The Portola Pastures Trailhead is accessed via the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail
and then taking a right onto the Meadowlark Trail
and climbing the hill. When the Meadowlark Trail
takes off to the left, the Portola Pastures Trail continues straight ahead and transforms from a wider gravel trail into a narrow, singletrack dirt trail. It winds around the hill as it begins to drop down to the road that runs along the preserve.
Unlike most of the trails in the preserve, this trail is rough due to the heavy horse use that this trail receives. Horseshoe marks are seen all along the trail, especially if it has been wet. Views of the Redtail Loop Trail
are on the right side of the trail. Wildflowers bloom along the trail in the late winter and early spring. The trail drops to below street level where it crosses a small creek via a wooden bridge and then cuts back to the right before it climbs slightly to street level. There are more wildflowers in bloom here as it approaches the road. It can be muddy along the road if there has been rain recently, causing more water to flow along the road than normal.
Once you arrive at the road, you have several options. You can head back the way you came and do further exploring in the preserve, or you can cross the road and meet up with the Redtail Loop Trail
. If you go straight on the Redtail Loop Trail
following the road, this will lead you back to the parking area.