Any good hiking near San Jose, CA?

8:11 p.m. on October 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Fred Meyer, TheTick

Are there any good hiking and camping areas within a couple hours drive of San Jose?

I will be in the area for about 3 days in mid-November and would really like to find some good spots to hike and camp. I don't want to drive as far as Yosemite, however, as I would rather spend that time hiking.

I am looking for some deep wilderness and solitude. Toss in a mountain or two and it would be perfect.

Thanks in advance.
-Fred

1:15 p.m. on October 24, 2002 (EDT)
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Any good hiking near San Jose, CA? - are you kidding?

Quote:

Are there any good hiking and camping areas within a couple hours drive of San Jose?

Fred -

There are literally hundreds of places to go hiking and camping within a couple hours drive of San Jose. You discount Yosemite, but the Valley is about 4 hours away (mid-day on a week day, double that on popular weekends). Much of the western Sierra is within 3 hours.

But closer to home (I live just up the SF Peninsula from San Jose)... Get on adventuroustraveller.com and look under California for hiking books. You will see about a dozen recent hiking guides. There are dozens of state and county parks that have backcountry trail camps on the Peninsula. Plus there are places like Henry Coe (you can get up to 10 miles from the nearest paved road in Henry Coe), the Ohlone Wilderness Trail (something like 28 miles from Sunol park to Del Valle, with a trail camp midway at Mt. Rose), the various wilderness areas in Big Sur (Ventana is a good one). For day hikes, you have places like Mission Peak, Ed Levin park, Joe Grant park, any of the dozen East Bay Regional Park system, any of the dozen MidPeninsula Open Space parks, Mt. Tam (Tamalpais is the alleged birthplace of mountain biking), Mt. Diablo. Can't forget Big Basin Redwoods State Park. And Pinnacles National Park is an hour and a half south of my house (splendid rock climbing, good hiking at this time of year). Pt Reyes National Seashore is a couple of hours north, with 4 or 5 good campsites, including 2 on the beach about 5 miles hike in.

This is just the beginning of a list. If anything, you will have a hard time choosing among them.

One advantage of heading for the foothills of the Sierra is that most of the parks closer to San Jose have *lots* of poison oak. Which isn't a problem if you stay on the trails.

No, wait. You don't want to go hiking and camping around here. It is too dangerous. There are all sorts of wild animals in the woods here - bear, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, raccoons, deer (hunting forbidden, so they have big sharp antlers), rattlesnakes, and birds like golden and bald eagle, hawks, other raptors that might carry you off. And you might trip over a giant redwood log and break your leg, like Jim S did a few years ago (that's for real, as Jimmy will tell you). And you could get stranded 10 miles from civilization, with no access to a cell phone. Typically when I do my weekly hikes up Black Mountain (5 miles each way, 2500 feet of gain), I will see a half dozen species of mammal (almost always including deer, bobcat, and coyote), a half dozen species of reptile, a dozen or more species of bird, and many more creatures. Same with Skyline to the Sea trail, or Skyline Open Space, or Butano, somewhat fewer on Mission Peak or Diablo. I was in Briones (an East Bay park) Tuesday and was almost run down by an 8-point buck (4 points on each antler is called "8-point", right? plus he had a smaller spike on each antler.).

10:54 a.m. on October 25, 2002 (EDT)
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408 forum posts
Purty country...

Quote:

There are literally hundreds of places to go hiking and camping within a couple hours drive of San Jose.

Yep.

>I was in Briones (an East Bay park) Tuesday and was almost run down by an 8-point buck (4 points on each antler is called "8-point", right? plus he had a smaller spike on each antler.).

Depends on your "local". In the western interior, more commonly called a "four point". Or a "4 X 4". Back east, they count them all for the total as in "eight point". Thru me for a loop when I first travelled out there. Folks were talkin' about baggin' 6 point and 8 point bucks. I thought, wow, deer out east must be huge.

Brian in SLC

1:40 a.m. on January 5, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. George of the Jungle
Re: Purty country...

Quote:

Quote:

There are literally hundreds of places to go hiking and camping within a couple hours drive of San Jose.

Yep.

>I was in Briones (an East Bay park) Tuesday and was almost run down by an 8-point buck (4 points on each antler is called "8-point", right? plus he had a smaller spike on each antler.).

Depends on your "local". In the western interior, more commonly called a "four point". Or a "4 X 4". Back east, they count them all for the total as in "eight point". Thru me for a loop when I first travelled out there. Folks were talkin' about baggin' 6 point and 8 point bucks. I thought, wow, deer out east must be huge.

Brian in SLC


Try the skyline to sea trail. Highway 9 at Saratoga Gap to the beach via Big Basin State Park. Like all of the other suggestions, the Bay Area is full of places to go. Used to live there, until too many people and too much money made it unlivable. The hikes still remain. Hope you can do yours without a crowd. george in tejas

December 20, 2014
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