Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Monte Bello Open Space Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

glad this was preserved. open land pretty close to the road but still deer, rabbits and other wildlife. even a small 4 site campground. A nice bit of Nature so close to the urban area.

hiking
1 month ago

First half is flat, second half is steeper. Not too much traffic (although it was raining when I went). Did it in 2ish hours but I ran part of the way.

I’ve walked this just after sunrise and just before sunset.
AM it is best to go clockwise, PM best anti-clockwise.

Gorgeous variation in ecosystems and a touch climb up Black Mountain. Great workout and the perfect length for a morning or afternoon hike!

Really scenic, very beautiful and not too hard to hike (tho some parts get a little steep).

Make sure to note that the park closes 30 minutes after sunset, and the rangers will begin to give tickets after this.

Enjoyed this hike.

great views

Trail was nice. But, you must know the is no such trail as the Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail. What All Trails calls the Monte Bello Preserve Loop Trail, is really a mix of 6 or 7 trails pieced together. It breaks down as such.

first you start on the White Oak Trail this leads you to the Skid Road Trail then to Stevens Creek Nature Trail then to Canyon Trail then to Indian Creek Trail. here you break off and go to Black Mountain. Sit here have lunch and enjoys the views. The hard part of the hike is over. Turn around head down towards Old Rach Trail then to Bella Vista Trail then to Canyon Trail then to stating / ending parking lot. That's to loop.... would be better if All Trails actually listed these things properly.

I did counterclockwise with having a little detour to enjoy Stevens Creek Natural Trail. Indian Creek Trail has steep gradient and was challenging with almost no shade. But view from black mountain was great. There were not many shade through the loop except Stevens Creek Natural Trail. Recommend to hike in the morning and finish before noon if temperatures exceed 90F.

9 months ago

The trail was great but it was so poorly marked that my fellow hiker and I ended up going 4 miles in the wrong direction and it went from a short planned 3 mile hike to a total of 7 miles really quick! The nature and wildlife is a 10/10, beautiful stream that runs through the trail, a bonanza of butterflies and lizards but it's hard to enjoy it when you can get lost so easily! Not for beginning hikers at all. Definitely need to be an experienced hiker for this one.

Recommend going clockwise on loop to avoid doing 100% elevation all at once.

mountain biking
11 months ago

Done on a very hot day. Still love it. Although I admit I walked part of the climbing to Black Mountain (The Indian trail).
Very nice and great views. I'll defenatelty come back.

Varied and very nice bay leafs smell. Beautiful creek.

Good and relatively easy workout to reach black mountain. 5 miles round trip if you reach the black mountain and come back. 6 miles if you meander around at the top for some time. Doable in 2-2.5 hrs. Open trail, hence best if completed before noon in summers.

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

I took us around 3 hours to do this loop with children (so multiple stops and small detours). No outstanding features, but pleasant views and a stream for part of the loop. A lot of wildlife these days in the preserve: we saw more than 10 deer, some wild turkeys and a coyote in the early afternoon. Also many birds, butterflies and wildflowers.

hiking
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Beautiful rolling hills with views from Santa Cruz to the Bay. Best time to go is in the spring when the wild flowers are blooming or in the Fall were you can see a lot of wildlife (deer, quail, turkey, etc)

Other Activities: Hiking, backpacking, mountain biking

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Great views, beautiful oak trees, lots of running little streams along the way, and deer around every corner. Loved the hike!

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Such a pretty hike. Mixed use. The assents were rough for me a part of the trail had washed away but this was clearly marked. Unbeatable views.

trail running
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Very Nice. A lot of water after the rains. A bit muddy but not something an average runner cannot handle. Its unfortunate that it closed for bikes at this season.

trail running
Monday, December 12, 2016

Trail is closed to horses and bikes at that time of the season - that makes it a nice and quiet run ! A little slippery after yesterday's rain though. Great trail!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Nice hike post turkey coma. Clear marked and great views of SF the day we went

Thursday, November 10, 2016

First hike since we moved here a few weeks ago. Fab walk, wonderful natural walk.

hiking
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Fantastic. This hike really gives you the feeling of being far far away from the bay area. The vista west from black mountain is well worth the climb.

hiking
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Nice views of the hills, very pleasant when the creek has water.

mountain biking
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Beautiful view many trails for biking

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gorgeous views! Bring a lot of water since it can get hot.

Great trail for a day hike on the weekend. Plenty of shaded and open space parts of the trail and beautiful views along the way.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Great trail for morning to day hike! It gets quite hot later on in the day so be warey! There are some paths that have shade. This one splits into multiple other trails which is really cool! Many of those are dead-ends which is perfect because you get to venture into an area where the view may be amazing!

This can be a bit challenging if you take the sky-something trail portion. As near the end it will be deathly incline! Going to black mountain point and back was simple.

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

Nice trail for a day hike. There isn't much shade on the way up, but plenty on the way down. No drinkable water so bring plenty on a hot day. I have asthma and did this trail easily, but it would be difficult for someone with mobility restrictions. At the top there is a backpacker camp if you have made reservations, and some really beautiful views. Lots of mountain bikers and a few other hikers.

Go early. Not a lot of shade

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