Sanborn Park is a beautiful county park in Santa Clara County which offers hiking trails, camping, and more. It is easy to find right off highway 9 just a few minutes past downtown Saratoga, aka “The Village of Saratoga.”
We have been camping and hiking at Sanborn over the years, but I realized I never shared this beautiful park with you! Shame on me! If you are local to the San Francisco Bay Area, or traveling here and love a good hike, I highly recommend checking out Sanborn Park!
The park offers several hiking trails at varying abilities. It can get steep, so only bring small children if you know they can handle it. The parking lot fee is nominal, and there is also limited free parking along Sanborn Road which fills up before 9am. If you park in the lot, you can keep a cooler in the back of your car and enjoy a fun picnic in the picnic area after your hike. I feel like that is worth the small fee!
If a picnic isn’t your thing, you can drive a few minutes back into Saratoga and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in town.
The trails at Sanborn Park are quiet and peaceful. If you are looking for a hike which is filled with nature, but isn’t too far away from civilization, this is the perfect spot. You can get away from it all in just a few minutes. Love that!
Well, we had quite a few destructive storms this past month! This has left to many of our local trails inaccessible due to down trees, mudslides, and washed out roads. Yikes!
Normally I try to avoid urban trails when I go hiking, simply because hearing urban noise while hiking is not exactly relaxing. I go out into nature to relax, not hear the daily grind of the city. That being said, when many of the good trails are closed, and you don’t know the status of some trails, it is good to play it safe and enjoy the urban trails we have here in Silicon Valley.
The Los Gatos Creek Trail is an urban trail which goes along the Los Gatos Creek and parallels highway 17. It winds through the city and passes through Vasona Park, eventually leading you to the Lexington Dam. There are several places to catch the trail, depending on how long you would like to hike, and which landmark you would like to either hike through, or end up at for a picnic.
We caught the Los Gatos Creek Trail at the Lexington Dam Loop trailhead which is located on Main Street at Highway 17 in Los Gatos. I like this trailhead because after you loop back to it, you can grab a coffee, brunch, or boba downtown. It’s a fun, social trailhead which combines the benefits of an urban trail, and a great workout while hiking.
When you enter the Lexington Dam Loop trailhead, I recommend turning left and heading towards the dam. If you turn right, you will wind through downtown and end up at Vasona Park; which is fine if that is your goal.
The Los Gatos Creek Trail, when you turn left after entering at the Lexington Dam Loop trailhead, leads you towards the dam. In your first minute on the trail, there is a fork in the trail. If you continue to the right, you will parallel the highway, if you go left, you will hike uphill towards a more nature-friendly view. Please keep in mind, you will hear the highway the entire time.
We took the trail on the left at the fork, and hiked uphill to a clearing where you can find majestic trees and a small meadow. We continued through the meadow to another trailhead which put us back on a trail towards the dam. This is a great trail for hiking since bikes are not allowed on this portion of the trail. It is a lot calmer when you don’t have to worry about a bike taking you out on a narrow trail. Love that!
This portion of the trail continues to lead you uphill until you have a viewpoint of the dam and the valley.
It is a great spot to stop and drink some water, as well as snap a few pictures for social media. After hydrating, you can continue on the trail downhill and towards the dam. The dam is a nice spot to rest and possibly eat a snack you packed in your backpack. At this point, you can either continue hiking along the dam and follow the trail, catch another trail, or turn around and head back towards downtown Los Gatos. We like to turn around, and then grab brunch in town.
At this point in time, when many trails and parks need to be cleaned up after the storms, or need additional rehab from washed out roads, the Los Gatos Creek Trail is a safe bet to be able to get a good hike in, as well as a good workout. While the sound of the highway isn’t exactly giving an escape to nature vibe, it is still a great hiking trail which offer a workout, as well as many trees, plants, and a nature vibe.
Things you might need for your hike:
Have you hiked on Los Gatos Creek Trail lately? Which trailhead is your favorite?
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