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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

Categories: Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 95 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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  • Plenty of long trails to choose from. Mostly dirt though, so don't wear your fancier kicks. Many parking lots placed at different places of the park...some free, some you have to pay. Pretty much no c...  read more »
  • There are a lot of hikes to choose from. Good place to get a great work out and very scenic. The remains of hot springs bath area is fun to check out. 
  • I grew up about 2 miles from the entrance to this park, so I might be biased. But after I moved downtown and started bringing my three boys back here for nature hikes, they really loved it more than a...  read more »
  • 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.
  • So close to the city yet so wild in places. I come here to ride by bike every few weeks. Good connection to Sierra Vista Preserve higher up makes this quite a large area to explore. Easy to access by bike from a VTA light rail stop a few miles east of the entrance.
  • Wonderful park, with great playground, loads of picnic options, bbq's, little lawn, shade, visitors center with historic & educational displays. Hikes to great views and so very close to the city. Oldest park in San Jose.
  • Nice hiking place. Some hiking trials are under shade and not too hard to walk. The playground is so wonderful, all under shade and covered by beautiful trees, so relax!
  • I love this park because it has plenty of trails to hike. There's a route on the bottom of the valley for an easy walk. Or, if someone wanted something more challenging, they can go up the many trails on the hills that border the park. There's a brook that runs through by way of a natural spring. I love listening to the relaxing sound of running water.
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