Mayfair Ranch Trail to Serpentine Loop Trail

moderate 86 reviews

Mayfair Ranch Trail to Serpentine Loop Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Jose, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and offers a number of activity options. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,607 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

walking

running

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

This is a strenuous hike that promises great views of the rugged backcountry. Steep trails lead to excellent vistas at Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve, which covers a swath of the rugged foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The high ridges look out over much of Silicon Valley; on clear days you can see the white domes of the telescopes atop Mount Hamilton. It's difficult to imagine such rough country so close to civilization till you actually get out there. Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve borders nearby Calero County Park, opening broad opportunities for all-day hikes. This hike is more of a half-day outing covering the main trails at Rancho Canada del Oro. It has two significant climbs on the first half of the loop and is all downhill on the second half. You'll get a good workout. Spring wildflower season is the best time to visit when the hills are still vivid green. Winter hikes after a storm system washes away the smog can be spectacular (though potentially muddy). Autumn will be dry but temperate. summer will be too hot, typically.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike to get away for the day. Easy parking. A few ascents that might leave you huffing and puffing a bit but worth it. The views looking north towards San Jose are excellent. Varied terrain and flora. Highly recommended for those graduating from easy to moderate hikes.

hiking
5 months ago

This was an enjoyable hike with nice views and quite a bit of shade. The downhill on Catamount Trail was pretty rough. It might be easier to go the other way. The trail wasn't too busy, but there were quite a few mountain bikers who seemed to want the trail to themselves.

Fantastic South Bay loop! These trails are wonderfully maintained and expose you to an excellent variety of typical Santa Cruz Mountain foothill climates and scenery. The payoff of cruising the ridge is worth the long and gradual ascents / descents. I’d consider the route moderate for regular hikers, a little more challenging for the casual explorer. There a nice balance of shade and sun. Be sure to bring plenty of water!

Great hike today as the wild flowers are really taking off. The blue flowers of the Hounds Tongue and pink flowers of Shooting stars are almost at their peak now in mid March. It was 62 degrees today in Gilroy and I wore shorts and a Tee shirt until I got close to Bald Peak where the strong cold winds from the north were overwhelming. Luckily I brought a thermal long sleeve and wind breaker which helped alot. The wind along the ridgetop get accelerated in certain funneling spots particularly late in the day. A guy who I saw said he saw a mountain lion. I went by the area where he saw it but no luck!

Shooting the green and flowers before it all turns brown!

hiking
Sat Jan 26 2019

First trail discovered thanks to AllTrails (just signed up). Great trail, path is well maintained, view is pretty good from the top. Only issue is that it is opened to bikes. I happened to go about the same pace as a group of loud mountain bikers struggling to go up. Other than this, highly recommend, saw a couple of deers near the start, and one more in the woods in the first uphill section. Overall a great trail!

Mon Dec 03 2018

Love this trail. Great diversity. The Ridge section is magic.

hiking
Sun Apr 29 2018

Great trail with combination steep then less steep type terrain and lots of trees. I have been there just three times in the spring and each time saw many species of wild flowers. Saw a small Ringed Neck Snake and and a Rattlesnake that was about 26” long. It gets natural cooling along the short creek section and has more shaded areas than most trails in south county.

hiking
Fri Mar 30 2018

Moderate hike, gain ~1600 feet elevation, 8.2 Miles, many beautiful wild flowers along the way up to Bald Peak. Breathtaking views when you are at top. Bring at least 2 litters of water and lunch/snacks. Nice, clean trail with some shades.

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8 days ago

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mountain biking
3 months ago

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3 months ago

mountain biking
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