Blair Ranch Trail Map

SCC Open Space Authority

Santa Clara County Parks

Bay Area Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail Guidebook

Peninsula Open Space Trust

Rancho Canada Del Oro (Pictures by Cait Hutnik)

Bird Count 2006: Rancho Canada Del Oro and Blair Ranch

Morgan Hill Times: Blair Ranch Set to Become Park

Gilroy Dispatch: Local Ranch to Become Park

San Jose Business Journal: County Joins in $8.65M purchase of Morgan Hill ranchland

Mountain Network News: A New Trail, Blair Ranch

Bay Nature Institute: Rancho Canada Del Oro

Park and Trail Pages:

Doan Ranch Page 1, Page 2

Los Alamitos Creek Trail

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens:

Guadalupe River Trail

Guadalupe Creek Trail

Coyote Creek Trail

Bay Area Biking

Bay Trails, South Bay

Bay Area Parks

Friends of Santa Teresa Park

Almaden Quicksilver Park

Bay Area Back Pages

SF Bay Rec & Travel

Calero Healthy Trails Hike, 4/25/09

Uvas Canyon Healthy Trails Hike, 2/21/09

Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08

Almaden Quicksilver Wildflowers and Views, Spring 2008, Part 2

Healthy Trails Walk, Almaden Quicksilver 3/28/09

Harvey Bear Ranch-Coyote Lake Pictures, 3/10/07, 3/21-21/09, 4/18/09

Santa Teresa Park Pictures:

Santa Teresa Park Mine, Fortini, Stile Ranch Wildflowers, 4/11/08

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge Wildflowers, Feb-Apr. '08

Bernal Hill wildflowers and views, Feb-Apr. '08 Part 1, Part 2

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge, Feb-April '08

Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Stile, 5/4/08

Outdoor Photography Class/Wildflower Walk, Bernal Ranch/Hill 4/4/09

Geocaching Class, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 4/11/09

Pre-Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 5/3/09

Healthy Trails Hike, Fortini, Mine, Stile Ranch Trails, 5/9/09

Visit to the Blair Ranch, 5/9/09

The 865-acre Blair Ranch is one of the newest acquisitions of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. It was a cattle ranch, owned by the Blair family since the 1950's. It was purchased by the Peninsula Open Space Trust in 2007, who transferred it to the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. It was purchased with funding assistance from the Open Space Authority, Santa Clara County Parks,  the California Coastal Conservancy, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Blair family continues to own and live on an adjacent 126-acre parcel. The Blair Ranch is adjacent to Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It extends to Uvas Road in the hills behind Morgan Hill and Gilroy. It is accessed from the overflow parking lot for Canada Del Oro on Casa Loma Road. It is not yet ready to be open to the public, but when it is, it will add to the contiguous open space parks of 3100-acre Rancho Canada Del Oro and 3500-acre Calero County Park. It was open for one day only this year to hikers and equestrians on May 9, 2009. These are pictures from that trip. The trail route follows ranch roads. The total distance is about 7.3 miles round-trip, though the trip below only covers up to the high point of the route, about mid-way. Elevations are from Google Earth.

An Open Space Authority technician waits at a table checking visitors in and out.

Looking back at the parking lot on Casa Loma Road. Rancho Canada Del Oro is on the other side of the road. The trail starts out at about 730 feet in elevation. The route will climb about 750 feet.

The start of the route requires fording Llagas Creek, one of the tributaries of the Pajaro River. The creek originates on the slopes of Mt. Loma Prieta in the Sierra Azuls.

This is Llagas creek, looking downstream. It eventually follows Uvas Road and flows into Chesbro Reservoir.

The trail follows an old ranch road, which runs through a flat meadow at first.

Tomcat clover is abundant on these hillsides.

The trail begins a long climb uphill. The first part of the ascent is the steepest.

Looking back down the hill. The hills in the background are part of Rancho Canada Del Oro to the left and Calero County Park to the right.

Popcornflowers and 4-spot clarkia

Globe lily, also called fairy lanterns.

Sticky monkeyflower

Horses heading down the trail, which runs through groves of blue oaks.

Looking at the ridge east of the park, called Manzanita Ridge, which is on private ranchland.

Looking down the steep trail. It begins to level off above this at about 1080 feet.

Blowwives are all over the hills.

Watering trough by the trail at 1120 feet.

Grove of bay laurel trees.

Wild turkey

The trail in this section climbs gently through a scattered forest.

Big boulder in the oak forest.


Looking downhill, the hills of Rancho Canada Del Oro (left) and Calero County Park (right) can be seen, with Mt. Hamilton in the distance.

Another ranch road branches off the main road at about 1200 feet.


View of the Mt. Hamilton Range in the distance to the southeast, behind Manzanita Ridge.


Looking back along the trail towards the hills of Rancho Canada Del Oro.

Looking up the trail ascending the hill. The top of the hill ahead, which the trail skirts, is over 1500 feet, and is the highest point on this ridge.

An ancient oak tree.

The high point of the ranch is the top of the hill to the left of the trail.

Looking west towards the Sierra Azuls, with Mt. Loma Prieta in the background. Below is Limekiln Canyon.

This heavily-wooded, steep-sided ridge is to the right of the trail, southwest of the ranch. Part of that ridge is within the Blair Ranch boundary. The other side of the ridge is part of the watershed of Little Uvas Creek, which joins Uvas Creek and flows into Uvas Reservoir. Farther southwest is Uvas Canyon County Park.

Seed pods

Mt. Umunhum is in the background to the northwest.

Small stock pond by the trail at 1412 feet.

The water tank on the hill marks the high point of the trail at about 1480 feet.

Looking to the southeast, the waters of Chesbro Reservoir can be seen in the distance, with the tall peak of El Toro Mountain in Morgan Hill behind it.

View from the trail to the southeast, looking towards Gilroy. The trail can be seen running near the top of the ridge on the left.

View farther towards the south.

View a little more to the right, looking towards the south.

The trail continues, but this was the turn-around point of the hike. The trail heads downhill, then makes a hairpin turn back. It folows along a ridge, then drops steeply to form a loop. Along the loop is a large scenic pond. The property ends at Uvas Road in-between Oak Glen Avenue, which leads to Chesbro Reservoir County Park, and Croy Road, which leads to Uvas Canyon County Park, but the designated trail route doesn't lead to it yet. The Open Space Authority hopes to eventually create a staging area and entrance on Uvas Road.

Elegant brodiaea

Ithuriel's spears

Created by Ronald Horii, 5/14/09, updated 11/19/09