The content on this page is from William Sherrard's e-book
Hiker’s Guide to the Trails of Dixon Lake and Daley Ranch.

The Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trail is just north of the buildings on the Daley Ranch. The trail follows the east and west sides of Jack Creek, looping back to its trailhead at the southern end of the trail. The trail is 3.27 miles in length with 1.57 miles on the west side of the creek and 1.70 miles on the east side of the creek.

This presentation covers the east side of the Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trail. The hike originates at the Daley Ranch and goes east across the creek and north along the creek to the northern boundary of the Ranch.

There is an elevation gain of 184 feet between the trailhead and the highest point along the trail. This, combined with the ease of walking the trail, gives the trail an “easy” rating in terms of difficulty.
Getting to the Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trailhead involves a 1.18 mile hike on the Daley Ranch House Trail. The trailhead for the latter is at the Daley Ranch parking lot at the La Honda Drive entrance to the park.
If you are using a GPS unit on the hike be sure and set it back to 0.00 at the trailhead. All distances displayed on the slides assume your GPS unit has been set to zero at the beginning of the hike.
The GPS reading for the length of the Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trail is 3.27 miles, somewhat close to the reading of 3.40 miles shown on the trailhead sign. The trail goes east for a tenth of a mile than turns north for 1.60 miles to the fence marking the northern boundary of the ranch.
The trail is wide enough for the passage of trucks operated by the Park Rangers. This combined with the low elevation gain makes Jack Creek Meadow Loop an easy trail to hike.
Looking to the west where the trail turns northward one gets excellent views of the meadow. The meadow views continue for about 0.4 miles along the trail. Opposite the meadow views to the west are patches of flowers along the trail. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
There are some beautiful trees beside and to the west of the trail after one leaves the meadow views. The trees get water from the creek bed, allowing them to be much older and larger than trees at other points on the ranch. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
At the 0.51 odometer reading two coyotes were observed walking through the meadow. They did not seem to be in any hurry as they slowly followed each other in single file.
The foliage along the trail includes flowers, burned out trees from a fire and an occasional pretty green bush. The trail in this section is rather wide making it easy for the passage of park ranger trucks. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
At 0.84 miles from the Jack Creek Meadow Loop Trailhead stands a large stump. It stands about 10 or 15 feet high and appears to have been killed by a fire that came through this area. The top of the stump forms an interesting silhouette against the blue sky.
Beautiful trees line the trail between the 0.84 odometer reading and the 1.10 mile reading. In places the trees almost form a canopy over the trail.
At 1.10 miles a large log from a fallen tree lies to the west of the trail. It is contrasted against the green foliage in back of the log.
The foliage for the remainder of the trail contains an occasionally blooming yellow flower and a palm tree visible among the other trees along the trail. The palm tree is at the northern end of the trail. The first view of the palm tree is from a vantage point south of the trail’s end; however, a close up view can be had at the end of the trail.
At the end of the trail is the “Mafia car.” A relic from an era before the ranch became a preserve. It lies to the east of the trail. No one seems to know the origin of the car. Consequently, because of the bullet holes along the side of the car it has been given the name “The Mafia Car.” In time the car will corrode and rust giving the site back to native plants. This is more in line with the preserves mission of keeping the ranch in a more natural state.
The end of the trail is evidenced by a fence along the border of the ranch. At this point one can view the river bed for the Jack Creek and a gate across the road at the trail’s end. At this point the trail does a “U” turn and goes down the west side of Jack Creek.