Last Month
159 Since Mar 27, 2016



Felt Lake, Stanford Dish, and the East Bay stretch out before you from the trail.
Apr 5, 2016 near Ladera, CA
If there has been a lot of rain, ducks can be seen hanging out in the bowl.  When dry, you can see the various trails that bikers use to ride through the bowl.
Apr 5, 2016 near Ladera, CA
Bowl Loop hugs the hill on the far side of the ravine. Two mountain bikers can be seen enjoying the rolling nature of the trail.
Mar 28, 2016 near Ladera, CA
A mountain biker drops from the hill. You can see part of a Bowl Loop Trail that runs along the top of the hill.
Apr 9, 2016 near Ladera, CA
A mountain biker heads off to the Bowl Loop Trail after completing Bowl Loop.
Mar 28, 2016 near Ladera, CA
The trail can be seen as it drops down the hill and then climbs back up on the other side.  It's a narrow dirt track for a majority of the hike.
Apr 5, 2016 near Ladera, CA



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Apr 22, 2021
Maria Cristina Godoy-Asuncion