The Grasslands Loop is one of the many trails, available in the Mission Trails Regional Park. Cowles Mountain is also part of the Mission Trails Regional Park. The Grasslands Loop was much less crowded than our Cowles Mountain hike (much less). There was still a good amount of people, but not as many where you were always with other hikers. The Grasslands Loop is 1.2 miles, and open to mountain bikers as well as hikers.
We parked at the Old Mission Dam parking area. You walk right past the Dam, which was neat…and yes there is water 🙂 The trail is fairly easy, mostly flat, with a slight climb in the middle. We may have wondered off the loop onto the lower part of the Oak Canyon Trail, but we were not 100% sure. The Grassland loop was not all that clearly marked, and it intersected with a few other trails. Most of it was wide and smooth, the lower part of the loop (which I think was the Oak Canyon part) was very rocky, and took much more effort to navigate.
A nice hike, not quite challenging enough, hot, and not as interesting change in landscape as some of the other hikes we have been on. My favorite part was the lower rocky part. I’m sure we will go back to the Mission Trails Regional Park to try another trail, there are plenty to choose from and it’s a much shorter drive to start our hike.
- Wear and bring sunscreen!
- Parking is plentiful, though you may have to park alongside the road, the actual parking lot at Old Mission Dam is small.
- Dogs welcome
- Bring water!
- I could see how this trail might be very muddy if it has rained recently, and it is red dirt towards the top.
If you hike, what do you look for when choosing a trail: view, distance, climb?