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Arastradero

Arastradero in is a nice open space preserve in Palo Alto between Page Mill Road and Alpine Road. While it isn't large or technical, it can be a fun ride because it is close, short and does not involve too much climbing.

Park: Arastradero
Date: Multiple
Distance: 8.2 miles
Ride Time: 1:10
Total Ascent: 1,200 feet
Maps: Detailed official trail map
Overall Rating: 5

 

The standard starting point for a ride is at the main parking area on Arastradero Road but you can also park in the lot at the corner of Arastradero Road and Alpine Road (past the Alpine Inn) and head up John Marthens Lane.

Follow the paved trail past the visitor center and cross Arastradero Road (watch for traffic) to get into the main part of the park. The main parking lot is basically at the bottom of the park, to most trails will lead up. This is not the same steep climbs that await you at some locations but a steady easy climb that gets the blood flowing without busting a gut.

Because the park is small, you can pretty much connect the trails in any order you want and have a good ride. Some of the more interesting trails include:

  • Bowl Loop: This seems to be one of the highest points in the park. There is a small area will jumps and berms that is fun to play in at the southern end of the trail and a larger bowl at the other end after a short climb up a hill.
  • Woodrat: This is a fairly short singletrack up (or down) a hillside with about 6 switchbacks. Most of this is under the trees, so it is a bit cooler.
  • Wild Rye: A nice little singletrack near the main parking area that is not too challenging.
  • Redtail Loop: This is a loop trail up the hill behind the main parking lot. This trail has a bit more climbing than some of the others, but has corresponding downhill trails.

Arastradero's short trails and lack of huge hills make this a good place for beginners to ride. There are still plenty of hills and challenges for them to make this a fun experience that will whet their appetite for more. For more experienced riders, its location close to the freeway and Palo Alto makes it a good place for a quick ride after work or when time is limited. It is also very pretty in the spring when the grass is green and the wildflowers are in bloom.

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