The southern 0.75 miles of the San Felipe Trail is also Lower San Felipe Trail
(according to park sign posts).
Continuing on San Felipe Trail from the north, the sign post at the north end of Lower San Felipe Trail
says Lower San Felipe Trail
, NOT San Felipe Trail.
Approaching San Felipe Trail from the south, the sign post at the south end of San Felipe Trail does say San Felipe Trail NOT Lower San Felipe Trail
San Felipe Trail also shares very short stretches with Brush Trail
, Snell Trail
, and the park road.
This can be confusing, so watch carefully.
There is no vehicle access at the San Felipe Trail start shown in this description. The first 0.4 miles runs behind maintenance buildings to the San Felipe Group Picnic Area parking, and is only included for completeness in this description.
From the San Felipe Group Picnic Area at the 0.4 mile mark, San Felipe Trail skirts the woods on the right, and a field on the left. At about the 0.5 mile mark, watch for a break in the fence on the right with only a "No Bicycles" sign, go right here to stay on San Felipe Trail, and then immediately go left to cross a grassy, bushy area with VERY faint trail that runs next to a park road for the next 0.1 miles to to the Dutch Flat Trail
From the Dutch Flat Trail
trailhead, San Felipe Trail is flat as it runs at the edge of the woods, along a park road. Youth Camp Spur
is reached at the 0.4 mile mark where San Felipe Trail jogs left onto the park road. After a short 0.1 miles of road hiking, a signpost is reached on the right. This signpost marks the start of Brush Trail
. Although the signpost does NOT show how to continue on San Felipe Trail, San Felipe Trail and Brush Trail
are the same for a very short ways, so go right onto Brush Trail
/San Felipe Trail. Leaving the road behind,, almost immediately, is the signposted Brush Trail
junction. Follow the arrow onto Snell Trail
(which is also San Felipe Trail here for a few hundred yards). A very short ways later is the Lower San Felipe Trail
start, marked by a sign post. This Lower San Felipe Trail
start is a total of only 0.1 miles from the road where Brush Trail
starts. From here on, San Felipe Trail and Lower San Felipe Trail
are the same trail.
Continuing on, San Felipe Trail descends very gradually as it runs on the southwest side of the broad San Felipe Creek Valley. To the right/southwest side of the trail, the thinly wooded hillside rises away from the trail. To the left/northeast, the open valley drops gradually to San Felipe Creek. Snell Barn is below in this valley. However the creek is too far away to be seen. The creek's valley is open grasslands with wetlands at the valley bottom. Across the valley are the tree studded grass hills of the Diablo Range that rise to over 4,000 ft. high. Mount Hamilton, 4,265 ft., with Lick Observatory on its summit, can be seen in the distance. Great views!
San Felipe Trail ends at Corral Trail
and Eagle Trail
after 1.4 miles from the Dutch Flat Trail
Grass hills that are green in the spring, golden in summer and fall. Stands of oak trees and wooded sections. Deer, wild turkeys.