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Take a hike on one of these 15 South Bay trails

Check out these 15 hiking trails catered to all skill levels in and around San Jose for outdoor adventures.

A person in a blue and yellow coat is hiking down a dirt trail, surrounded by lush greenery, and with a stunning view of the Bay.

The Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve links to many regional and city trails in San Jose.

Photo via @biaobobo

Table of Contents

From quick and easy loops around town to drives that take you to fantastic views of the greater Bay Area, our city has so many options to hit the trail. So lace up your hiking boots, because we’ve compiled a hiking guide for the San Jose area with 15 routes and trails to help you plan your next adventure and experience breathtaking views.

Note: While parks and trails may be listed as open, we recommend checking park websites before visiting for further info, current trail conditions, and safest practices for the area.

Key: Easy = 🥾| Moderate = 🥾🥾 | Hard = 🥾🥾🥾

A hiker looks through a viewscope after hiking up Eagle Rock.

Eagle Rock is one of the easier viewpoints to reach in Alum Rock Park.

Photo by SJtoday staff

East SJ + Milpitas

Eagle Rock Trail, Alum Rock Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 2.7 mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions
  • Pet-friendly: No

This easy and quiet loop offers quick views of San Jose. Pro tip: Bring $6 for parking and leave your furry friend at home.

North Rim to Boccardo Trail, Alum Rock Park + Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 8.2 mile loop (1,587 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

Passing through farmland, this trail promises sightings of exotic wildlife, like cows + horses. Note that this trail is unshaded and does not allow dogs. Pro tip: Mountain biking enthusiasts, this is the trail for you.

Sierra Road Trail, Milpitas

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 4.6-mile loop (976 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

This popular, unshaded trail hooks up with several other regional trails if you’re looking to extend your trek. Pro tip: If you take this, look counterclockwise —you only have one large hill to go up.

Aquila Trail, Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.1-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

This trail is less crowded and a great beginner trek. Pro tip: The path offers no shade and only goes one-way.

Coyote Creek Trail, Hellyer County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 23.3 miles point-to-point (633 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

Create your own DIY hiking experience with this paved, point-to-point trail that passes creeks, lakes, and ponds. Pro tip: Bring your line and tackle for some seasonal fishing.

A view from hiking to the top of Mount Umunhum, with a large, square building overlooking the South Bay.

This decommissioned Cold War-era radar tower (“The Cube”) is a local landmark on Mt. Umunhum.

Photo via @texasremindsme

South SJ

Coyote Peak and Ridge Trail, Santa Teresa County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 3.8-mile loop (711 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

While this trail doesn’t offer much in the way of shade and is challenging for bikers, don’t skip the peak — the views are worth it.

Senador Mine to Mine Hill, Almaden Quicksilver County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 14-mile loop (2,253 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

This trail offers great views of the Bay Area + Guadalupe Reservoir and is popular for wildflower viewing during spring.

New Almaden Trail, Almaden Quicksilver County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 11.9 miles out and back (1,843 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

This shaded trail is off the beaten path + will have fewer people, but be prepared to see some extreme wildlife, including rattlesnakes and mountain lions.

Mount Umunhum, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 7.7 miles out and back (1,187 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

This popular trail offers plenty of shade, valley views, and a sight of The Cube. Dogs are not allowed on this trail, and watch out for poison oak among the dense shrubbery.

The lake reservoir, in a clearing lined with trees, as you hike around Sanborn County Park.

Walk along the stream at Sanborn County Park.

West SJ

Sanborn Creek Trail, Sanborn County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 1.5 miles out and back
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

This kid-friendly trail travels under a canopy of trees and over a relaxing stream. Pro tip: Watch out for a steep slope — this path is not wheelchair or stroller friendly.

Seven Springs Trail, Fremont Older Open Space Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: 2.6-mile loop (557 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

If you’re looking for a lazy morning hike to get you pumped, try this shaded trail in Cupertino.
Black Mountain via Rhus Ridge, Rancho San Antonio Open Space Reserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 9.2 miles out and back (2,506 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: No

This unshaded trail will push experienced hikers to their limits, but will reward them with amazing valley views. Pro tip: Bring more water than you expect you’ll need.

The hiking summit of Mission Peak in Fremont, a group of people pose for photos with the famous Mission Peak pole.

This popular hike has the best reward — a breathtaking view of the Bay Area.

Beyond SJ

Mission Peak, Mission Peak Regional Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 5.8-7.3 mile loop (2,152 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

The length of your trek depends on whether you start from Stanford Avenue Staging Area or Ohlone College. Because this trail is so popular, expect to encounter other people + maybe some unleashed dogs. Pro tip: Come for sunrise or sunset to enjoy golden views all the way to Oakland and San Francisco.

Hidden Valley Trail, Mission Peak Regional Preserve

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: 6.1 miles out and back (1,847 ft elevation gain)
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, leash required

Looking for Bay views but want to skip the crowds? Try this trail instead. Pro tip: This trail offers little shade and the weather shifts quickly, so avoid during hot weather, but bring extra clothes and a wind shell.

Bayview and Meadowlark, Coyote Hills County Park

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: 4.9-mile loop
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Pet-friendly: Yes

Looking for bay views without an intense workout? No problem. This paved trail allows unleashed dogs in some areas. Pro tip: Don’t forget a side-trip to the Tuibun Ohlone Village site.

Map it out

powered by Proxi

To explore more local trails, download the All Trails app or explore the San José Trail Network. Also, learn more about trail conservation + volunteer opportunities from Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful, Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve, and San Jose’s Department of Parks and Rec.

Are there any local trails you’d like to see added to this list? Let us know.

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