San Jose has access to a quantity of hiking trails. Paved in-city hiking trails complement the extensive number of longer dust trails outdoors metropolis limits. And whether you are in search of the best household hike in San Jose or a challenging route to test the legs, San Jose has dozens of locations to spend the day.
The spectacular Santa Cruz Mountains border the Santa Clara Valley to the west, and to the east is the Diablo Range. These mountain landscapes provide hiking trails that really feel farther from civilization than they really are. And some in-town hiking trails, like those found at Alum Rock Park, entice the same feeling of getting away.
Hiking trails meander all through many various parklands surrounding San Jose. Municipal parks, open area preserves, and state parks are all within a straightforward drive. And while attributes like canine policies and parking differ between these totally different park items, all of them reveal a pure facet of San Jose that sometimes shines beneath the nice climate of the region.
Discover extra locations to explore around the city with our record of the highest hiking trails near San Jose.
1. Eagle Rock Trail, Alum Rock Park
Eagle Rock viewpoint | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Alum Rock Park is on the northeast outskirts of town and is among the oldest municipal parks in California. It encompasses 720 acres surrounding Upper Penitencia Creek and entices hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders with approximately 13 miles of trails. About half of the paths at Alum Rock Park are reserved completely for hikers.
The path to Eagle Rock offers one of the best views within the park and is open to all non-motorized trails customers. From the parking space on Penitencia Creek Road, hikers seeking to climb the roughly 400 ft to Eagle Rock first hop on the North Rim Trail. From the japanese trailhead, it’s almost a four-mile, out-and-back trip to Eagle Rock. A shorter alternative is available from the western trailhead.
San Jose from Eagle Rock
The paved Penitencia Creek Trail additionally spans almost two miles inside Alum Rock Park, connecting each trailheads of the North Rim Trail. This well-liked pathway also connects with other hiking-only trails in the space like Inspiration Point Loop. Going past park boundaries, Penitencia Creek Trail extends three miles east from Alum Rock Park to Coyote Creek.
Address: 5341 Sierra Road, San Jose, California
2. Wildcat Loop Trail, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
Wildcat Loop Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Rancho San Antonio is considered one of the most popular open space preserves in the South Bay and is a 20-minute drive from downtown. The open area protect and adjacent county park has over 24 miles of multi-use trails out there for hikers, bikers, and horse riders.
The approximately three-mile Wildcat Loop Trail is an effective entry point into the expansive public house. The trail begins by navigating lower than a mile to the family-friendly Deer Hollow Farm, where a restroom facility is out there. The precise Wildcat Loop starts simply after the farm by traversing a scenic creek with little elevation achieve.
Wildcat Loop Trail
A slight climb on the Wildcat Loop Trail presents some big views atop a ridgeline, as properly as a shocking show of wildflowers within the spring. The trail connects with the Rogue Valley Trail before heading back right down to Deer Hollow Farm.
Numerous different hiking trails connect to the Wildcat Loop, together with the extra strenuous Stephen E. Abbors Trail, previously generally known as the PG&E Trail. The most strenuous hiking trail at the protect, the Black Mountain Trail, is an eight-mile round journey from the closest trailhead.
Address: Cristo Rey Drive, Cupertino, California
Official site: /preserves/rancho-san-antonio
3. Coyote Peak, Santa Teresa County Park
Hiking trail at Santa Teresa County Park
Santa Teresa County Park is a 20-minute drive south of downtown and offers a simple escape into nature with eighteen miles of hiking trails. Multiple completely different routes and loops could be created to succeed in the top of the 1,155-foot Coyote Peak inside Santa Teresa County Park, and all of them involve climbing. A widespread method is to begin at the Pueblo Day Use Area and traverse the steep Rocky Ridge Trail to attach with the Coyote Peak Trail.
After following the Coyote Peak Trail and summit spur trail, hikers can hop on the Hidden Spring Trail to make a loop back to the parking space. It’s approximately a four-mile round trip in this fashion, with over 750 ft of elevation acquire alongside the way. Longer loops may be created by using the nearby Ridge Trail or Ohlone Trail. Water is available on the Pueblo Day Use Area.
Address: Bernal Road, San Jose, California
4. English Camp and Deep Gulch Trail, Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Old sheet barn utilized in Mercury Mining at Almaden Quicksilver County Park
In the high hills above the southern suburbs of San Jose, this 4,000-plus-acre park has over 35 miles of hiking trails and a long historical past with mining. This space was as quickly as residence to some of the productive mercury mines in California, and home to 1000’s of miners and their families. Remnants of these operations stay all through the park at present.
The park has three entrances, including the Hacienda Entrance, where hikers pick up the English Camp and Deep Gulch Trails. English Camp Trail and Deep Gulch Trail parallel each other with a mild slope and both traverse just over a mile to reach a outstanding junction in the park’s community of hiking trails.
The remnants of an English Camp are explored at this junction, the place different trails just like the Castillero Trail and the Mine Hill Trail also converge. Historical remnants line all these trails in the central area of the park and combine to make the Quicksilver History Trail with numerous looped options available.
