From the Bay
to Skyline Ridge

Award-winning Bay-to-Ridge Trail offers hiking challenge, links to nature

Missing only one major link, the long-envisioned Bay-to-Ridge Trail is nearly complete.

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Posted by sally
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Dear Stanford: Please open the cow tunnel trail to the public. It will have many users and be a great asset to the community. Not only will it complete this fantastic hiking trail, but it will also provide a safe and easy route for bicyclists and pedestrians to access the Arastradero Preserve from Palo Alto and Stanford. The public has been waiting for this link for years. Just do it already. Thank you.

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm

How long would it take for an average person to hike the entire distance from the Baylands to Skyline (assuming a detour at Stanford), or how long to do various sections?

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Posted by Dave Olson
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2008 at 8:22 am

Depending on exactly what the route was (I'm assuming more or less
up Embarcadero, through the Stanford Campus, up through Arastradero,
Foothill, over to the closed part of Alpine and up to the new
overlook at Clouds Rest Rd just across Skyline from Russian Ridge),
it's about 17-19 miles, and about 2500 to 3000 feet of total vertical

I'm not sure about "an average person", but most people who hike
8-10 miles 2-4 times a month could easily do this in 2 days walking,
and with a bit of effort, in a single day.

For somebody who doesn't hike at all, it's probably 3 to 4 days
walking, in shorter segments.

Of course, this would require a bit of street walking to get to
Stanford, and entering Foothill from Arastradero is still "forbidden"
because of the implementation of "Palo Alto residents-only" for
Foothill, but it's a pretty pleasant route from Stanford on up
to Skyline.

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Posted by Dave Olson
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2008 at 8:40 am

By the way, although the article says there is a connector between Arastradero and Foothill, it was still marked as closed the last time I was up there 3 or 4 months ago. I guess I'll have to go look again...

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Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

A link to a map of the trail would be helpful.

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Dave Olson, thanks for the information. It sounds like an interesting trek.

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Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Jul 31, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

Thanks for the suggestion, Norman. A link to the map is now attached to the story, as well as here:

Web Link

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Posted by David Sanguinetti
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm

I am the Operations Manager for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and would like to take the opportunity to clarify the route and time involved once you reach the City of Palo Alto Arastradero Preserve. Once you reach the Arastradero Parking Lot on Arastradero Road, you hike approximately 6-1/4 miles uphill to the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve Parking Lot. Be sure to take in the lovely vistas on the Open Space District's new and beautifully aligned Page Mill Trail. Once you reach the Los Trancos OSP Parking Lot, you can cross Page Mill Road onto Monte Bello Open Space Preserve and follow the Stevens Creek Nature Trail and the Skid Trail up to Skyline Boulevard (approximately 1.8 miles), where you can cross over into the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve. This will take 3-1/2 to 4 hours total hiking time at the average hiker's pace. If you have further questions regarding the Open Space Preserves, contact the District's Office (650-691-1200) or go online to

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Posted by Howard Maher
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 12, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Hi Dave, My guess about the Arastradero-Foothill connection is that the City doesn't necessarily ADVERTISE that you can hike through, but you probably can.

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Posted by Tony Pinkham
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

There is a provision for out-of-town hikers to pass through Foothills Park while hiking the Bay-to-Ridge trail. They just cannot have Foothills Park as their hike terminus/destination (start or end)--that is, they can go from Arastradero through Foothills Park to Los Trancos Open Space and points beyond. That is a long but beautiful hike.

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Are bicycles allowed on this trail? At my age, a 38 mile round trip hike is impractical, but I would love to try it on my bicycle.

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Posted by Dinesh Desai
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 7, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Last spring, a few of us walked from the Bay to the Ridge and then all the way to the ocean. We took two days and covered approximately 46 miles. An account of our trek and the description of our route is at
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Josh Kelly
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Any updates? What's going on with the stanford lawsuit? Is the cow tunnel trail built but just not open? Or still hypothetical? Also can you post a map of what the whole tail will look like when complete?

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