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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

4.5
#6 of 13 in Parks in San Jose
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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Alum Rock Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
119 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I love Alum Rock. There are some long hikes, long short hikes. My favorite area is the grass field where you can have picnic among the trees and watch the squirrels. Great place to take kids too! The ...  more »
  • Alum Rock Park is a great hiking location with lots of trails for different levels of difficulty. I haven't been up since the fire happened.  more »
  • Alum rock park has a lot of history. There are sulfur mine examples everywhere. The Park has a small bird sancutary that is open most days . Lots of picnic grounds and an active stream that runs throu...  more »
Google
  • This is a great little park right next to San Jose area. I hiked both North and South Rim Trails to equal a bit over 7 miles with 1,200 ft elevation gain. There is quite a bit of shade, but some exposed areas as well, so I would recommend dressing in layers in the winter. Parking is $6 (you can pay either at the entrance or at the parking lot), although there are two lots that are free. Apparently, you could see a mountain lion, but I was not that lucky. Lots of prey birds, smaller animals and deer. Drive slowly!
  • Been going there for 52 years. I love it! Great place for family and picnics, also has a small wildlife center towards the end of the parking lot. Nice trails to hike on. Although not common, I did once run into a rattle snake in the middle of the trail. It was small so I just got a branch and swept him over the side of the hill. So, only 1 in 52 years!
  • I visited this place in morning of rainy day. I went to all the treks in this park. As weather was good I enjoyed the time spend here. From one of the peaks you will get view of full city even San Jose down town. I Liked!
  • We went there at 4PM when the sunset time was 5:05. We had some snacks in the picnic area and hiked the small mountain which had about 1200 ft elevation. The view from up there was amazing. We saw the sunset with a pinkish color from the top of the mountain and lost light when we started walking down. The hike was pretty quick and took us only about 15 minutes to get down.
  • Cool spot to do photoshoots, hike, picnic with family or friends. Or even a date. Especially with the Moody fog it looks like heaven. So beautiful to the eyes and soul.

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