On-leash pets are welcome on all trails at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. No reliable water facilities are available.
Address: Almaden Road, San Jose, California
5. Hunters Point, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
Just exterior of Saratoga and southwest of San Jose, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve is accessible from downtown in 25 minutes by car. Fourteen miles of trails navigate the undulating low hills of the preserve, including a scenic trail up to Hunters Point.
From the Prospect Road entrance of the preserve, hikers start on the Cora Older Trail to achieve Hunters Point and continue on the Hayfield Trail for the quickest route to the top. This route is approximately a mile-and-a-half spherical trip and climbs less than 500 feet. At the highest is a wonderful view of the Santa Clara Valley.
With a more moderate climb from the Prospect Road trailhead, an even greater vantage level can be experienced at Maisie’s Peak. Another popular trail on the preserve is the Coyote Ridge Trail which connects to the adjoining Stevens Creek County Park.
Official site: /preserves/fremont-older
6. Deer Hollow Farm Loop Trail, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
Deer Hollow Farm | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
With over 25 miles of trails, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is a spot to go the distance with a giant hike. But it’s also residence to one of the most in style household hikes in Santa Clara County. And the less-than-a-mile journey to the preserve’s open-to-the-public farm provides all forms of enjoyable with a brief day hike
From the main parking areas at Rancho San Antonio Open Space, households venture on either the paved Lower Meadows Trail or single-track Coyote Trail to achieve the farm.
The Lower Meadows Trail is far flatter and accessible for strollers, scooters, and other wheeled transportation. Families typically make a loop out of the two trails, totaling less than a two-mile spherical journey.
Plan to spend a while at the farm upon arriving. Century-old barnyard buildings entice exploration, and livestock like sheep, goats, and chickens catch the attention. Picnic tables are also readily ample at the farm for a packed lunch outdoors.
7. Sequoia Trail, Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Sempervirens Falls on the Sequoia Trail
Big Basin Redwoods is the oldest state park in California and is situated underneath forty miles southwest of San Jose. The whole park encompasses dramatic ocean views, tumbling waterfalls, and ancient groves of coastal redwood trees, some over 300 feet tall.
Big Basin Redwoods can be house to nearly eighty miles of hiking trails. The half-mile interpretive Redwood Trail is a must-do hike at Big Basin, where hikers encounter the Mother and Father of the Forest and some of the biggest timber within the park.
For a barely extra strenuous hike surrounded by redwoods, the Sequoia Trail provides a four-mile loop that utilizes the Skyline to the Sea Trail. The trail has very minimal elevation achieve and the 20-foot Sempervirens Falls is an efficient hangout spot roughly halfway along the trail.
For a more challenging hike in the same area, the 10.5-mile Berry Creek Falls Trail showcases four different tumbling waterfalls.
The 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire tore via Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Much of the parkland remains closed throughout 2022. Small sections of the state park have since reopened, completely along the western coastal area. The state park maintains up-to-date info regarding the rehabilitation of the panorama.
Address: Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, California
Official site: /?page_id=540
8. Peak Trail, Mission Peak Open Space Preserve
Sunrise on Mission Peak
Mission and Monument Peaks are north of town near Fremont and are a defining function of the South Bay skyline. Surrounded by 3,000 acres of parkland, the strenuous path to the top of the two,517-foot Mission Peak offers a rewarding aim. Starting from the Ohlone College Parking Area, it’s a three-mile uphill effort to the highest of Mission Peak, however the 360-degree views of surrounding mountain ranges are well value the effort.
It’s simply over a six-mile loop to get back to Ohlone College from the highest of Mission Peak, and no water facilities exist alongside the trail. Summer temperatures and uncovered areas of Mission Peak Open Space Preserve have prevented hikers from making it to the top. During hotter times of the year, the morning is one of the best time to aim a summit of Mission Peak.
Official site: /parks/mission/default.htm
9. Aquila Loop Trail, Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
Beautiful view from the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
In the foothills above Alum Rock Park, lower than eight miles from downtown, Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve presents an easy escape from the South Bay. It encompasses over 1,600 acres of woodlands, grasslands, and rolling topography.
The Aquila Loop Trail is an efficient first place to begin exploring the park. With minimal elevation gain, this 1.2-mile, family-friendly loop meanders by way of grasslands and has great views the complete method.
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve is also house to more challenging hikes, like the five-plus mile Boccardo Loop Trail on the west aspect of the park. On the east side, linked by the Sierra Vista Trail, hikers can go the gap and explore locations just like the Upper and Lower Calaveras Fault.
Ambitious day hikers can even connect Sierra Vista Open Space trails with the adjacent Alum Rock Park for a big out-and-back hike.
Address: 5341 Sierra Road, San Jose, California
Official Site: /visitors/preserves/sierra.html#about
10. Mount Umunhum Trail, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve
Sunset from the Mount Umunhum summit
Abutting Almaden Quicksilver County Park on the south aspect of town, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve encompasses one of many highest peaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. At three,486 ft in elevation, Mount Umunhum offers a defining view of the South Bay and entices hikers with a reasonable climb to the top. A steep and slim paved street accesses a parking space at the high of the summit, but one of the best ways to earn the views is along the three.4-mile Mount Umunhum Trail.
