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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

(4.5/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
Alum Rock Park, founded in 1872, was the first municipal park in the U.S. state of California. Located in a valley in the Diablo Range foothills on the east side of San Jose, the 720 acre park offers 13 miles of trails, varying from fairly level along Penitencia Creek to sharp switchbacks climbing to the ridges to the South Rim Trail and the North Rim Trail. The narrow floor of the valley includes a visitor center, a small museum/animal rehab facility, picnic areas, playgrounds, lawns, sand volleyball pits, mineral springs, lush plant life, woodlands, creek play opportunities, and occasional group camping.

The ridge trails offer views of Santa Clara Valley and of the valley in which the park is located. Some trails in the park are a part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail; the Todd Quick trail connects with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority's 1,600-acre Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.

Equestrians and mountain bikers have access to some of the park's trails, while others are reserved for hikers only. Cross-country meets from schools around the area are held at the park often.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Alum Rock Park is a fun place to visit. Located in the foothills, it has many places to visit. Also good for hiking. The Nature Center is a good place to take young (and not so young) children.  more »
  • I was looking forward to having a quick stroll in the park but the roads through the park area were inexplicably closed and so I just had a walk around the lower edges of the park. Next time I'll leav...  more »
  • This is a lovely park for a couple of hours or an afternoon. The paths are nicely maintained, and easy to follow. We wandered among the trees along the creek, past the Youth Science Institute, and dis...  more »
Google
  • Absolutely loved Alum rock. The view is truly incredible and a great experience for sunset. The view of the city and of the bay is excellent. The hiking trails were in good repair as were the restrooms. Would highly recommend coming here if you're visiting!
  • Awesome park! Oldest and first park in san jose. So many beautiful trails i've visited dozens of times si far but many more to discover!
  • Beautiful place for a morning or evening hike. The place offers plenty of parking spots and offers plenty of trials. No restaurants around so carry your food or you can have barbeque out there.
  • Nice location close to San Jose. Some trails have great views and are worth the climb, but disappointed with the maintenance of others. South rim trail has been closed and it doesn't look like they have any intention of repairing it soon.
  • One of my favorite places to run with my dad. They have recently gotten less strict with their parking policy. Lots of great trails for any skill level. I enjoy the South Rim Trail.