Full Review: Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve

If you are heading south on Foothill Boulevard, it changes to Stevens Canyon Road at the Stevens Creek reservoir.  Continue around the reservoir and pass the intersection with Montebello Rd on your right.  Along the way, there are several pullouts on the left and right hand sides of the road.  Park at the pull out that is across from the reservoir.  Look for the brown park sign that reads Pichetti Ranch Open Space Preserve and is the trailhead for the Bear Meadow trail.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_1.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_2.jpg


                Parking area                        Bear Meadow trailhead



You can get to the Pichetti winery from the parking area using a few different routes.  One way to enjoy the trail is to bring a picnic with you and do some wine tasting and eat your lunch or early dinner when you reach the winery before heading back down the trail.  The one way mileage is 1.2 miles and is a moderate uphill climb with some flat areas.  The Bear Meadow Trail leads up the hillside and is mainly shady in the later afternoon. Even in the summer, there is a lot of greenery.  It has some bridges crossing little creeks gurgling with water and one small waterfall.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_3.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_4.jpg


                    Bridge                                           Trail



The trail is inviting with its sunlight speckled path and the moss covered tree trunks.  If you look through the trees, you can catch a glimpse of the reservoir – its green water shimmering in the late afternoon sunlight.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_5.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_6.jpg


        Moss covered trunks                        View of reservoir



The canopy of tall trees provides plenty of shade even on a warm July afternoon. The trail is bordered with lush vines and little creeks.  There are yellow and white wildflowers even in the summer likely due to the shade.  Ferns are plentiful.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_7.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_8.jpg


         Light thru the trees                  Yellow star thistle


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_9.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_10.jpg

           Yellow wildflowers                    Monkey flowers



Through a break in the foliage you can catch another glimpse of the Stevens Creek reservoir.  The monkey flowers are so abundant on the Bear Meadow Trail, it should be renamed Monkey Flower Trail.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_11.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_12.jpg


                     Ferns                             Stevens Creek Reservoir



             White flowers


After climbing uphill for about 0.7 miles, you arrive at an intersection. This is where Bear Meadow Trail crosses Orchard Loop Trail.  Make a left on Orchard Loop trail and climb up a moderate hill.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_14.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_15.jpg

Orchard Loop & Bear Meadow Intersection    More wildflowers


The bird songs along the trail are a virtual symphony.  After 0.2 miles, the Orchard Loop Trail becomes the Zinfandel Trail. Keep following the trail another 0.3 miles to the Pichetti Pond (and toward the Winery).  Take a slight detour to spend time at the pond.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_16.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_17.jpg

              Zinfandel Trail                 Pink flowers in Pichetti pond


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_18.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_19.jpg

      Pink flowers by the pond                        Tree art


The Pichetti Pond is surrounded by trees and there is a shady spot where you can take a seat on a log and have a picnic.   Please note that there can be bugs in this area and no fishing or swimming is allowed in the pond. On the surface of the water, there are green grasses and pink flowers.  Continue on the Zinfandel Trail and you will start to see homes in the hills and may see bunnies scuttling across the trail.  The trail gets wider and views of the winery become visible.  To the right of the winery gate are restrooms. Stay left when you get to the winery gate to get to the winery (another 0.3 miles). 


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_20.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_21.jpg

               Zinfandel trail                 East bay mountain range


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_22.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_23.jpg

                 Restrooms                             Left to the winery



The Pichetti Winery leases a part of the open space and there are picnic tables and a large parking area (disabled parking is available) if you want to start your hike at the winery rather than on Stevens Canyon Road.  Pichettti Winery is located on Montebello Road.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_24.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_25.jpg

                  Winery                                      Picnic tables



          Large parking area


The winery hosts wild blackberries and peacocks that fan out their heavenly feathers in a dance.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_27.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_28.jpg

               Blackberries                                    Peacock



Again, you can take a number of routes back down to the parking area.  We took the Zinfandel Trail and noticed some pear trees that we had missed along the way. Within 0.3 miles and before reaching the pond there was the fork in the road where you can go left and head down the Bear Meadow Trail.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_29.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_30.jpg

                 Pear trees                      Left at Bear Meadow trailhead



After walking past the pond, there is an opportunity to go up to a vista point or stay on Bear Meadow Trail. The Bear Meadow Trail is partially shady. At the next intersection, make a right to stay on the Bear Meadow Trail and head toward Steven Canyon Road (0.8 more miles).


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_31.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_32.jpg

     Shady Bear Meadow Trail                Right at intersection



At the next fork in the trail, bear right to stay on Bear Meadow Trail and at the intersection with Orchard Loop, walk straight across to stay on Bear Meadow Trail. This will take you back down to the parking pullout on Stevens Canyon Road.


Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_33.jpg   Pichetti_Ranch_Open_Space_Preserve_34.jpg

           White wildflowers              Orchard Loop & Bear Meadow intersection



Walk across Orchard Loop trail