Alum Rock Park - TRAIL

Alum Rock Park - Trail, San Jose, California

A lot of paved paths. Good for road bikes if you stay on the paved roads. Entertaining for the recreatiional mountain bikers.

User Reviews (18)

Showing 1-10 of 18  
garne2t   Weekend Warrior [Feb 05, 2015]

There are additional trails beyond what the previous reviews wrote about.

The park abuts Sierra Vista park and you can extend your ride to up to about 4000' of climbing and 20 miles. From the top of Baccardo trail, take the Sierra Vista to the Calaveras Fault trail to the end and back to add 2000' of climbing to the 2000' you already did on Baccardo.

A 3000' foot climb option is to take Sierra Vista and loop back on Calaveras Fault trail from the top of Baccardo.

Before you hit the top of the Baccardo trail peak, turn right on the Sierra Vista trail. If you take the first left on the Kestral trail that opened in August 2014 it will connect you to a new parking area off Sierra Road that is near the Summit. Cross the street and take the 1.2 mile Aquila Loop trail.

Most trails are through grasslands and offer beautiful views at all times. Avoid these on hot summer days as there is little shade. Evening sunset rides are a favorite of mine with views of the sun setting over the valley. There are often deer and cows and I occasionally see wild turkeys, tarantulas, and wild rabbits. The cows look intimidating with their horns but just ride up to them and they will move.

The trail is mostly fairly smooth with a few very steep sections that will challenge you on Baccardo. Todd Quick has 5 switchbacks that are easy to clear. If you continue on Sierra Vista, there are some steep consistent climbs. Aerobic difficulty can be a 5 if you ride to the end of Sierra Vista. Be sure to save some energy for the climb on the way back.

Customer Service

Start at Penitencia Creek Rd. just outside park. First trail to the right by the bathrooms at the park entrance is the Penitencia Creek trail and runs along the creek with a very slight uphill grade. When you hit the road, cross the road and head up the North Rim trail. The optional Eagle Rock trail is an out and back that branches off to the left and takes you to a nice look out point.

Continue up North Rim trail and go left on Todd Quick trail. At the top of Todd Quick, there is a nice Eucalyptus grove with a shaded picnic table.

Go through the gate to continue up the hill on the Baccardo trail. Take the first right on the Baccardo trail unless you are extremely fit and want a very steep climb to the left. You will see a short steep section ahead of you after the right turn but that is the hardest section of the climb and the rest is much easier than staying to the left on Baccardo.

Just before the Baccardo peak, take first right on the Sierra Vista trail. Then first left on the Kestral trail to the parking lot on Sierra road near the summit.

Cross the street and hit the Aquila loop trail.

Total ride 11.3 miles, 2000'

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Tjay   Cross Country Rider [Jul 05, 2011]

All the trail below Eagle Rock are perfect trails for newer riders. Then when they feel ready to move up a level, hit up Todd Quick. It's a little steeper that requires a bit of technical skills and descending on this trail is super fun! It has a lot of flowy and tight switchbacks. If you want to up your level, go hit up Boccardo Loop (it's on top of Todd Quick) to the right and try to make it up there with out stopiing. It's about 1.8 miles of steep climb. Then descend the same way. You may also want to climb up Boccardo to the left. It's 1.6 mile but it's steeper. Descender here is fast so watch your speed and for the other hikers/bikers. Also, keep an eye out for rattle snakes, taratula and cows. They're everywhere in spring and summer season.

4 for overall rating because this trail showed me how to climb and descend properly. After one year of riding my MTB, I am able to climb Kennedy Trail (4.1 miles 2300') and Mission Peak (3.3 miles 3000') without stopping and descend fast on most of the trail around the area on my HT.

Similar Products Used: Grant Ranch up on Mt Hamilton
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Lost Biker   Weekend Warrior [Jul 28, 2010]

Great trail for beginners. Close to my house so I am here twice a week for an after work ride. Small section of single track on Todd Quick trail that is fun. Large climb up Boccardo trail. First 1/8 mile is steep (20-30% grade) but levels off to about 8% most of the way up. Great view from the the top.

