“Climb the side of Elephant Mountain for beautiful views. Return along Adobe Creek with its rushing water.”
— Deborah B
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Hidden Villa is open Tuesday through Sunday all year, except when it is closed in summer during Hidden Villa Summer Camps.
This hike is a loop of the Hostel Trail
, Grapevine Trail
, and Creek Trail
at Hidden Villa Farm. Hidden Villa Farm is located at 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills, CA. There is a fee for parking. Water is available at the near corner of the Educational Garden. There is no water and no facilities on the trails.
Need to Know
Hidden Villa charges $10 for parking. Pay at the entrance booth if it is open, otherwise drop your money in the can at the main kiosk. Free trail maps are available at the kiosk. Water is available at the corner of the Educational Garden, across the bark chip area from the kiosk. Bicycle parking is available in this area.
To reach the trailhead, hike along the Main Path Road towards the back of the farm, to the Hostel on your left. The trailhead is at the corner of the Main Path Road and the Hostel driveway.
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.
Flora & Fauna
Bay, oak, and buckeye trees. Manzanita and Madrone shrubs. Wild Iris and Miner's lettuce in the spring. Stellar Jays, Western Fence Lizards.