I’m lucky enough to have grown up in the lovely town of Los Altos Hills, my parents were fortunate to have bought our house before the dotcom boom, but soon found our little ranch split-level surrounded by McMansions. My family have since left the area, but I still house-sit occasionally for some families that have remained in the area. While house-sitting this weekend, I decided to take one of my favorite hikes that passes through several gorgeous areas of Los Altos Hills.
Westind Community Barn and Byrne Preserve. Photo credit: Lisette
I started the hike up in Byrne Preserve (which is home to several loose horses) by Westwind Community Barn, and hiked up over the hill in the preserve and out the back on the Artemas Ginzton trail down towards Moody Road. From here I continued east on Moody, making a right on Rhus Ridge Road. About halfway up Rhus Ridge there’s a small parking lot that fits a mere 8-10 cars. Continuing passed the parking lot, I hiked about 20-30 minutes straight uphill into Rancho San Antonio and made a right on Black Mountain Trail. This part of the hike provides several great sweeping, unobstructed views of the bay. Continuing on Black Mountain, I turned right after hiking along the ridge into Hidden Villa, a non-profit nature preserve and working farm. Once in Hidden Villa, I took the Hostel Trail to the Grapevine Trail, winding down into the preserve, and then made a right on the Creek Trail. From here it’s a lovely walk along the creek into the farm, where I found a darling calf just waiting to be adored. Hidden Villa is a great little farm frequented by young local families and offers a wide variety of trails. Once I was done fawning over adorable farm creatures, I walked back out to Moody Road, hung right and returned via the Artemas Ginzton trail.
About 2.5 hours overall, this trail does have some steep elevation gains, but it worth the work for the views and variety that it delivers. For those who like their apps, try out the Easy2Hike app for Hidden Villa trails and a wide array of other parks.