New Years Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $19.99
Get Started

Sanborn Trail

MODERATE 412 reviews
#1 of 16 trails in

Sanborn Trails is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Saratoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,541 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

running

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Trail conditions were good despite the recent rainstorm. Very beautiful wooded hike with redwoods, other trees and several connecting trails. The views are a bit obstructed due to the trees. The trail was not at all crowded. We saw maybe 3 other groups in 3 hours.

27 days ago

As of 12/30/2019, there are a bunch of fallen trees on this path, so you have to keep climbing over all of the branches and trees

hiking
3 months ago

Way up was a nice incline for like 3 miles but was super buggy so bring a lot of bug spray. Not much for views. Took about 2 hours and was 5.5

recorded Sanborn Trails

hiking
3 months ago

Watch out for bikes! But a nice gentle decline/incline from Skyline Blvd roadside parking down to the lake and back. Several beautiful lookouts with benches. We also saw wild turkeys and a cool VW Beetle disintegrating in the middle of the forest.

hiking
3 months ago

Clockwise is best for them booty gains and a mellow trail jog down to the lot. Loved it and shaded majority of the trail. Confusing with the dogs allowed/not allowed signage. Looks like they should be all updated to have dogs allowed on leash. My pup and I had a great time. GPS is super off on this app. Completed in 1.5 hrs with pics and "wogging" up. Haha! Went on a Thursday early-afternoon and didn't see another human on the trail.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

mountain biking
4 months ago

Not really a mountain bike trail . It is marked as a mountain bike trail in AllTrails, but the signs says “no bikes” . We biked it anyway , but it was narrow and we had to carry bikes over rocks and trunks on the trail. Beautiful and nice though.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was awesome in the summer as it was 99% shaded, with beautiful views of redwoods, and some views of San Jose and the Bay between the trees. However, it was much farther than it says here. We followed the trail exactly, and we recorded 5.5 miles using two different apps. It took us about 2 hr 15 min in the clockwise direction, which I recommend for the more gradual descent. Overall great trail, lightly trafficked on a Sunday morning at 10, but longer than expected.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

Mostly shaded. Trail signs are a bit confusing. Take a map from the visitor center or download the trail map as there is no reception in the park. Bug repellent maybe necessary during summer time.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

There are shades through the whole trail, so it’s comfortable to go.

hiking
6 months ago

not easy for kids but my 4 yrs girl finished it. we started from walk in camp which is very steepy paved trail.

hiking
6 months ago

My friend and I attempted this hike, but gave up a mile up Peterson Trail. One of the reviews suggested this route over the return because it is so steep, and I agree that going down this trail is... difficult isn't the word I'm looking for... perhaps intimidating? However, it wasn't the slope that was the issue; it was the elevation. We've done hikes as steep as this, but the girl from the flatlands had great difficulty with this one. I hope to return and try again and perhaps reverse the trails to see if that helps.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice shaded trail!

hiking
bugs
scramble
7 months ago

I would say it has lots of shades, longer than 4.4 miles if you follow the map exactly.

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty steep in some areas. Great workout.

8 months ago

super nice trail because it's 90% under shade. no view, and trail signs are not easily identifiable. too us two tries to finish the loop, and still not the same route as we planned. good workout tho.

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

This trail was really pretty with lots of scenic views from within the forest. Not a lot of wildlife but we did see a salamander. I’d say the downfall to this trail was that the signs are very confusing & we did a couple of loops on the Nature Trail before giving up trying to find the San Andreas trail & just starting out on Peterson trail. I actually recommend starting out on the Peterson trail to the Sanborn Trail because although it’s a lot of uphill that’s pretty steep, I wouldn’t wanna do that going downhill. So it’s up to you on where you want to do your uphill/downhill on: steep uphill, gradual downhill = start on Peterson, go to Sanborn, go back down Sanborn, finish off San Andreas; or gradual uphill, steep downhill = start San Andreas to Sanborn, go back down Sanborn, finish off on Peterson. To get to this trail head, enter in the Visitors Center (they take card) & at the yield sign, make a sharp right to go to the parking lot. Trail starts there, past the Sequoia Group Area. Lots of tree cover is a plus, lots of great smells of the fauna. Beware of poison oak along the trail. Only one spot (can’t remember which trail we were on) where there was a full spread of them alongside the trail. Wasn’t a problem though as they were groomed off the trail, but if you have dogs or children beware.

hiking
9 months ago

Addicted to huge and super tall trees view. Fresh air and a lot of shade.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail was beautiful and well maintained. The turns and switchbacks offered fun and surprising views. The trees are huge and you just get lost in them. It was a misty cloudy day and it made the trees look mysterious.

running
11 months ago

I ran a 21k in October of 2018. It’s got some really good and long climbs. Running through the redwoods is the best part.

hiking
Sun Jan 13 2019

Pretty interesting hike, don’t let the short distance fool you, it is moderate for a reason. The end of Sanborn Trail was foggy when I hiked, it was interestingly spooky. Not so many sceneries though. Overall, highly recommended for those who want a good hike with little time.

hiking
Thu Jan 10 2019

Not all trails allow dogs, so be prepared for an out and back rather than a loop. Beautiful scenery and well worth the hike.

hiking
muddy
Sat Dec 22 2018

Mon Nov 26 2018

Lots of uphill, but a gorgeous trail through the forest, and very quiet on the Monday we went. Highly recommend.

hiking
Mon Nov 05 2018

Lots of shade. Perfect for a get up and go hike. Good ups in the beginning.

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

not alot of scenic views, but great shaded hike

hiking
Sat Oct 20 2018

Fun for hiking. 5 stars if having a great view for photos.

Load More