This hike highlights the beautiful landscape, rolling grassy hills, live oak forests, and stunning vistas of Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.
No parking along Sierra Road. Cattle graze on the property so be sure to close the gate after entering the trail.
Start your hike at the trailhead parking lot located off of Sierra Road. Head out on the short, quarter-mile-long Kestrel Trail
which will descend gradually to a junction with the Sierra Vista Trail
. Take a right and continue on the Sierra Vista Trail
The Sierra Vista Trail
is a great trail traversing the hillside and connecting to the Boccardo Loop Trail
. The trail is a gradual downhill and it winds through the hills, giving you glimpses of Penitencia and Arroyo Aguague canyons and downtown San Jose.
Once you come to the junction with the Boccardo Loop Trail
, take another right. If you have time, add on the short Boccardo Loop Spur
which heads up to a nice viewpoint overlooking the area.
Once back on the Boccardo Loop Trail
, you are faced wth a steady mile-long downhill. The trail passed through grassy hillsides and oak woodlands with views of Santa Clara Valley and Mt Hamilton. On a clear day, you can even see all the way to San Francisco.
After about a mile and a half of descending, the trail starts to climb, and you'll regain the elevation that you lost on the first half of the loop as you climb back to your start point with the junction with the Sierra Vista Trail
. This portion of the hike doesn't have much shade, so be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen especially on a clear summer day.
From here, simply retrace your steps back on the Sierra Vista Trail
and Kestrel Trail
to return to your car. As an added bonus, try to time your hike around sunset, as the views are enhanced by the setting sun.
Live oak, sycamore, and grassland. Birds like red-tail hawks and woodpeckers.