Full Review: Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space

There is a roundabout about one mile from the turn onto Cristo Rey Drive.  Stay on Crystal Rey Drive and look on the left for the Rancho San Antonio Park sign.


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               Roundabout                            Park sign on left 


Make your first left and go down the hill to the paved and dirt parking lots.  There is a space that fits one horse trailer in the dirt parking lot.  There are no restrooms at this end of the park but there is a drinking fountain.


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             Dirt parking lot                Horse trailer parking space


This part of the park is not as popular so if you like to walk with fewer people, this is your trail.  The loop that is described in this full review is approximately four miles long and is mainly uphill the first half of the loop, and then downhill and flat the rest of the loop.  The trail is mainly uphill the first mile or so.  From the parking lot, look for the short bridge and once you walk past the bridge, head up the hill (rather than staying on the flat trail to the right that leads to the more busy trails).





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                                            First hill


Fields of grasses and flowers abound when you get to the top of the first hill.  At this point you will have a choice of bearing right (relatively flat Coyote trail) or bearing left (hilly PG&E trail).  Once you bear left, you have a steep hill ahead of you.  Then there is a relatively flat section where you walk under the PG&E electric cables and are exposed to the sun.  In the afternoon, the trail has more shade in the hilly sections where there are trees.


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               Golden field                     Bear left onto PG&E trail


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          Flat section of trail                  Shady section of trail


The trail is shared among hikers and equestrians.   There is one water trough for horses along the way .  There are plenty of views of downtown San Jose and the eastern valley hills on this trail.  There are also plenty of yellow, orange, blue, white and purple wildflowers in the Spring and early Summer. 


            Horse trough

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                                   Views from the trail


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                                   Trail and grasses


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                                  White wildflowers


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                          Yellow and orange wildflowers



 Field of yellow wildflowers


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                                  Purple wildflowers


When you get to the top of the first climb, the trail descends.  At the bottom, you can veer off to your right onto the Upper Wildcat Canyon trail that goes further downhill.  At the very bottom of this trail, bear right onto Wildcat Canyon Trail that goes toward Deer Hollow Farm. Follow signs that head you back to the horse trailer parking lot. The trail back to your parking lot is the flat Coyote trail.  It will pass above Deer Hollow Farm so you may sneak a peak of it when you pass by.  When you get to forks in the road, keep bearing right all the way back to the parking lot.