Hostel/Grapevine/Creek Trail Loop
ElevationAscent: 600' 183 m
Descent: -606' -185 m
High: 1,157' 353 m
Low: 551' 168 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
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“Climb the side of Elephant Mountain for beautiful views. Return along Adobe Creek with its rushing water.”— Deborah B
The Hostel Trail climbs the side of Elephant Mountain. There are some wonderful views to the north of San Francisco Bay and the surrounding towns of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and others. The packed dirt trail climbs through oak, bay, and buckeye trees, toyon and manzanita shrubs, and is mostly shady year-round. At 0.4 miles, you'll pass the junction with the Toyon Trail (a shorter return route). Several fallen trees provide a nice seat for a break or water stop. Continue on the Hostel Trail to the high point, and begin to descend the other side. The environment quickly changes to sunny chaparral and the views face south.
After 0.5 miles from the Toyon junction, you'll see the junction with the Grapevine Trail. Take the Grapevine to descend back towards Adobe Creek through a woodland of trees. After 0.4 miles of descent, you'll meet the Creek Trail. Take the direction (downhill) marked "To Hidden Villa". Continue 0.3 miles on the shady trail along Adobe Creek. In the wet months, this section of the trail can be (literally) crawling with banana slugs.
At the end of the trail you'll see two bridges where two arms of Adobe Creek join to flow downstream. Take both bridges, and continue down the large wide area called "The Promenade." This path is part of the original path of Moody Road. There are benches and picnic tables on the promenade which are nice places to stop and reflect, or eat a snack or lunch.
To return to the main farm, continue along the Promenade until you reach some brown buildings. One is the (brown) back of the White Barn, and the goat pen is here. A short hike down the main road, past the Tin Barn (sheep), will take you to the Hostel driveway where you started.
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