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John Nicholas Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (3)

A fun trail connecting Black Rd to Skyline Trail with some great views and beautiful redwood forest.


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Point to Point

2,909' 887 m

High

1,799' 548 m

Low

1,128' 344 m

Up

112' 34 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly As this is an out-and-back option, you can make this hike as long or as short as the kids can handle. Most kiddos will enjoy making it to Ranch Lake Reservoir to search for wildlife.

Description

This trail starts from the gate on Black Road, where you can park. The first 1.5 miles of trail is fairly flat on a well-maintained fire road, meandering through the forest. At about 1.5 miles, you'll reach the Ranch Lake Reservoir, where you may find some wildlife (deer, rabbits, and skunks). After going around the reservoir, you'll see a steep fire road on the right dropping down to Sanborn Rd.

Instead, you'll veer left and start climbing up a section of the trail along a small creek. This section of trail is about 4' wide, with a few wooden bridges and benches under heavy tree cover. The climb is fairly gradual with only a couple of steeper sections. As you climb higher, there will be a couple good vista points to enjoy.

After about 5 miles, you'll reach Skyline Trail. Keep right on Skyline and you'll reach the parking lot on Skyline Blvd. From there you can hike back down the way you came.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt with improvements by Zachary Kurien

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#9781

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#905

in California

#9,781

Overall
7 Views Last Month
2,179 Since Oct 13, 2016
Intermediate

0%
33%
67%
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Photos

Nice craftsmanship on the bridges at the base of the John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
View from the crest of John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
Gate entrance on Black Road.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 13, 2020
S H
Mar 27, 2020
Camille DeRome
Lovely shaded trail throug the forest. The trail starts going uphill at the reservoir and goes up the whole rest of the way but it didn't feel that… 10mi — 4h 37m
Jun 30, 2019
Yanir Cohen