Run the Stanford Dish

San Francisco The Dish

  • Activities:

    Running, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • RT Distance:

    3.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    352 Feet

Scenic

This challenging run is a quick escape if you're near the Stanford Campus. It's proximity to campus and Junipero Serra allow you to easily extend the run if you're looking for a little more distance.

If you live in the Palo Alto area and are looking for a place to hike or run, The Dish is a close, and great way to get that exercise. Located right on the corner of Stanford Ave and Junipero Serra, you'll see that small gated entrance right when you drive on by. As far as parking goes, you're left with finding parking along Stanford Avenue or the elementary school lot further down the street. Now once you've gotten all that taken care of, it's time to get your exercise on.

The Dish is entirely paved, so don't think that you'll have to bring your hiking shoes. Along this 3.3-mile stretch, there pretty much isn't any shade, so don't forget a hat and some sunscreen because the afternoon heat up here is brutal. In addition, you might want to bring a bottle of water as well, because I didn't see a water fountain until the 3 mile mark. With regards to views, it's actually not too bad. You get a nice little view of the Stanford campus, Palo Alto, and I guess of Highway 280 as well.

For those coming here to hike/walk, the difficulty level is actually pretty easy. Aside from a handful of higher inclined parts, it's a breeze. Now if you like to punish yourself like I do, then you're coming here to run the whole way. This 3.3 mile run, with the incline and declines, is definitely an endurance test. Couple that with the brutal heat without shade, and you have yourself a nice 45min to hour run. By the end of it all, your quads will scream in pain, but it is all worth it. What better way to get some cardio in, than to go for a nature run?

Pack List

  • Running shoes
  • Sun protection
  • Water
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Reviews

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I really liked here, a lot of pretty easy uphills , no cars , no bike , so , you can feeling just your body and your mind ! So peaceful ! Thanks for the tip

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Great run, approximately a 3 mile loop of a run. Pretty difficult going up hill. But worth it once you get to the top of the dish.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It's so green up here. I'd highly recommend it.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

My family and I had a wonderful time hiking the Stanford Dish. The hike itself was not too hard -- there were some steep sections, but I saw toddlers doing fine alongside their parents. Overall, I highly recommend it!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Perfect little walking or running trail. Gets a little crowded on the weekends so parking and navigating through people can get difficult but definitely worth it!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

A popular paved trail that is active and fun! It's currently closed thru Aug 16, 2015 for renovations. Just a heads ups!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

I try to run it every week.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Wear sunblock! There isn't any shade. Be on the lookout for hawks, deer, swallows, turkeys (!) and cows!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

One of my favorite runs on the Peninsula. A tough short run either way you go with the hills. It can get toasty in the sun, so bring a hat and slather on the sunscreen. No bathrooms so make sure you go before you run. Great views of the surrounding area. Definitely check it out.

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Nice hike. Great with families and not too long.

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

No dogs allowed. Bonus: sometimes you see cows!

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

A favorite memory of my time at Stanford. Also hard(ish).

almost 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

Can get wicked windy on top of the hill.

almost 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

Well i walked it :p

almost 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

I love The Dish! It's great for a run or walk. Great all year! Spring flowers and rolling golden hills in the fall. The paths are wide enough to accommodate all levels comfortably. You'll see avid runners, walkers and baby strollers.

almost 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

No bathrooms or changing areas - so plan ahead!

about 4 years ago
about 4 years ago

This is a great run! The first part of the dish is steep, so be ready for a great workout

about 4 years ago
about 4 years ago

Some challenging hills, and a tucked away water fountain make this a great run!

about 4 years ago
about 4 years ago

Jake YoungExplorer

Adventurer, Photographer, Impact Investor. I work with companies that want to have a positive impact on the world around them.

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