This is a fun route that takes you about 8 miles through Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve, a beautiful wild park of the grass and wooded hills that are typical of much of the "wilderness" countryside in this area of central California. There are three picnic spots along the way with great views.
The Tour of Rancho Canada del Oro starts on Mayfair Ranch Trail
, from the Rancho Canada del Oro parking lot on Casa Loma Road. A large trailhead sign marks the trailhead. Stay to the right here to follow Mayfair Ranch Trail
Mayfair Ranch Trail
- 3.0 miles
Almost immediately, the trail crosses Casa Loma Road and begins to switchback up a wooded hillside. As the trail climbs, the views to the south, through the trees get better and better. Grass and wooded hills can be seen, and then the Santa Cruz Mountains come into view in the distance. About .4 miles from its trailhead, the trail then circles to the left to climb along the north side of a ridge, thus losing the views to the south, but now enjoying views of the Rancho Canada del Oro grass and wooded hills to the north, through the trees of this wooded section. After about another .4 miles (.8 miles from the its trailhead), the trail reaches the ridge top, and continuing to climb, follows this ridge top for the next .8 miles. As the trail climbs, it emerges from the woods into grassy terrain. The views are great in all directions. The trail then descends the north side of this ridge, down to the stream at the bottom of Baldy Ryan Canyon, reaching the stream about 2.4 miles from its trailhead. As the trail descends, it re-enters the woods. Upon reaching the stream, the trail veers right and follows this wooded stream that is to the left of the trail. Eventually, the trail crosses this stream on a sturdy bridge, and comes to a trail junction with Longwall Canyon Trail
. At this trail junction, go left onto Longwall Canyon Trail
, to continue The Tour.
Longwell Canyon Trail
to Bald Peaks Trail
- 1.6 miles
Now on Longwall Canyon Trail
, the trail continues in the woods as it climbs to a high ridge and Bald Peaks Trail
. About halfway through this climb, the woods thin and the trail, that has narrowed to singletrack by now, climbs more steeply through the grassy hills and wooded sections. About a quarter mile before the trail reaches the high ridge and Bald Peaks Trail
, it crosses a seasonal stream on a sturdy bridge. Upon reaching Bald Peaks Trail
, go right onto it.
Bald Peaks Trail
- 1.1 miles
This section is a wide open trail on a high grassy ridge, the highest section of The Tour. It climbs gradually for .3 miles and then descends gradually to Catamount Trail
. And is all about VIEWS! Views of the Diablo Range, Santa Cruz Mountains, South Bay Area, hills forever southward in central California, and more. Enjoy!
- 1.6 miles
Go right onto Catamount Trail
, a wide, fire road type trail. It is level with only a short descent for the first .7 miles. The trail then descends, in some places rather steeply, for the next .9 miles until it reaches Longwall Canyon Trail
. It descends through grass, brush, and wooded hillsides. There are great views to the southwest, south, southeast, east, and northeast that gradually disappear as the trail descends. The Santa Cruz Mountains, including Loma Prieta, can be seen. The Diablo Range can be seen. And many ridges extending into the distance can be seen. Also, the nearby grass and wooded hills are beautiful.
Longwell Canyon Trail
to the road - .9 miles
Upon reaching Longwall Canyon Trail
, go left onto it. This section of Longwall Canyon Trail
, follows the Baldy Ryan Canyon stream valley down to close to the road. The stream is below and to the right of the trail, as the trail goes through grass and wooded sections. Very shortly, the trail crosses the Rancho Canada del Oro/Calero parks boundary and enters Calero County Park where the trail widens and continues through flat, grassy terrain with large stands of trees along it. Needlegrass Trail
is passed, and about a half mile later, Little Llagas Creek Trail
is passed. After passing Little Llagas Creek Trail
, the trail veers away from the stream and ends almost immediately at Casa Loma Road, close to the Rancho Canada del Oro parking lot, up the road to the right.
Deer. Grass and wooded hills.