Sanborn Trails

MODERATE 200 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Sanborn Trails is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Saratoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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.

4.5 miles
1,541 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly




mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



Excellent hike through the redwoods just west of Saratoga and south of San Jose, California. Sanborn Skyline County Park gets pretty busy on many weekends with family reunions, wedding receptions and other assorted gatherings -- if you end up at one and find yourself craving a hike instead of all that company, this is the loop to take. It starts on the San Andreas Trail and takes a vigorous march up the hillside west of the park. The trail can be steep in places, but you'll be covered in a canopy of redwoods that'll shade you from the sun and help you forget why you need to be away from civilization for a few hours. The trail turns south after about three miles at the intersection with Sanborn Trail -- from here it's a couple miles back, all downhill. Sanborn Trail passes through the park's excellent walk-in campgrounds -- scout out some sites if you've got rambunctious kids who won't mind lugging all your camping gear up from the parking lot. The walk-in part discourages a lot of potential campers, leaving a fair number of open campsites for those who don't mind hauling their tents, food and such uphill. Those with the legs for it can enjoy some of the nicest campsites in the Bay Area. Once you get through the campgrounds, a park trail returns to the parking lot. Best time to go: Redwoods make for great all-year hiking. Going on weekdays can avoid the crowds.

6 days ago

Decent hike. Lots of inclines for a good workout. Saw some deer and butterflies, but not many views. Lots of shade though so good on a hot day.

1 month ago

pretty consistent incline, but perfect for heartrate.

1 month ago

Beautiful and moderate forest trail with plenty of nature features to check out.

1 month ago

Enjoyed the sanborn trail!

trail running
2 months ago

Good elevation, running through the red woods is always fun. First quarter mile a little trickier to navigate due to lack of signage and it being my first time on this route. Fog was rolling over the mountains today for a nice tree rain at the top. $6 parking fee if you want to park inside the park.

2 months ago

It was challenging on the way up pretty steep the first few miles. Not the best marked but not difficult to navigate. I will definitely be back.

3 months ago

Very good!!

3 months ago

Pretty and challenging not waterfall though

5 months ago

Closed off right now about a mile from the trailhead. We were going to walk up and hike it anyways, by someone was guarding the trailhead and told us no. There’s a side trail that you can do on the left, but we decided to find a different hike.

6 months ago

Going up through the walk in campground to the Peterson trail and back is doable with a stroller

6 months ago

Love the trees

7 months ago

We do this loop several times a year. A great workout, and very beautiful.

8 months ago

Beautiful forested trail. A bit steeper than description describes. The trail in a few places has some trees and rocks that you have to hope over.

8 months ago

Short and sweet trail. Mostly tree-covered trail with some moderate inclines and declines. Good place to hike for 1.5 - 2 hour. Trail head is a 10min ride from Saratoga Main Street.

11 months ago

Could be signed better

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Paved but moderately steep incline from the parking lots. Small waterfalls and beautiful redwoods.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Very shaded, low traffic and at times narrow trail. Peaceful hike through the woods, including some redwoods! Didn't really get to a scenic summit but went 8 miles total by taking a different loop down.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lots of redwoods. Beautiful streams full of water right now. Perfect for summer hiking.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Nice walk. Lots of shadow. I would like it better if there were circle options.
Great trail anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Did a morning hike to get myself ready for the school year- got out at ten after an hour long drive. Very few cars in the lot. Since we arrived a little behind schedule, we decided to do a reverse loop, with the switchback climb primary.

The switchback climb ends 2.2 miles after the trailhead. Most of the climb is a strenuous elevation gain with very few breaks from the incline. There are, however, trail junctions at which you can take a momentary break. To get a good workout, we completed the uphill climb in 45 minutes. We were drenched in sweat by the time we reached the upper junction.

It wasn't worth going up to Skyline. Trying to get back by 11:30, we turned and started the downhill. The decline had many more unguarded spots (i.e no shade) and a few great views. All of the creeks by the top of the hike are, unfortunately, dried out this time of year.

Most of the decline is a fire road, but the first third of the decline is somewhat narrow and you need to be attentive to the ridges both above and below you. The trail eventually opens up and you'll see more hikers.

The trail is a wonderful, strenuous elevation gain followed by an equally steep, but exponentially easier, descent that offers great views and the option to follow a creek (only recommend that in the winter) to finish the hike.

The base has both stagnant and rushing water. The small creek by the trailhead is clean enough to drink from without purifying (though I don't recommend that!) along with picnic benches. We saw a camp of 15-20 four year olds as we finished the hike (11:00 camp) so beware of that.

In conclusion, this trail is as good as it gets around here! Bonus: dogs are allowed!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Great hike in the shade. Strenuous going up, love that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dogs allowed!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Gorgeous hike. We personally hate hiking in direct sunlight- it's hot, drains your energy, and is harsh on your skin. The great thing about this trail? It's 95% shaded for the entire hike. The hike is beautiful, serene, quiet, and the canopy of trees protects you from overheating. We put in about 8 miles here and the hike was a challenge, but felt amazing.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Shaded the whole way, so great for hot days. LOTS OF BUGS. BRING BUG SPRAY.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Monday, January 13, 2014

I love how this scenic park allows dogs. There are so many picnic spots as well.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This was a great, moderately difficult, very shady hike. There are parts that are narrow and you have to be careful.

There are excellent campgrounds at the base and fairly crowded. But as soon as you climb for about 15mins, you are alone in the forest. :)

Which brings me to an important point: this hike is in a fairly forested area and I came across very few hikers. If you are alone, you may want to be alert as there are patches that I thought perhaps a mountain lion maybe around. At one time, I had to stop as I heard some leaves rustling, and after looking around for a min, I noticed it was a deer. It can be a little freaky if you are alone. Ofcourse controlling your mind and thinking is most important. Keep calm and carry on. :)

I would recommend hiking with a friend for this one. Just because you hardly see other hikers as you get high up on the mountain.

Great hike overall.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amazing hike!!The trail gets narrow so you have to be careful. You can continue to two different trails at the end of sanborn or go back and go thru another one . I went back the same way I came you can make it a all day hike if you wanted. Gorgeous views and there are creeks thru out. I will be back to this trail again!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yes it is shady. Yes it is fairly easy. BUT, it is filled with FLIES!!! I must of ate a dozen or so flies!! Walked thru the Sanborn trail and San Andreas trail, it was a nice hike, you go up an down a creek. Not much wild life were sited... Besides FLIES! You have been warned, bring bug repellent and reapply every half mile, unless you enjoy eating bugs, non stop buzzing in your face and ears. No joke!

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