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Plan Your Own
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.
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.
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.
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.
Light thru the trees Yellow star thistle
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.
Ferns Stevens Creek Reservoir
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.
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.
Zinfandel Trail Pink flowers in Pichetti pond
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).
Zinfandel trail East bay mountain range
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.
Winery Picnic tables
Large parking area
The winery hosts wild blackberries and peacocks that fan out their heavenly feathers in a dance.
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.
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).
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.
White wildflowers Orchard Loop & Bear Meadow intersection
Walk across Orchard Loop trail