Stanford Dish Loop Hike
Palo Alto, California

5th Hike: Foothill College Day Hike
Instructor: Thomas McCarthy

Friday, November 1, 2013

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: This is the fifth hike in Thomas McCarthy's Day Hike Class (PHED 23B) at Foothill College. A friend gave me a ride to today's hike at The Stanford Dish on Foothill Expressway & Stanford Avenue. Saw the instructor Tom McCarthy chatting with Ivan on Stanford Avenue around 1 pm. However, street-side parking on Stanford Avenue was all full, and we finally found a space at Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School (1711 Stanford Ave), approximately three blocks away. By the time, we got to the Stanford Dish Entrance, the class had already gone, and it's the first time I didn't sign in on the Day Hike class. The Stanford Dish Hike is a scenic 4-mile loop on steep, paved trails with great views of Stanford University and the San Francisco Bay. The instructor had told us to go to the right, down to the cattle pasture and complete the 360o course. When we asked the Park Ranger where are the cattles, he said that none were there now, and they'll be back in a few months. I recall seeing many cows when hiking here in 2000 with two friends, and even spotted a snowy egret. One class member came late and joined us on the hike. When we got near the Stanford Dish (2:27 pm), saw the instructor Tom with Robin, and waved to them as they were heading back. Some of the wildlife encountered today include a chipmunk at its burrow, a lizard and a giant black beetle on the trail, as well as a hawk soaring under a blazing sun. There were many white oaks on the loop trail, and some interesting Victorian and Italian Houses seen near the end of the trail. We finished the 4-mile loop hike at 4:25 pm in three hours. Below are 63 photos from the Stanford Dish Loop hike.

Found Parking at Nixon Elementary School

Oak Trees by Stanford Avenue

Stanford Ave & Foothill Expressway

Stanford Dish Hike Entrance

Stanford Dish Loop Trailhead

Stanford Dish Hike Signpost

Hiking Up Stanford Dish Loop

View to Left of Loop Trail

View to Right of Loop Trail

View of Hoover Tower from Trail

"Sleeping Branch" White Oak Tree

White Oak on the Hill

Vista of Palo Alto Page Mill Road

Vista of Stanford's Hoover Tower

Vista View of Distant Hills

Vista View of Stanford Dish

600 Reservoir Road: Cow Pasture Barn

Gnarly California Live Oak

Small Stanford Dish on Trail

540 Reservoir Road: Small Stanford Dish

"Monster-Shape" Dead Trunk

Hoover Tower through Dead Oak

Gnarly Old White Oak

Stanford Dish on Trail

Y-Shape Black Oak

Hikers to Stanford Dish

Almost Leafless Live Oak

400 Reservoir Rd: Stanford Dish

Moth on White Oak Leaf

Approaching Stanford Dish

Chipmunk at Burrow on Trail (1)

Stanford Dish between Two Oaks

Stanford Dish Closeup

Sunflare through Stanford Dish

White Oak on Hill

Fruits of White Oak (Quercus alba)

Expansive White Oak

Scattered Rocks by Trail

Rocks & Stanford Dish

Dark Green Tanoak (Lithocarpus)

301 Reservoir Road Signpost

"Two Battling Crocodiles" Trunks

Vista of Golf Course Hills

Sunflare and Hawk

Sunflare & Blurry Landscape

Giant Black Beetle on Trail

Young Lithe White Oak

Dead Trunk "Crying for Help"

Fruits on Buckeye Tree

Yellow Thistle (Asteraceae)

Lizard Wandering on Trail

Buckeye Tree (Aesculus glabra)

Victorian House by Trail

Cypress & Tiled Roof House (Left)

Cypress & Tiled Roof House (Center)

Cypress & Tiled Roof House (Right)

White Oak (Quercus alba)

Gerona Gate Signpost

Stanford Gate Signpost

Stanford Dish Gate Clock

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, November 1, 2013

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