Beginning at the Bald Mountain Parking Area, the Mount Umunhum Trail positive aspects simply over a thousand feet on its approach to the summit. Beautiful views solely get bigger as you make your way up the trail, and on clear days, hikers see so far as the Monterey Peninsula.
Significant cultural sights are additionally found at the summit of Mount Umunhum, including a dedicated Ceremonial Space that honors the indigenous peoples whose cultures are tied to the region.
Official website: /preserves/sierra-azul
11. Lisa Killough Trail, Calero County Park
Lisa Killough Trail
Calero County Park is on the southeast edge of town and is residence to the popular Calero Reservoir. It’s a hot spot for motorized and non-motorized boating and likewise has almost 19 miles of trails spanning its “backcountry” region.
Starting from the Rancho San Vicente Entrance within the parks northwest nook, the five-mile Lisa Killough Trail is an efficient way to get into the guts of this wilderness area. With less than 750 toes of ascent, and an optional stop at Lisa’s Lookout picnic space, this point-to-point hike finishes at a junction with the Cottle Trail and an overlook of the Calero Reservoir.
Hikers can travel much deeper into Calero County Park from right here, with immediate access to the Serpentine Loop. Hikers can even take the Cottle Trail again alongside the banks of the reservoir for an roughly eight-mile loop.
Address: McKean Road, San Jose, California
12. Seven Springs Loop, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve
Seven Springs Loop Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
The Seven Springs Trail is another well-liked path to explore in Fremont Older Open Space on the southwest side of town. The trail itself is less than two miles long, with lower than 500 ft of elevation achieve, but additional hiking is required to succeed in the start of the trail. From the frequent parking area of Prospect Road, it’s nearer to a three-mile round journey.
Generous views of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley are offered alongside the route because it dips up and down all through the foothills. Bicyclists and hikers share the trail, which could be busy on the weekends. The Seven Springs Loop has some shade along the means in which, however summer season temperatures nonetheless make it a sizzling hike. No water is out there.
Seven Springs Trail can also be well-liked because of its many alternatives for aspect adventures. The protect’s most popular hiking destination, Hunter’s Point, is accessible with a short detour from the Seven Springs Trail. And in the identical space, Rainbow Knoll presents one other long-distance view nearby.
thirteen. Coyote Hills Regional Park
Bayview Trail, Coyote Hills Regional Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Coyote Hills is along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in Fremont. It contains over 1,200 acres of grassy hills and variable wetlands. Visitors from San Jose reach this sprawling parkland and wildlife habitat with approximately a half-hour drive on Interstate-880.
The Bayview Trail is probably certainly one of the major pedestrian thoroughfares throughout the park. It’s a paved 3.5-mile loop that circles a lot of the property with a reasonably flat grade. The Bayview Trail additionally connects to a number of different routes in the Coyote Hills for all sorts of adventures. The trail begins exterior of park gates, on the turnoff from Paseo Padre Parkway.
The popular Alameda Creek Trail additionally runs along the north facet of the park. This 12-mile multi-use trail connects Fremont to the San Francisco Bay. It’s less than a mile west to the Bay from Coyote Hills. Heading east, other notable natural areas include Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area, approximately 5 miles away.
14. Coyote Creek Trail, Hellyer County Park
Coyote Creek Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
When fully completed, the Coyote Creek Trail will ultimately join the San Francisco Bay to the southern finish of San Jose. Currently, a 15-mile paved portion of the route extends south from Hellyer County Park to Anderson Lake County Park.
The paved trail is popular with hikers and bicyclists and passes by quite a few park attractions in Hellyer, including an Olympic size velodrome and the scenic Cottonwood Lake.
The Coyote Creek Trail also extends north from Hellyer County Park and passes by way of the Los Lagos Golf Course.
Address: 985 Hellyer Avenue, San Jose, California
15. Los Gatos Creek Trail
Los Gatos Creek Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
Spanning for 10 miles between town of Los Gatos and San Jose, this paved pedestrian path is nicely utilized by hikers, bikers, and anyone looking to get outdoors. Alongside forested corridors and scenic wooden bridges, the Los Gatos Creek Trail also passes by way of well-liked out of doors places like Vasona County Park and Los Gatos Creek County Park.
Los Gatos Creek Trail
Networks of filth hiking trails branch away from the paved path in these public green areas. Numerous access factors and public restrooms additionally line the trail.
16. Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail
Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
The Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is a popular backpacking route within the Santa Cruz Mountains. It spans 30 miles from Castle Rock State Park to Waddell Beach in Big Basin and is normally traversed over three days of hiking. Reservations are required to use the backcountry campsites.
Backpackers from San Jose may be at the Castle Rock Trailhead in lower than an hour.
The 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire compromised a lot of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail. As of 2022, Waddell Beach is among the few places in the park open to guests. The remainder of the trail throughout Big Basin and beyond is at present closed.
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