Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Joseph D Grant County Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
bugs
no shade
18 days ago

There are some beautiful views of the surrounding hills, the observatory, and all of San Jose. Fires were burning up north but I was above the smoke line on a crystal clear sunny day. You truly feel isolated and away from everything. No houses and no power lines to obstruct the views. There are a few steep ascents/descents but they are short and wouldn’t be a problem if there were only a few - but there’s a lot of them. I got a good workout! I will do this one again after the rains. It will be quite majestic when everything is green and blooming. Be sure to take the antler point spur for an amazing view of San Jose!

This combo of trails takes you throughout the park. There are some beautiful views of the surrounding hills, the observatory, and all of San Jose. Fires were burning up north but I was above the smoke line on a crystal clear sunny day. You truly feel isolated and away from everything. No houses and no power lines to obstruct the views. There are a few steep ascents/descents but they are short and wouldn’t be a problem if there were only a few - but there’s a lot of them. I got a good workout! I will do this one again after the rains. It will be quite majestic when everything is green and blooming. Be sure to take the antler point spur for an amazing view of San Jose!

Love this trail but today I saw 4 tarantulas and I happen to really hate spiders so watch out everyone. It is tarantula mating season.

This trail isn’t as spectacular as some more notable national park trails but it is beautiful in its own right. The rustling rolling golden hills that surround you give you a sense of zen with a bright blue sky as a back drop. The trail is hardly trafficked so it is very likely to not come across anyone while you’re on it, personally that is something I can appreciate. As far as difficulty, I’d say it is a bit more difficult than moderate. As someone who trail runs 10 miles, has done Whitney etc., the rolling hills on this trail really give you a good workout. The trail isn’t at all treacherous but the constant change in elevation really takes a toll after a while. Enjoy! :)

hiking
2 months ago

Good training for hills and no one else on the trail the whole time. Some areas have a weird smell from the surrounding plants and some parts of the trail are so narrow that it’s probably not good to wear shorts because sharp bushes grow right into the trail and you have to brush them. We saw a nice view of Lick Observatory on the way back.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
washed out
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
over grown
3 months ago

This was a really good trail. I started out in the morning around 9am. It was warm day. Make sure to take plenty of water. In the beginning is mostly climbing up. But wants you get to the top the views are amazing. Lick observatory is visible when reach the top Yerba buena trail. And the rest of the view is just amazing. The Dissent back is nice, some shade, is like you entered a completely different place, so the sights are enjoyable. You won’t be disappointed I’ll say that.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Really beautiful area, refreshing breeze, few hikers, and a very clearly marked trail. There's very little shade, though, so be sure to bring sunscreen. I went clockwise on the first loop and counterclockwise on the second to avoid the steep elevation. It was still challenging for me, but that really helped.

This is an absolutely wonderful trail, and I recommend it to anyone interested in a rigorous and challenging 10-mile hike. My wife and I took the trail counterclockwise and loved every step of it. The views included a beautiful panorama of rolling hillsides, the Lick Observatory, and in the farthest distance a glimpse of the South Bay. A personal highlight was seeing the remains of and learning about Joseph D. Grant's Pala Seca Cabin (a destination frequented by President Herbert Hoover after his election in 1928) on the edge of Deer Valley. This was a pleasant and unexpected treat to encounter.

Somebody suggested going up Los Huecos Trail, which is steep for 2+ miles with sections over 10% grade. Thank you! Sure beats walking down those loose rocks. Fantastic hike with all variations of terrain. Nice smooth dirt path, muddy in low areas in May, overgrown narrow path near the top, enjoyable descent on Canada de Pala and Halls Valley Trails.

I can’t really tell you about the whole loop because my friend and I went two miles and then turned around and went back. We were supposed to do the McCreery Lake trail, but it was closed due to flooding, so we did Los Huecos instead. What I CAN tell you is if you start at the parking lot and go clockwise, the trail will be all uphill for two miles after the lake. Oh, and the wildflowers were beautiful in April.

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

hiking
muddy
no shade
7 months ago

I took a short hike from the Smith Creek station on Mt. Hamilton Road, and joined Mazanita Trail from there. I highly recommend this hike, and I plan to go back for further exploration. Beautiful trail through oak woodlands, open grassy areas and ponds. Everything still green in mid-March 2019 after a winter that had both rain and snow at this elevation. Little streamlets still running near the trail at spots, especially at the lower levels of Manzanita Trail. Muddy in places, and there are signs currently saying that the trail is closed to bikes and horses - but still presumably open to hikers. You will also probably run into cattle grazing at various spots.

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

Amazing views and snow on mount Hamilton! A rare sight here in Santa Clara County

hiking
muddy
over grown
washed out
9 months ago

McCreary lake from trail head via Halls Valley Trail. Connect with Loop Trail, to reach Yerba Buena trail, and return via Yerba Buena (forms a loop, but short section missing from recording). Trail's path is not clear at McCreary Lake. We had to ford the creek/spillway to get to the west side of the lake and join Loop Trail. Parking at trail head is limited. Additional parking at Joseph D Grant Park. Access to trail head from park parking lot via hotel trail.

hiking
Mon Nov 12 2018

Beautiful train system that seems off the beaten path and not that far to drive from. Lots of ups and downs, and a scenic lake to start the hike. The scenery is diverse and nice to look at, and it really seems like you're away from anything urban. It's not spectacular, say like a redwood forest or hiking through a wooded area, but still really nice and recommended. There's tons of signs of critters from the scat on the trails and pathways in the brush, so if you go at dawn/dusk you'll likely see a bunch. I saw a juvenile coyote.

Excellent views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and an exhilarating hike through the oak forested foothills of Mt. Hamilton, home to the Lick Observatory.

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