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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

(110+ reviews on the web)
Nature / Park
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
  • A lot to explore with trails that go throughout the Canyon and an Open Sapce Preserve (Santa Clara Valley Open Sapce Authority) above the city park. Great place to picnic with tables and BBQ grills. A...  more »
  • Very nice park I like the area I usually there for a walk and take my kids as well love this area. Good location  more »
  • Kind of a mess Right now due to the heavy rain this season. The park has great potential. Unfortunately I drove to the last to parking lot paid $6 to park. Only to realize that most of the trail was c...  more »
Google
  • Kind of a mess Right now due to the heavy rain this season. The park has great potential. Unfortunately I drove to the last to parking lot paid $6 to park. Only to realize that most of the trail was closed. This park is plenty of picnic and other nice shady areas. My favorite thing to do here is to hike the road up to Eagle rock.
  • I loved the lushness of this beautiful hike in the spring! There are so many forks in the road I never knew what I was going to find...but around every corner there was a surprise! Loved it!
  • Love this place! Although I should warn you, DO NOT park at the bottom where they offer free parking. You will end up walking on the road that has hardly any walk space for you to reach the actual entrance to the hike. Just pay the toll to park further up (.25 miles) and start your hike where the restrooms and benches are. Other than that a great scenic view all around and many trails to follow. Cheers!
  • One of my favorite hikes in the bay area. I always park outside and walk in, but that will add a good amount of distance to your route.
  • Big park with plenty of trails, lots BBQ places, some kids playgrounds, and a dedicated visitor's center. There are a lot of free parking around the park but the ones close to visitor center are $6 per day. There are many people BBQ, jogging and cycling in this park and some wild lifes can be seen here.