Friday, September 21, 2012

Stanford Dish

View Stanford Dish - September 2012 in a larger map

  • Hiking
  • View of the Bay Area, Dumbarton Bridge
  • Wildlife - Squirrels, Lizards

More Info
  • Free admission
  • No restrooms
  • No biking
  • No dedicated parking space

I had been planning to hike the Stanford Dish for a very long time and jumped up and down merrily when a meeting invite that read “Annual Company Hike – Stanford Dish” came to my calendar. Believe it or not, I was on the fence until 30minutes before everyone stepped out to carpool to the Dish. I knew that the trail is not shaded and I did not really want to hike in the hot sun and get burnt. But, as I know “me”, I came prepared with my sunscreen lotion, cap and comfortable clothing and on the whim decided to join the group.

Stanford Dish Trail

Length: 3.5 miles; Elevation: 515 feet; Time: 1.5 hours; Difficulty: Easy

There are a few entrances to the park; we parked at the intersection of Junipero Serra Blvd and Stanford Ave. There is no dedicated parking lot, so one needs to find parking on the streets. Several streets have permit parking, so unless you want to get your car towed you do not want to park there. Parking is really a devil of a job.

Stanford Dish trailhead

The trail started with a fairly steep and continuous ascend for a while and in a few minutes we were at an elevation, looking at the beautiful Bay Area. It so happened this was the day that the Endeavor Space Shuttle was flying over the Bay Area to Los Angeles. At exactly 10.30am, we saw the space shuttle flying all the way from Redwood City to the south.

Hazy View of Endeavor Space Shuttle

After watching the space shuttle fly by, all of us in the group started together and eventually everyone got split up into smaller groups. The trail soon split into two and we took the one to the left. After the first steep ascend, the trail was so gradually ascending that I hardly noticed. I was so keen on looking around and trying to identify landmarks that I knew and taking pictures. The Dumbarton Bridge was clearly visible from the trail. I even captured a hazy view of the iconic Oracle buildings in Redwood City.

Stanford Dish

The trail is mostly barren and not rich in wildlife. However, there were lots of squirrels running around everywhere. The Dish could also be seen from several points in the trail.

After crossing the Dish, the trail gradually descended. I thought I almost reached the parking lot and thought that the hike was a cake walk. Oh boy, I was wrong. The last leg of the trail was exactly when the fun began. The trail alternately ascended and descended and made me palpitating. At the end of the hike, I thought it was a decent workout.

Last leg of the trail

  • Not a summer hike because the trail is not shaded at all 

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