hiking

nature trips

walking

views

trail running

birding

mountain biking

wildlife

wild flowers

no dogs

Alum Rock Park is located in the Diablo Range foothills east of San Jose. The park offers 13 miles of hiking trails and has a little something for everyone, from flat trails that allow access to Penitencia Creek to steeper hikes that climb the ridges of the South Rim Trail and the North Rim Trail. The canyon features a visitor center, ample picnic areas with picnic tables, a playground for kids, and volleyball courts. This park is a great day trip from Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area, or the Santa Clara Valley, and downtown San Jose in the South Bay. There is a small possibility of mountain lion sightings, and you may also encounter poison oak or bobcats, but the majority of the flora and fauna are more benign. The rugged beauty of the foothills is well worth the trip.

hiking
3 days ago

The ascend was beautiful, shady and calm. Lovely hike for mornings. Park has two free parking lots and you get a spot if you are inside by 10.30am. You will have to walk a mile from the parking lot to reach the trail head.

9 days ago

A great walk on a warm day, lots of shade and plenty to see

People complaining about to this park, just a bunch of whiners. There's no resaon to post review as a 3 *** or 2 park. This is an AMAZING place to hang around with family and friends. Live to the fullest people!

Pleasant shady hike. Nice to be by the creek and then get some elevation after the switchbacks and see a great view of San Jose.

It’s a nice trail especially If you are not used to do a lot. It’s considered as moderate but l would say it’s an easy to light moderate trail. Great for families with kids who want to do more than just a walk. Nice view on the valley, 75% of the trail is under the trees canopy. You will love it during summertime .

NIce views towards the top. Steep enough to make you feel like you hiked. Don't like all the people or cars at the parking area. Just a bit too busy for me.

hiking
1 month ago

The lower parking lot was full, so I opted to drive back down to the neighborhood below. There is an upper parking lot that could work fine for a shorter hike.

The first half of the hike was a bit busy. It winds through little parks where people were having BBQ’s. I’ll probably come back and take advantage of that space, but it’s not like a quiet nature hike.

The second half along the upper rim trail was lovely. Not many people, and it hooked up along a ridge so you got some lovely views, including a view of the San Jose Valley.

I went in May and everything was blooming and beautiful.

Some of the signage could have been more clear. Ended up going a longer route and back tracking once or twice.

The trail map is wrong

Take the Penitencia Trail first and hook up to this trail up to Eagle Rock. There are beautiful meadows of mustard flowers carpeting the hills in Spring.

This is a stroller friendly stroll alongside a pretty shaded creek.

Moderate trail best visited during spring when grass in green and wild flowers are in full blossom. We parked near mineral springs area parking lot, pretty much at the end of road. This is paid parking. Once there, we crossed the bridge to get to mineral spring picinc area (towards left) and continued walking past several more picnic areas towards left. The Penetencia trail continues along the Penetencia creek on the left and at one point converts into South rim trail. This is a beautiful, shaded section almost flat until we reach switchbacks which are quite gradual. Once at the top, there are wide open views of the valley and the mountain across which has north rim trail. Until this point, the trail is almost completely shaded. We continued to walk along South rim trail until we reached a fork. We took the path towards right as they go down back. These are Sycamore switchbacks which directly overlook the parking lot and mineral springs area below. The switchbacks are fully exposed to sun with almost no shade. We felt we would have worked our muscles bit harder coming up from here instead. Once down, we just turned left to go back to the parking lot past mineral springs picnic area. We loved this area more since the the mountains were lush green with yellow wild flowers everywhere.

Beautiful place. Loved it

nature trips
3 months ago

I love the park itself more than this one trail.

Alum Rock park is one of my favorite it's the first park I started exploring on my own great to bring kids & family.It is considered A moderate hike,It offers free parking,water fountains,restrooms& playgrounds for children.Take the trail to eagle rock park where you can overlook San Jose & enjoy the sunset! For those who enjoy mountainbiking alum rock park is A great place to do that too! I always bring A new or returning friend & they love it

mountain biking
3 months ago

I'm used to mountain biking in Washington so maybe I'm a little biased, but I didn't love this as a mountain biking trail. Some great views at the top, but very little technical work required, mainly just brute leg strength. It was also a little too crowded to get any good speed up without someone being in your way. Not a bad ride, but also not great.

One of my favorite local hikes. Challenging but not overwhelming, gorgeous views of the South Bay and foothills. Parts of the trail higher up in the hills are very narrow, so be prepared to squeeze up against the hillside if a biker is headed your way (as the other side of the trail is often a steep hill or cliff down). There is very, very little shade along this hike so be prepared for the sun! I've only done it on cool and moderately warm days; I don't think I'd do it on a very hot day. I've seen multiple deer nearly every time I've done this hike.

Good uphill climb, beautiful views!

mountain biking
4 months ago

Love it up there great place to hike or mountain bike!

easy trail along the creek. signs could be better

4 months ago

Beautiful trail and managed well with a baby in the stroller and a toddler on foot. Also had my mom who uses a cane with me. Will be back!

Parked at rustic lands (free) and took the Penitencia creek trail east through the valley floor. Then we started on the north rim trailhead as indicated on this map. When you get to Eagle rock, look out for great views of circling hawks and turkey vultures. This actually ended up being a nice scenic loop because you can get back to rustic lands easily from Eagle rock (no need to backtrack to the trailhead).

Great morning hike with enough elevation to get the heart rate up. There's lots of shade but it's never too covered up. Tons of small wildlife scrabbling about.

Easy one

trail running
7 months ago

Please remember this park will be close half hour before sunset. Make sure drive your car out of the park.

It’s a nice shaded trail that follows the creek. The creek has fish and leads up to mineral springs. We saw deer and hawks along the way!

trail running
9 months ago

Super fun single track when Penitencia Creek trail turns into South Rim trail. A little too much pavement and can be crowded along Penitencia Creek trail. Some of that can be avoided by taking the North Rim trail and connecting to South Rim.

My very first hike ever back in 2009. Starts off gorgeous, then the sun kicks your ass as you trail uphill lol it's a gorgeous hike with a well-earned view. Don't bring your rookie friends in this hike if you plan on making it to the top.

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