I parked near the second traffic circle, and then took a minor digression on the 0.3 paved circular loop (I think there used to be a sign at the fork but it doesn't say anything any more). The loop trail and I think the Bass Lake Trail were closed due to erosion, so I just did the southern part of the loop. I accidentally also went a chunk further south on Hotel Trail until I realized that I was definitely going south not north! Until that point there wasn't much elevation change. The views are much of a muchness throughout. Several birds of prey were circling overhead - I tried not to take it personally.
There is not much shade, so it's pretty warm in the middle of the day - take plenty of water. There's a $6 entrance fee for the park.
Last week we did the Rock N Roll Mud Run here at Joseph D Grant park. The race included some of the trails. The trails are quite the elevation gain! Be ready for lots of dust, and very few areas of shade. I think I would like to go back and do the trails as a normal hike.
Parking is $6.00
Visited the park while out of town with my band and hiked up to a location called cave rock, one of the bridges was closed so we ended up taking a longer route but it ended up being about a four mile hike. The cave rocks were extremely cool and everyone in our group had a blast. Tons of wildlife, huge grassy plains, and tons of forested sections. Excellent hike.
Participated in a race at this location over the weekend and must say I wouldn't return for a race. The trails were VERY thick with dirt. With everyone trying to run it created a huge dust cloud which made it hard to see and breathe. I think it would be an okay trail to run alone but they weren't any marking that I could see about where I was or which direction to go to get back to the parking lot. The elevation was nice which made the trail run a little harder. Although the race started early in the morning, the lack of shade cover on most of the trails coupled with no wind made it hot!
Awesome trails and easy to hike. $6 entry fee per CAR and plenty of parking and easy to find your way around. No phone reception with Verizon or AT&T carrier, so we could not track our hike. Drive carefully to the hike, the roads are narrow and curvy.Bring plenty of water and get a map. We saw squirrels, deer, and horses there.
Joseph D. Grant County Park sits in the hills east of San Jose. Although the valley and the mountains to the west are often covered in fog in the morning, the east hills are always sunny and get a lot less rain. The hills are covered with golden grass and dotted with trees so be prepared for a sunny hike, bring a hat or some sunscreen if you plan to be out long. The hike I went on took me from the lower parking lot up to the top of the ridge and then across and back down through one of the many trails that run through the park. There are many trails and if hiking up hills is not your thing, you could easily find a trail that remains fairly flat in the low lying area near the parking lot. As I hiked along I spotted deer, hawks, and lots of ground squirrels. Although I would say the hike was moderate in difficulty you really have to be ready for a tough hike thanks to the heat and the dusty conditions. Did I mention the east hills were rather dry? Even at 10 AM it was already near 80 degrees and with hardly any breeze even at the top. Also, be ready for a long uphill climb, if you head up you'll have to go 2 miles before you hit level ground again. I didn't have problems except with the heat as I went up, I just took my time and enjoyed the view as I went. The views are great, at the top you can see the valley and parts of San Jose as well as the fog hovering over Monterey Bay in the distance. A great thing about the park is that on the two occasions I've been here there has not been anyone else. Not a single soul. If you hate crowds this park is great! But don't bring your iPod and tune the world out, this is mountain lion country and although I've never heard of any attacks its better to be safe than to risk an attack because you weren't paying attention. Be safe out there!