Be ready to share the trail. Alot of hikers use this park.

Customer Service

All routes are good.

Similar Products Used: Fremont Older in Saratoga
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
AnewMadrid   Cross Country Rider [Mar 02, 2009]

For the Beginner to the Advanced rider. You have nice steady climbing on pavement or can stay on the mountain and never touch the street.
Boccardo Trail is great to climb up (i think 1900 feet) and bomb down.
Penitencia Creek trail will take you right through the park.
It's a nice training ground but can have a bunch of walkers if you go later or stay on the flat lands.

Customer Service

North Rim Trail to Todd Quick trail then up to the Boccardo Trail..it's a nice ride for sure and if you hitting some good jumps on the way back down..you will dig it.

Enjoy

Similar Products Used: Grant Ranch
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
hkingkong   Weekend Warrior [May 29, 2007]

Went there around 5pm on memorial day. I parked the car at the Berryessa community center and started my ride from there. The problem was the penetencia creek trail was CLOSED! So i just took the road until I reach the alum rock park entrance. As soon as you se the parking lot you keep right and enter the dirt trail. Very very easy trail I would bring my gf there next time. Problem is lots of hikers with kids so I rode slowly. After the bbq area you cross the main road again, and go up the Boccardo Trail fireroad all the way to the top where there is a radio tower of some kind. Very nice view, took a photo at the top. When I was coming down I took a right turn somewhere and damm it was impossible to ride. Part of that single trail was so narrow because of erosion(one side is cliff, you have 3/4 of a foot wide trail). Then the downhill with very tight hairpins was impossible to navigate(even had trouble walking through some of it with the bike) I had to carry the bike down. I feel that portion may be more suitable for uphill ride or a BMX...
Unlike at Saratoga where hikers are odd man out, at this trail i was the lone biker at that time. By the time i left saw some kids with huffy at the entrance so you know how easy the trail is.

Customer Service

After you reach the bbq area, stay on the main Boccardo fireroad to reach the radio tower. Watch out for hikers.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
michael (Down Hill-o)   Weekend Warrior [Feb 16, 2007]

the trail was long, but that was the first actual trail i even ridden

Customer Service

wet river pass

Similar Products Used: the one with the wet river pass
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
switchbaxr   Downhiller [Jan 30, 2007]

When I used to live a mile and a half from the trailhead, I rode this trail network quite frequently and found this park to be a great weekday afternoon ride during the long days of summer and a nice early weekend ride with just enough of a fix to keep me a happy dad. You have to mix this type of ride in because you can't be gone the whole day riding every singele weekend or it can put a strain on the family. It's definitely no Soquel Demonstration Forest - Braille Trail ride, but if you live in East San Jose it's not a 45 minute drive to the trailhead either and when the demands of a young family require you to be home before 10AM, then this ride can be just the ticket. It can be moderately technical in some sections and very easy on others. There is a singletrack section off to the left of the paved road just past the parking lot entrance where there is a quick drop with a jutting rock right in the middle of the trail and a very steep and loose ascent that puts you about 80 feet above the paved road with a sheer cliff to the right. I clear this section most days, but during the summer when the trail can get very loose and powdery, it's very tough to climb without a dab. The Boccardo trail that is located at the top of the Todd Quick trail is a challenge for even the most fit riders...12-15% grade in some sections...definitely on an ass on the tip of the saddle with your chin low to the stem to maintain your cadence kind of climb in some sections of this climb.

Best views - at the top of Boccardo trail and the top of Eagle Rock. From these vantage points you can see the Saratoga mountains and downtown San Jose and all the way north to the Dumbarton Bridge on a clear day. The view of the canyon while you're on the North Rim trail looking down into the park floor below and heading East into the canyon is very nice especially in the early morning and late afternoon light. Because of the sheer drop to the south, you feel like you're gliding in the air.

Best section - The Todd L Quick trail heading from the park bench at the top to the trail head sign...it goes by in a flash but it's enough of a quick rush and I usually do two loops in the park so you can ride this part twice.

Plants and wildlife - Oaks, Sycamores, and Bay trees, wild yellow mustard, blue lupine and thistle in the spring. Bobcats, deer, turkeys, cows, hawks, and squirrels.

