15 hiking trails around San Jose, CA

Sierra Vista Feature

The Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve links to many regional and city trails in San Jose. | Photo via @biaobobo

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Nestled in the Santa Clara Valley, San Jose is surrounded by many amazing trails, county parks + local preserves. We’ve gathered a list of 15 local hikes to explore this spring, organized by difficulty level and length of time needed to complete. Happy hiking, San Jose. 🌳

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is one of the easier viewpoints to reach in Alum Rock Park. | Photo via SJCtoday staff

Easy 🥾

Aquila Loop Trail | Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve | 1.1 miles | 131 ft elevation | 28 min

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

Sanborn Creek Trail | Sanborn County Park | 1.5 miles | 223 ft elevation | 39 min

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.

Eagle Rock Loop | Alum Rock Park | 2.7 miles | 498 ft elevation | 1 hr 15 min

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

Bayview and Meadowlark Loop | Coyote Hills County Park | 4.9 miles | 282 ft elevation | 1 hr 52 min

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.

Coyote Creek Trail | Hellyer County Park | 23.3 miles | 633 ft elevation | up to 8 hr 21 min

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.

Mt Umunhum - Horizontal

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

Moderate 🥾🥾

Seven Springs Trail Loop | Fremont Older Open Space Preserve | 2.6 miles | 561 ft elevation | 1 hr 15 min

If you’re looking for a lazy morning hike to get you pumped, try this shaded trail in Cupertino.

Upper Calaveras Fault Loop | Milpitas | 4.6 miles | 976 ft elevation | 2 hr 12 min

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.

Mount Umunhum | Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve | 7.7 miles | 1,187 ft elevation | 3 hr 24 min

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.

North Rim to Boccardo Trail | Alum Rock Park + Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve | 8.2 miles | 1,587 ft elevation | 3 hr 50 min

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.

Santa Teresa County Park Trail Loop | Santa Teresa County Park | 8.3 miles | 1,768 ft elevation | 3 hr 59 min

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

Senador Mine to Mine Hill Loop | Almaden Quicksilver County Park | 14 miles | 2,253 ft elevation | 6 hr 15 min

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

Challenging 🥾🥾🥾

Mission Peak Loop | Mission Peak Regional Preserve | 5.8-7.3 miles | 3 hr 22-53 min

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 | 6.1 miles | 1,847 ft elevation | 3 hr 17 min

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.

Black Mountain via Rhus Ridge | Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve | 9.2 miles | 2,506 ft elevation | 4 hr 47 min

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.

New Almaden Trail | Almaden Quicksilver County Park | 14.2 miles | 2,093 ft elevation | 6 hr 13 min

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.

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.

Bonus: Don’t forget to prepare for hikes like a pro by having the right gear — these colorful Topo Designs backpacks and these Herschel Mid-Volume 17L backpacks are on sale. Now you can bring snacks — you’re welcome.

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

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