Explore SJ Hikes to Try - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Hard but worth it! Feeling accomplished and view is beautiful!

hiking
7 days ago

Great place for hiking, biking etc. Highly recommend to those who want a good hike within San Jose without commuting.

Definitely hard. No shade. Wear a cap or some sort of shades. Take water and snacks. Beautiful views from the top.

Beautiful trail. We didn’t find it physically challenging but it was a little mentally challenging for me (I’m scared of heights) as we hiked the middle section along the ridge. Beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mts and Monterey Bay. Highly recommend.

Lots of uphill, but a gorgeous trail through the forest, and very quiet on the Monday we went. Highly recommend.

Did this hike on November 11, 2018. Started the hike at 8am. It was a cold and windy day. Although it’s pretty steep from the beginning itself, make sure not to give up in the first 45 minutes. The last 0.3 miles towards the top gets exciting by making a path to the top amidst gravel incline. The view of the Bay from the top is just wow. Uphill and downhill can be done in 1.5hours each. Total time taken was 3.5 hours with a 30min rest at the top.
Do not forget to carry a liter of water and some energy snacks.

The loop is significantly different from one side to the other. The right side trail while going from the parking to the campground is safer than the other. Staying on the left side trail going from the parking to the campground will take through the Castle Rock Falls and most part of this trail is on the edge of steep slope and through narrow crevices between rocks but gives fantastic views. We used one side going to the campground and another side returning to the parking lot.

It was good hiking for a few hours to see the nice view. Relax and fresh there

hiking
25 days ago

Loved this trail that we recently hiked with kids. A bit crowded but with family it worked great and was a good work-out as well.

Beautiful view! Very manageable by non regular hiker.

I’ve done this loop dozens of times and it’s always nice. Wonderful views of the Bay! The section to the south is far less traveled. The peak can be a bit windy and/or chilly, so bring a light jacket if you plan on hanging out.

Definitely a hard trail with little shade and the sun coming down on your skin. Arrived at the entrance at 6:30 am and it was the best decision because by 8 am the sun was beaming. Beautiful views with a great feeling of accomplishment afterwards. I Recommend getting there super early no later than 7 if you want to avoid the sun and enjoy the sunrise

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of shade. Perfect for a get up and go hike. Good ups in the beginning.

Great trail for my man and small pup. Lots of beautiful sights and varying terrain.

Was a difficult hike but the views along the way is fantastic specially seeing clouds beneath you!

Gorgeous hike with great views. Some slight bouldering along the way adds some technical challenge. Bring a sun hat or some sunscreen, part of the hike is pretty sun exposed. From points you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Completed multiple times now.

A short and sweet hike that meets all the criteria when you're looking for something simple.

It is not too strenuous but has a few fun parts that'll get your heart rate up. The view isn't breathtaking, but very refreshing. It's not too crowded, nor is it desolate.

Great place for a short afternoon hiking that doesn't need too much preparation.

hiking
1 month ago

not alot of scenic views, but great shaded hike

This is a beautiful trail with scenic views. Followed the suggestion and went anti clockwise because that helped. This was almost a hard hike.


The distance shows 9.4 miles but that’s wrong. It took about 11 miles to complete. So be aware of that discrepancy. Also make sure you carry plenty of water. You will need it.

Tough but quick. Good training hike.

Fun little loop to run

This is a tough trail because it is uphill for majority of the hike. But it's a good workout due to the huge elevation change. The trail gets very crowded on weekends and has little shade. Bring water to keep hydrated. Enjoyed the hike on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Need better trail markings. No bathrooms, but porta potties.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun for hiking. 5 stars if having a great view for photos.

Per person you need 3 liters of water to do this trail.
For parking, you can do the parking at the start of the trail. I got lucky twice.
You can also park on Vineyard Avenue, this adds up a little bit more of a hike but beats going to Ohlone.

If you take Peak Meadow trail it is nicer, the trail is less wide and less people. In some spots there is shade. Basically where you see the river in the map is where you have shade and can stop for a little picnic or a break.

I usually do this trail all the way to mission peak.
Then if I am tired of lazy I do the hidden valley back
if I am in no hurry I take the peak meadow route back.
Hidden valley as others mention has no shade but is faster.

There is a stretch at horses heaven trail which is very steep, this is easy going up but is tricky going down. If you are not comfortable with steep downhill. I'd bring a walking stick or poles
and make sure your shoes can catch the track
one time I brought flat-ish shoes and that was a disaster.

Mahalo

This is an excellent hike ranging between moderate to hard depending in personal stamina. We did the complete 9.8 mile starting from North ridge, whittmore gulch, purisima Creek, Craig britton, Harkins ridge and back again North ridge.
elevation gain is good towards the last 2 miles. start early as it takes around 5-6 hours to complete

Parking at Stanford lot was not an option even at 7:30 in the morning. We used the alternate lot at Ohlone college. The hike got about 2.5 miles longer. Hardly any shade. No view either until got to the summit.
By the way, It was very crowded. Near the summit the trail was narrow you’ll have to maneuver for people resting as well as people on the opposite direction.

be patience. the view from the top is rewarding. but on the way up from horse tsil is dry and nothing so be prepared. make sure to bring water cuz there is limited shade. it's a nice training trail.

Such a beautiful trail!! I hiked it alone on a moderately busy Sunday afternoon. It was the perfect combination of ease and difficulty for me. Very straightforward to follow along the path, and when you come to a fork in the trail it is marked properly. There are a few decent sized rocks along the way to stop and hang out to take a short break.

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