PG&E Trail at Rancho San Antonio Park

This open space area is close to Silicon Valley cities and is very popular.  On weekends it can be hard to find a parking spot especially in early morning.  I usually take this trail during the week when I can get a morning off and the crowds are thinner.  The PG&E Trail in Rancho San Antonio Park gets its name for the electrial towers that you follow straight up the hill.  This road starts at the lower parking lot and climbs around 1500 feet in 3.5 miles.  If you just want a quick workout take the trail up to the vista point, sit on the bench for awhile and then turn around and retrace your steps.  You will climb another 300 feet for a total hike of 7 miles and 1800 feet.  If you prefer a loop, continue on the upper meadow trail to the six corners and take the Wildcat Canyon Trail to the Rogue Road and back out through the Farm.  I usually like to bypass the Farm because it is crowded with baby strollers and slow walkers.  There is a bypass trail a little north of the Farm.  This loop add about a mile to the hike.  Total 8 miles and 1500 feet.  Bathroom located at main parking lot.  Park is off of Foothill Expressway from 280.


2 thoughts on “PG&E Trail at Rancho San Antonio Park

  1. Hi Sparky! We were hoping to take the kids on some local hikes (within a 45 minute or so drive). They really like hikes where there is a “destination” at the end, and they don’t mind retracing their steps. What do you recommend? They’re good for about 4 miles roundtrip….

    • A favorite hiking area for kids is Alum Rock Park. If you park right outside the main entrance (for free) you can take the creek trail to the right and walk about one level mile to the main area of the park. Here you will find a large playground, grassy picnic area, and the Youth Science Institue which is open during the day and has an owl and hawk hanging out. Plus, if you walk farther, there is a great trail on the left of the creek that crosses old mineral baths and rock bridges. During the summer the creek is low and you can wander down into it and have even more exploring time. If you want to shorten the walk just pay the fee and drive into the park. You can continue to hike along the creek for a mile beyond the main area. Another little know entrance to the park is at the deadend of Alum Rock Avenue. This is the old entrance that was closed due to the road sliding. There is a little street parking here and, of course, it is also free. It is a short climb down to the right to the main area.

      If you want an urban hike try Guadalupe River Trail in downtown San Jose. Park near the walkway on Hedding St. and walk toward downtown. At Taylor Street talk a right and head over to the Heritage Rose Garden and back to the trail. You can end at the carosel at the Arena greens and back track or continue downtown to the Children’s Discovery Museum. You can always take the lightrail back from downtown to the civic center station and walk two or three blocks back to your car. The San Jose Marketplace Shopping Center is also on the River Walk so you can detour a few blocks and eat at Chevy’s, Panera’s, or shop at Target.

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