Customer Service

Take a look at a park map and ride every trail in the park, you can easily hit every trail in under 2 hours, even if you do the Boccardo climb.

Similar Products Used: Grant Ranch, but it's another 6 miles up Mt. Hamilton road to get there and well worth it if you like to climb and downhill on fast wide open fireroads with sweeping hillside views.

Mission Peak if you head another 10 miles north to the Milpitas/Fremont border.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Gina   Cross Country Rider [Nov 20, 2006]

Folks - the comments about 'thugs' on the trails? Those riders must live and work in Palo Alto...guess what? You are on the EAST Side folks! People here aren't wearing Tommy Hilfiger and driving beemers. Just because they dress or look a certain way doesn't mean they are thugs. I live right outside the park and ride there several times a week and never have had a problem.

You can have a lot of fun at Alum Rock - although the trail system is not very extensive, and some of the trails are crowded with hikers so bombing downhill on the main fire roads can be curtailed.

Customer Service

Park outside the park entrance in the lot at the end of Penitentia Creek. Ride the road, past the kiosk, wind along until you see a single track trail marker off to the left - take this. It runs straight, then dips, then climbs a short technical climb. Afer it flattens out, you come to a juncture veer left up the hill for a short gut-buster. At the top, turn right and continue on to the juncture with the main fire road - the North rim trail. Head up, take the lower trail at the next juncture, down a little drop, until you get to the Todd Quick Single track trail on your left. Go up. At the top, you can continue on Todd Quick which loops back down to the North Rim trail, or you can venture up the Boccardo trail...which is a great 1.5 mile climb where you come face to face with beautiful cows with huge horns. The view at the top is fantastic, and the descent is fast and fun, particularly when you are doing slalom around the cow pies.
After Boccardo, head down either side of Todd Quick, and basically re-trace your ride back. You can head up to Eagle Rock - but the view is nothing after Boccardo. Also, go to the end of the park - which is a nice ride just for the historical aspect. Great old rock bridges, mineral water grottos...really cool

Similar Products Used: Alum Rock is the only game in town in the north east area...it's eighter north to Misison Peak or South to Grant Ranch or Santa Teresa.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Rex_Skidmore   Cross Country Rider [Mar 06, 2006]

On a very rainy day, I wanted to test out my new Marmot PreCip Plus rainwear for waterproof and breathability performance. On the way in, a jogger commented that we wouldn't have to deal with crowds. He was right. Many people eating their lunches in their cars. Or wanting to hike, but waiting for the rain to stop? There are two entrances, but take only Penitencia Road to enter. The other on Alum Rock is frequently closed. From the Creek Trail, I crossed over (North or East) and then took the Todd Quick Memorial Trail to the Boccardo Trail. Mr. Boccardo set aside some land, and there's a two-way gate at the trailhead --- which is located almost at the top of the hill of the Todd Quick Memorial Trail. There were several bulls with horns checking me out. I was checking them out, too, looking for the Alpha male. We all got along OK. The clay/mud on the shared singletrack and fireroad trail (equines/peds/cyclists) was intense and I recommend a less wet day OR a 1.9" rear tire for your ride. I read the other review about the shady characters in the park. They're just getting high or whatever. I could outrun any of them I saw. It's not a technical ride, but if you're in the area for no other great reason, then I would check it once. Stunning views of Silicon Valley and the bottom of the SF Bay.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Ty.S   Weekend Warrior [Feb 24, 2006]

Not a bad climb up to eagle rock, but be selective in the times that you go. The trails up can get a little congested with hikers, and some... should I say, questionable looking people. My last trip there, I came across a couple of "thuggish" lookin fellas who were standing on the trail tossing rocks off the edge trying to hit some other thuggish lookin fellas in the picnic area. Riding can be dangerous enough without ending up in crossfire. This was a 3-4pm weekday ride, I haven't tried it on a weekend yet, but I'm hoping that it will be a little less tense. When you're on the fireroad at the bottom of the hill.. watch your speed there are several blind corners and lots of kids with parents.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 18  

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