Yerba Buena to Halls Valley Trail Loop is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Hamilton, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.7 miles
1,246 feet

dog friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running



partially paved


wild flowers

over grown

no shade

One of the best hikes in the county park in the hills east of San Jose, California This is one of my favorite loops in Joseph D. Grant County Park in the hills east of San Jose. It starts at Halls Valley Lake and climbs steeply into the nearby hills along the Yerba Buena Trail (with a highly recommended side trip to McCreery Lake). It turns at the Canada De Pala Trail and returns on the Halls Valley Trail. Along the way you'll see sweeping vistas of the nearby Diablo Range along with the observatories atop Mount Hamilton, the highest peak in the South Bay. Wildlife sightings are common: hikers have spotted coyotes, turkeys, bobcats, feral pigs, tarantulas and even the occasional mountain lion. In springtime, this is one of the best wildflower locales in the Bay Area. Summer's too hot but winter's great (if muddy) and fall is interesting when the tarantulas come out. The park sits on lands once owned by a prominent ranching family (hence the informal title "Grant Ranch"). The hiking can be arduous -- many of the rails were built for people on horses rather than on foot -- but what you can see along the way makes it worth every arduous step.

6 months ago

This looked like a nice day hike, so I attempted it in the CCW direction. The Yerba Buena Trail narrows down to single track, and I found myself dodging poison oak growing out over the trail. It soon became so thick that I gave up and turned around. I then went up the north side of the loop (Halls Valley Trail), which is a nice wide road/trail. The views were fantastic in April, with green hills and oaks, and a peek through the other side of the basin to Silicon Valley at the top. I came down the Los Huecos Trail, which was wide but very steep.

TLDR: Halls Valley Trail is great. Yerba Buana Trail is overgrown with poison oak and impassable. Los Huecos Trail is very steep.

7 months ago

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Saturday, November 05, 2016