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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

4.5
#6 of 13 in Parks in San Jose
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 Traveler Rating
114 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 8, 2017
    its a huge park. its kind of like going to Yosemite without the water falls. very foresty, could be cool in the summer so take a light jacket. good place for large parties/BBQ/etc. make sure you walk ...  more »
  • July 29, 2017
    Easy to park for free. Nice Saturday and was not to busy. Confused about paying, but there was no collection of fee and parking is marked "Free". Was told a mountain lion was spotted as I came back fr...  more »
  • July 10, 2017
    Nice place to hike,bike ride, picnic or play, but unfortunately San Jose's oldest park is showing its age. It was in dire need of maintenance even before the big storms of 2016/17 and more so now.  more »
Google
  • July 1, 2017
    I grew up going to this park, 50 yrs. It's best during the week when there are less people. This place has so much history. Do yourself a favor and read all the information signs placed throughout the park.
  • May 1, 2017
    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.
  • April 18, 2017
    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!
  • May 31, 2017
    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!
  • June 30, 2017
    Decent amount of trails to explore. Most of the trails are not shaded, so expect to be in the sunlight for a while. As of June 2017, there was no charge for parking.

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