The cache is on the Redtail Loop Trail in Arastradero Preserve.
The land here at Arastradero Preserve was originally settled by the Ramaytush Ohlones peoples. The Ohlones were replaced by the Spanish and then the Mexicans. In 1833 the Mexican Governor granted one square league of land (approximatey 4,438 acres) to Maximo Martinez and Jose Domingo Peralta. The grant was called Rancho de Corte de Madero, which roughly translated means "Ranch of the Valley of the Cut Wood". Peralta then sold all his rights to Martinez and others. In 1844 Martinez was granted an additional two square leagues, giving him a total of 13,316 acres for his Rancho. His land extended from Skyline to the Jasper Ridge area and from Alambique Creek to Matadero Creek. The land was used for both grazing and timber harvest. This cattle trough, although not this old, is evidence of many past decades of grazing on this land that began in the 1840's.
After Martinez' death in 1863 his descendants began selling off their inheritances but the land still continued to be used primarily for grazing. (Over closer to what is now Portola Valley wood harvesting, including the cutting down of redwoods, continued.) In 1927 the land was joined to the Ormondale Ranch, owned by the Macdonough family. They also raised livestock (sheep and cattle) as well as bred racehorses, including the world famous Ormonde (who their ranch was named after).
In 1969 a developer wanted to build over 1700 units on the land that is now Arastradero Preserve. The City of Palo Alto didn't want to see this happen so they created a progressive land-use policy to protect "open space." The developer sued, Palo Alto lost this lawsuit and was forced to purchase the land in 1975 for $7.5 million. Palo Alto, who now owned this land, created the Arastradero Preserve we now know today.
Most of the trails (including the one that this cache is on) are open year-round. However a few trails are designated as "seasonal" and are closed at the trailhead after heavy rain (see park information link below). When the ground is firm enough to ride and hike on without causing erosion damage, the trails are re-opened by preserve rangers. This preserve is open 8 a.m. to sunset and does allow (leashed) dogs. Please only cache during park hours. Preserve information (including a trail map) can be found at:
Park information, trail maps, directions
11/1/08: Congratulations to Passport11 on FTF!!