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Alum Rock Park, San Jose

4.6
#6 of 26 in Parks in San Jose
Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Alum Rock Park, founded in 1872, was the first municipal park in the U.S. state of California. Located in a valley in the Diablo Range foothills on the east side of San Jose, the 720 acre (2.9 km2) park offers 13 miles (21 km) of trails, varying from fairly level along Penitencia Creek to sharp switchbacks climbing to the ridges to the South Rim Trail and the North Rim Trail. The narrow floor of the valley includes a visitor center, a small museum/animal rehab facility, picnic areas, playgrounds, lawns, sand volleyball pits, mineral springs, lush plant life, woodlands, creek play opportunities, and occasional group camping.
The ridge trails offer views of Santa Clara Valley and of the valley in which the park is located. Some trails in the park are a part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail; the Todd Quick trail connects with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority's 1,600-acre Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.
Equestrians and mountain bikers have access to some of the park's trails, while others are reserved for hikers only. Cross-country teams from high schools around North San Jose, such as James Lick High School and Independence High, use the park for training and for meets. A visit to Alum Rock Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our San Jose trip itinerary app to plot your vacation.
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Alum Rock Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
144 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This was a great part. If you start hiking on the gravel next to the bathroom are you can see a creek. While the water has gotten lower it's still very fun. If you reach the top of the hike you can... 
    This was a great part. If you start hiking on the gravel next to the bathroom are you can see a creek. While the water has gotten lower it's still very fun. If you reach the top of the hike you can...  more »
  • This is a treasure of San Jose. May be the best of all in Bay Area. It has so many old beautiful bridges and walking along the creek is feeling like being in a fairy tail. From the gate I walked all.....  more
    This is a treasure of San Jose. May be the best of all in Bay Area. It has so many old beautiful bridges and walking along the creek is feeling like being in a fairy tail. From the gate I walked all.....  more »
Google
  • Parking is $6, and space is limited. Three park lots are available. There are reserved park spaces for annual parking holder available. Hiking trails are either uphill or flat. Plenty of trees to provide shades during your hike. If you don't like shades, there are trails available, too. For some reason, the date I went, Sunday, April 3rd, parking is free. Also, remember to watch your speed because the roads to the park are narrow and curvy. Some drivers just do not respect that which may cause a serious accident. Compared to Mission Peak trails, I like the trails at Alum Park. Make sure to bring snack and drinks for re-energize your strength for your continuation hike. Lastly, those attraction points seen in the photo are found next to the Mineral Parking lot at the ground level. They are just a few yards away from the parking lot. Have fun!
  • Visited park and Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve to bike. For bikers, trails and miles are limited, but the wrap-around and reward sections were fun. You will earn the fun, however, because some climbing sections, for me, were hike-a-bike. For hikers, you could spend a day hiking the perimeter. For everyone, max out the water you carry. Visited on a Monday morning and lots of people, mainly walkers, on trails. If you make it to the top you'll be rewarded with expansive views of San Jose. This park has lots of historical structures - stone bridges, train trestles, a cabin, hot spring ruins- along the paved road.

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