hiking

trail running

dogs on leash

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views

wild flowers

wildlife

nature trips

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lake

birding

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.

awesome views and decent hike

Mid level trail. Not too steep. Clean bathroom available at the beginning of the trail.

Beautiful views!

My new favorite trail!

trail running
3 months ago

Gates are locked at sunset!

Super dusty but not an issue for a solo person. Anti-clockwise worked well for me as I like to walk the steeper uphills. More shade on the final leg of the counter-clockwise loop but not by much.
Observed: two tarantula

easy trail to folloe. there is no water or anyplace to sit after you get past the lake so plan accordingly. I did not and it was painful

Was not a big fan of this trail. For a place that we have to pay to get in expected the trails to be more walkable

The views are nice on this trail, but not a lot of shade on the first few miles. Deer Valley was well worth the trip. check out the reader board at Pala Seca Cabin.

This turned out to be a nice weekend day hike. I parked across the highway at the Grant Lake parking lot so I wouldn't have to pay the park entry fee. The start of the trail is a bit hard to find, so pre-load the map and keep it handy. The scenery is a mix of oak woods, cow pastures, and rolling hills.

This looked like a nice day hike, so I attempted it in the CCW direction. The Yerba Buena Trail narrows down to single track, and I found myself dodging poison oak growing out over the trail. It soon became so thick that I gave up and turned around. I then went up the north side of the loop (Halls Valley Trail), which is a nice wide road/trail. The views were fantastic in April, with green hills and oaks, and a peek through the other side of the basin to Silicon Valley at the top. I came down the Los Huecos Trail, which was wide but very steep.

TLDR: Halls Valley Trail is great. Yerba Buana Trail is overgrown with poison oak and impassable. Los Huecos Trail is very steep.

I love this park. Its pushed back from the santa clara valley so you feel like you are in the wilderness. Few people are ever on the trail. Most of the trails are fire roads making it easy terrain to hike. The park is big enough to get in 15 miles and 3000ft or more of gain. A great place to train for the bigger summits in the summer.

trail running
10 months ago

If you don‘t like steep, make sure you do the loops clockwise, not counter-clockwise. Great views of Santa Clara Valley at mid-point.

beautiful today was an overcast winter day. Nice cause this is pretty exposed. We saw no one on the trail. We did see either a bobcat or mountain lion, not sure, too far away and too quick. We saw baby wild boar. We saw lots of wild turkeys. I think this trail would be easier if traveled in the reverse (clockwise) direction, then the uphill would be more gradual.

hiking
Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cattle can be out in more than one section. I walked about 2 miles sometimes really close to anxious cows and it didn't feel good. I can't imagine dogs would help such a situation, leash or not.
I started from twin gates trailhead (no water, but there's a porta potty), that way it's a loop without repetition (don't have to go back to the main parking lot) and a bit less than 23 miles.
Pretty good hike, mostly serious up and down, level is less than half.

hiking
Sunday, November 05, 2017

Beautiful hike. First 4 miles pretty steep but not too hard. Great views over the valley and Mount Hamilton.

hiking
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Forgotten trail from a ways back

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

A peaceful and easy-to-moderate trail. The view is not as beautiful as Alum Rock in this season. But it is good option if you want to enjoy the trail only yourself.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Very little shade so will revisit and review during a cooler day.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pretty, quiet, and not too exposed. But cow poop and flies everywhere. Trails weren't clearly marked and we passed by a few forks not even realizing it, so I highly recommend taking your GPS with you.

Hot and dry. Totally empty of other riders. Beware wild pigs. Second half is trickier than the profile shows.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

April 2017 // A wonderful hike with sweeping views of the Bay Area. In the springtime, you are surrounded by lush rolling green hills and grand oak trees. Very pretty. To the southeast, the Lick Observatory sits on top of Mt. Hamilton and to the west, Silicon Valley stretches out before you. Bring binoculars.

FYI, Los Huecos trail is steep going up! Not a casual stroll. Lol ;D From Grant Lake, it's easier to go up Halls Valley trail if you're deciding between the two trails.

In warmer weather, start early as it gets hot in mid day and there's not much tree cover. And bring plenty of water.

Happy hiking!

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

trail running
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Very wet after recent rains. More of a service road than trail. Great views of the surrounding mountains.

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

This is my go to hike in the winter. You will almost certainly be alone out here. It is steep and there are cattle. Trails are almost all dirt roads making it great for novice mt bikers. Avoid summer it is just too hot and dry.

hiking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

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.

trail running
Monday, June 22, 2015

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

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.

hiking
Sunday, November 16, 2014

It was an ok trail for me. The trails had some wet spots that created cracks in the soil and some trails had too much stones in it. View was good. Elevation was great, +- 1100ft.

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