On February 22, 2021, City Council passed an ordinance further refining park visitor limits. The City Manager is now authorized to adjust the visitor limit from 300 people/120 vehicles to 650 people/260 vehicles at any one time. The following persons shall not count toward the visitor limit:
Visitors with reservations in the Towle Campground, Oak Grove Picnic Area, and Interpretive Center Meeting Room
City-sanctioned recreation and education groups (including City-run programs for summer camps, field trips, and community partner youth groups)
Group permit holders
City-sanctioned park volunteers; and
When the visitor capacity is reached, the Foothills Nature Preserve entrance will close and reopen after 1-2 hours, depending on how many people exit the park. To help with reducing vehicles lining up at the gate, staff will turn on the digital sign located on Page Mill Road and list the specific time the park will reopen. Visitors are encouraged to travel to Foothills Nature Preserve by taking Page Mill Road, so they are informed if the park entrance is closed.
These approaches and other actions are to help manage the number of visitors in the park at one time and provide a safe, enjoyable and consistent experience for parkgoers, while protecting the natural resources at Foothills. While hikers and cyclists may continue to enter Foothills, visitors should note that parking is prohibited along most streets near the Foothills entrance gate. Blocking traffic on Page Mill Road is also prohibited.
If Foothills Nature Preserve is at capacity, we encourage you to visit one of Palo Alto's other open spaces or parks or return at a later time.