Los Altos, California

Hike the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Loop

2.9 Miles Total - 600 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Brennan McDonald

This is an amazing 2-hour hike in the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve that has a beautiful creek and scenic views.

This hike is best done in the late fall, winter, and spring so that the creek is running and the hills are green. Starting at the preserve parking lot, the first half of the hike is predominantly downhill. At the main trailhead, start in the direction of the Stevens Creek Nature Trail, as told by the signs. Along the first quarter mile, you can see views of the entire preserve, with a backdrop of forested mountains. At the first trail intersection, take a right on the Stevens Creek Nature Trail that will lead downhill towards a forested canyon. Soon, you will enter an oak and bay laurel forest above a small creek. Continuing on, the creek will gradually gain in size as tributaries enlarge its flow. During the winter in calm, deep pools, you may find 4-inch California Newts, which exhibit a striking-orange underside. At multiple points on this section of trail, you will cross over the creek on bridges, allowing you to take in the beautiful riparian scene.  Then, about a mile and a half into the hike, you will begin to ascend out of the canyon. Passing through beautiful pine and oak forests, the trail will become steep at times. When you reach the trail intersection with the Canyon Trail at a small meadow, take a right, or north, towards the Page Mill Road parking lot. About a quarter mile from this intersection after a steep incline, the trail will rise above the tree-line, revealing views of the surrounding valley. The trail will gradually ascend, passing ancient oak trees and bay laurels as well as ponds and wetlands. When you come up to the trail intersection with the Stevens Creek Nature Trail, take a left (west) towards the Page Mill Road parking lot. This section of trail will take you through a grove of walnut trees and reveal spectacular views of the preserve. Continue along the trail until you reach the parking lot, your starting point. 

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Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

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