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Joseph D. Grant County Park is located at 18405 Mt. Hamilton Rd., San Jose, CA 95140, in the east of Santa Clara Valley. Travel to the park by taking Highway 101 or Highway 680 to Alum Rock Avenue eastbound in San Jose. Turn right onto Mt. Hamilton Road and travel eight miles to reach the park entrance.
Park Office: (408)[masked]
It's better to carpool folks. As the same as before in front of 99 Ranch Market in Milpitas Square @9:45AM, please share gas expensive and park entrance fee with your driver, thanks.
Things to bring: Water 2 liter bottle, Lunch, Sun protection gears/sunscreen, Dress in layer, a backpack.
7.5 mile loop climbs up and down grassy hillsides dotted with oaks, on the high slopes of Mount Hamilton. Great in early spring, but incredibly hot in summer.
***start at parking lot and walk east to the signed gated entrance to Hotel Trail>turn left onto signed Yerba Buena Trail>turn right at a signed junction onto Halls Valley Trail>Turn right onto Cañada de Pala Trail>Yerba Buena Trail begins on the right, at 4.84 miles. Turn right>Continue on Yerba Buena Trail. After one last rise and fall, the trail meets a previously encountered junction at 7.03 miles. Turn left, cross the road, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 7.5 mile loop hike is moderate, with about 1300 feet in elevation change. The park has high hills and a sloping valley in the middle, with elevation ranging from about 1300 to 2995 feet. Most trails are moderate, but should you visit in summer, be careful not to overexert and dehydrate yourself on the lightly (or not at all) shaded trails.
Some shade, but mostly exposed -- not a good choice in summer heat, but okay for winter.
Trail surface: Dirt trails and fire roads.
Hiking time:3.5 hours
Season:Late winter and spring are pleasant; avoid the park during heat waves.
From US 101 in Santa Clara County, exit Santa Clara Street/Alum Rock Avenue. Drive east on Alum Rock Avenue about 4 miles, then turn right onto Mount Hamilton Road. Drive about 8 miles on this narrow winding road (watch out for bicyclists, motorcyclists, deer, and foolhardy squirrels) to the park entrance on the right side of the road. Once past the entry kiosk, drive on the park road to the parking lot nearest the gated entrance to Hotel Trail (go straight past the first parking area on the left, then turn left where the road splits -- there are some nice shady spots near the restrooms).
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
$6 entrance fee (self-registration if kiosk is closed, or if you park elsewhere in the park). Lots of parking in the main area (on the park's map, that's the Visitor Center Area), and a few other smaller lots off Mount Hamilton Road, east of the main entrance. Restrooms located off the parking lot. Maps available at the entrance kiosk, and at the information signboard at the start of Hotel Trail. Pay phone at entrance kiosk. There is no direct public transportation to the park.