Located at the base of the Sierra Azul Mountains above Los Gatos, California, the Heinz OSP and the Santa Rosa OSP were my destination for a quick late afternoon, mid-week hike. The trail head for this hike is located up a hill above a residential track in eastern Los Gatos. This is the only OSP located in and maintained by the Town of Los Gatos. There is curb side parking and a message board at the trail head. However, unlike the Mid Peninsula Open Space District, there are no maps available. I was able to download some crude maps from here:
http://www.losgatosca.gov/index.aspx?NID=900Bear left at the trail head to head up the mountain!
There were a lot of bees busy with the California Buckwheat blossoms!
The trail is mostly covered by tan oak, bay, and some other native oaks. Occasionally, there is a break – like here – where you can see good views of the Santa Clara Valley. This is a view of the Cambrian Park area of San Jose. But soon, I was climbing again…like these bikers who whizzed past me!As I climbed about 500 feet in elevation, I started to see some pine trees sprinkled amongst the oaks…note how dry the vegetation is!I was heading to Belgatos Park on the Valley View Trail…so, I turned left after hiking about 1 1/2 miles to the summit…er, I think it is left…
After reaching the top, the trail winds down about 100 feet where it connects to the hill trail and to the Bel Gatos Park Trail. I saw several families hiking together on this trail. I also saw these guys:
The Bel Gatos Park Trail winds downhill to a nice grassy area nestled amongst some oak trees. This is where you turn around and head back to the trail head.
As the sun started to set over the Santa Cruz Mountains in the west, I was glad that I had explored this open space area nestled above the hills above Los Gatos and southwest San Jose.
Mileage: 3.2 miles Round Trip
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1300 feet
Well, that’s 18 hikes and exactly 100 miles! 22 hikes and 100 miles to go. Hmm, I should’ve done something to celebrate 100 miles. Then again, being outdoors and hiking is something I really enjoy. You know, I’m going to say that being on the trail is celebration enough for me. Until next time, if you are looking for me, I’m over the hill.