Foothills Park
View upon entering Foothills Park
View upon entering Foothills Park

Foothills Park is a 1400 acre nature preserve. It offers a retreat to a rural setting in the bustling San Francisco Bay Area.

Fifteen miles of trails provide access to three distinct habitats: chaparral, oak woodland, and grasslands.

Chaparral plant communities, found on many south-facing slopes and ridges in the park, are adapted to hot, dry conditions. Deep root systems and small, thick leaves positioned to reduce surface area exposed to the sun are adaptations these plants have developed to help conserve moisture. Chamise is the dominant plant species, along with manzanita, ceanothus, and scrub oak.

The oak woodland community is represented by coast live oak, California Buckeye, madrone, California laurel, and wicked poison oak. Common wildlife include the dusky-footed woodrat, white-footed mouse, scrub jay, and slender salamander.

      Deer Grazing
Deer grazing in Las Trampas
California's summer golden grasslands are dominated by annual species brought by early European settlers. These grasses have largely crowded out the native grasses that colored the hillsides gray-green in summer. In fact, many of today's grasslands were forests before woodcutting and livestock grazing took their toll. The grasslands are home to huge numbers of insects, rodents such as mice, gophers, and jackrabbits, and larger predators like bobcat, red-tailed hawks, owls, and coyotes.

Athletic and highly intelligent coyotes play an indispensable role in California open spaces where they are often the top predator. Coyotes keep rodent populations (mice, gophers, ground squirrels, and rabbits) in balance, helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Directions and Access to Foothills Park
Foothills Park
3300 Page Mill Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

WARNING: directions to Foothills Park provided by Google Maps, Yahoo! Driving Directions, and MapQuest, which advise taking Moody Road, are incorrect. People who have followed those directions have ended up miles from the park.

The directions below are correct. Taking Page Mill Road to the park entrance is simplest.

From Highway 101 in Palo Alto, take the Oregon Expressway Exit West. After crossing El Camino Real, Oregon Expressway becomes Page Mill Road. Continue West on Page Mill Road for approximately 5 miles to the Foothills Park entrance.

From Highway 280 in Palo Alto, take the Page Mill Road Exit West and drive approximately 2.5 miles on Page Mill Road to the Foothills Park entrance. (If coming from San Francisco, turn right onto Page Mill Road; if coming from San Jose, turn left.)

The park is open to Palo Alto residents and their accompanied guests (15 guests, 2 cars maximum), from 8 AM to sunset, every day.

Volunteers gain entry to the park, even if not residents of Palo Alto.