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John Nicholas Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Los Gatos, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.3 mi Elevation gain 1,499 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (165)
Photos (349)
Recordings (159)
Completed (267)
Bruce Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
Mountain biking

nice climb, fun down

View Bruce's Recording
Arturo Litvin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Mountain biking

The narrow drive on bear is not my favorite.. but the trail is perfect for a hot day, almost all shade

John Niesen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 03 2020
Hiking

Nice trail and views of Silicon Valley but way too many mountain bicyclist who live to go full speed downhill, unfortunately an accident waiting to happen, not sure I’ll ever return.

View John's Recording
Ed Lambing
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Walking

Thanks San Jose Water Company for improving this trail. Great work!

Gail Jefferson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 18 2020
Hiking

Good forest road for walking with dog or family. Wide enough for bikers and walkers to share!

View Gail's Recording
Chris Skibo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 10 2020
HikingMuddy

Hiked with my wife and 4 year old. Fairly flat and scenic. Nice shade and views! Recommend bringing jogging stroller and jacket for little ones

View Chris's Recording
Bruce Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 27 2020
Mountain biking

nice

View Bruce's Recording
Craig Gaches
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 20 2020
Mountain bikingMuddy

Perfect conditions...muddy and tackey

View Craig's Recording
Lindsay H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 07 2020
Hiking

Pretty. Had to pull one tiny tick off the dog 2 days later.

Rob Girard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 01 2019
Hiking

rainy & nasty today.,.. trail holds up well. large tree down on trail

View Rob's Recording
Thomas Buell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Nov 29 2019
Hiking

Nice trail but less spectacular than others in the area. Pretty much flat from Black Road trailhead to the reservoir, then all uphill to Skyline. Smooth and mostly wide trail, which is important since it’s heavily used by mountain bikers. Important to keep dogs on leashes.

Soren N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

Great hike with beautiful varying landscape, redwoods, oaks, pine, a pond and a view at the top. Totally unnecessary to go on skyline trail. When you get to the view I would just turn around. Also FYI to dog people, there are a lot of mountain bikers on this trail so make sure your dog is well behaved and manageable.

View Soren's Recording
Rob Girard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 15 2019
Hiking

Nice ride trail, great for walking the dog. Reservoir was really nice, even with water level -11 below 0.

View Rob's Recording
Claire Lin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 25 2019
HikingBugs
View Claire's Recording
Emily Halsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 31 2019
Hiking

All day walk

View Emily's Recording
Debra G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 01 2019
Hiking

Limited roadside parking. So plan accordingly. Wide, well-maintained dirt trails. Lots of mountain bikers. Brought 2 kids and a dog, and we hiked to the reservoir and back, approximately 3.25 miles. No crazy elevation gain. Very shaded, great for a hot day. Very friendly hike for the whole family. Will definitely come back again.

Bruce Hamilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 23 2019

Great moderate MTB ride with just enough up hill and level recovery trail to make this flowing downhill ride worth the 1,400' climb. And it's under cover, cool for a hot summer ride. Bruce Hamilton

mark taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 05 2019
Mountain biking

This was my first mountain bike trail experience and it was great! The ascent was very doable, flatter sections exist after every steeper climbing section to recoup out of shape legs. Views, cliffs, and woods all wind around to make great terrain and atmosphere. Overall had a great experience. Lots of little boofs and burms to turn and bunny hop. If your a good rider you could really shred this trail.

Popsicle theminhorse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 24 2019
HikingBugs
View Popsicle's Recording
Shannon S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 24 2019
HikingMuddy
View Shannon's Recording
Jessica Wicks
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RunningMuddy

I would have rated the difficulty of this trail as moderate. Wanted an easy trail run and this ended up being much more on the moderate side with the elevation gain. Other than that negative feedback— trail was beautiful and very well maintained.

Carlos Coral
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jan 02 2019

Good hike under the shade. Dog owners be aware of bikes as It is a very popular MTB trail.

Summer Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Nov 24 2018
Hiking

Not a lot to see on the fire road down to the reservoir but it’s an easy walk and the view of the water is a nice reward. Keep walking around to the other side. It’s 1.9 miles to this point. If you keep going straight into the woods on the John Nicholas trail it’s very pretty! The fall leaves were spectacular. I turned back at the second bridge but would have loved to keep going. It took me about an hour each way at an average pace. Not too bad of an incline on the way back up. Good spot for biking or walking the dogs. Not a ton of parking but there’s spots along the road.

Tatyana Foltz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 07 2018

Good easy hike. beautiful redwoods. wide trails, dog friendly

Mike Ryan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 22 2018
Mountain biking

Excellent trail for biking. I'm still working myself into shape (and I'm no spring chicken) so I struggled a bit but made it up to the peak. Intermediate and advanced riders will cruise up. Killer view. Very, very fun cruise down. Will definitely do again soon but I will bring bug spray for the climb.

Sean Carroll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 03 2018
Hiking

It’s a fire road trail so it’s nice and wide with nice views of the redwoods. Not much to see till the end. Mainly mountain biking was seen on the trail.

Ruslan Moskalenko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 26 2018
Hiking

Most of the people were met were actually riding bicycles, looks like a tough bike trail. From hiking point of view, it's a moderate trail, mostly inside forest with one spectacular vista point overlooking Silicon Valley. It's pretty wet, so waterproof hiking boots are nice to have. Limited parking. Only one portable toilet at the trailhead. No water.

Jen Wheelock
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Running

Had a blast running this yesterday. The elevation seems off though my Garmin clocked it at 2,082” in elevation gain. It’s a beautiful trail to run either way.

Joe Bondi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 05 2018
Mountain biking

Nice moderate/easy climb to the top. Trail is shaded the entire length. Downhill is fast with good flow. Busy on the weekends, so watch for hikers and other bikers heading up/down.

Ryan Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jan 12 2018
Mountain biking

Very impressed with this trail. Takes a good amount of work to get to the top (had to hike my bike for a few spots) but the way down is worth it!

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