Related Links:

Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve

Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike, 5/16/09

Canada Del Oro and Calero Trail Map

Directions to Canada Del Oro

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

Bay Nature Institute: Rancho Canada Del Oro

Other Park and Trail Pages:

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

Hiking, Event Pictures

Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08

Almaden Quicksilver Wildflowers and Views, Spring 2008, Part 2

Doan Ranch 11/22/08 Page 1, Page 2

Uvas Canyon Healthy Trails Hike, 2/21/09

Healthy Trails Walk, Almaden Quicksilver 3/28/09

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

Calero Healthy Trails Hike, 4/25/09

Blair Ranch Hike, 5/9/09

Palassou Ridge 6/6/09

Rancho San Vicente, 6/13/09

Mt. Madonna Geocaching Class, 7/11/09

Hellyer HDR Pictures 1/10/10

Almaden Quicksilver Wood Road Geocaching Class 1/16/10

Uvas Canyon HDR Pictures 1/23/10

Joseph D. Grant County Park, 1/31/10

Uvas Canyon Hike, 2/13/10

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

Santa Teresa Sunset Pictures 2/7/10

Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike,
Mayfair Ranch Trail, 3/14/10

Rancho Canada Del Oro is a 3882-acre open space preserve of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. It was opened to the public in 2004. It is located southwest of San Jose and northwest of Morgan Hill in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It adjoins and connects to Calero County Park and south of Almaden Quicksilver County Park and Rancho San Vicente, the newest County Park (not yet open). On 3/14/10, docent Cait Hutnik led a loop hike through the preserve on the 3.1-mle Mayfair Ranch Trail, returning on a 1.2 mile trip on the Longwall Canyon Trail and Calero County Park's Serpentine Trail. It was still early in the season, and the wildflowers were out, but had not quite reached their peak. The hike began at the preserve's main staging area on Casa Loma Road, which has paved and gravel parking, a restroom, and horse troughs, but no drinking water. Note that no dogs are allowed on the trails in Canada Del Oro or Calero. No bikes are allowed in Calero, but they are allowed in Canada Del Oro. Both parks are popular with equestrians.

The group assembles at the Casa Loma Staging Area, at 700 feet in elevation. From the staging area, we take the Mayfair Ranch Trail, opened in 2007.

In the field near the trailhead, Cait talks about the grafting of walnut trees.

The Mayfair Ranch Trail, after it crosses Casa Loma Road, begins to ascend the hill.

Johnny jump-ups

Fiddlenecks line the side of the trail.

Blue witch

Hound's tongue


Baby blue eyes

Baby blue eyes, California buttercups, shooting stars

As we crest the hill, we can see across the valley to the hills of Calero County Park.

Across the valley, Calero County Park's Bald Peaks Trail leads along the ridgetop into Rancho Canada Del Oro.

Looking at a rarely-seen fritillaria

Fritillaria affinis, also called mission bells, chocolate lily, or checker lily

Ferns line this shady stretch of trail.

California buttercups


Manzanita forest

The trail emerges from the forest onto a ridge covered with scattered blue oak trees.

Blue oaks

View towards the Sierra Azuls. 3790-foot Mt. Loma Prieta is the peak on the right, the highest point in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

View of the Blair Ranch, owned by the SCCOSA, but not yet open to the public except on special tours.

Fremont star lily

Looking at Indian warriors

Indian warriors

Heading up the hill along the ridge, through groves of blue oaks.

Across the valley, we can see the Bald Peaks of Rancho Canada Del Oro. The highest point on that ridge is over 1800 feet.

One last uphill stretch.


This is near the high point of the trail, which is at about 1340 feet. We don't reach the highest point on the ridge, which is at 1767 feet.

Rounding a bend, we can see 3486-foot Mt. Umunhum (left of center with the white building on top), the fourth highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, but not yet open to public access.

Descending the hill, we can see oak trees with bunches of parasitic mistletoe.

Cait points out the wildflowers, which include hound's tongue and buttercups, on the hillside

Bridge over a small creek.

Group gathers at the rest stop at 1283 feet.

Couple posing for a picture at the rest stop, which has a nice view across the valley.

The trail begins to descend the hill rapidly on switchbacks.

Heading down the hill, with the Bald Peaks looming above across the valley.

Indian warriors

Shooting stars and buttercups

Crossing a small creek

The trail reaches Baldy Ryan Creek and runs just above it.


Moss-covered rocks by the side of the trail.

Crossing the bridge over Baldy Ryan Creek. Past the creek, the Mayfair Ranch Trail ends where it intersects the Longwall Canyon Trail.

Baldy Ryan Creek.

Garter snake

Arroyo lupine


Going past a serpentine hillside

Poppies grow below the manzanitas on the serpentine hillside

Dudleya and lichens grow on the graywacke cliff by the trail.

The tin building, used as a storage shed.  Ahead, it reaches the junction with the Catamount Trail, which goes up the hill.

The trail runs next to another serpentine-covered hill.

The hill is covered with birdseye gilia and poppies.

The trail runs next to an old cattle stile. It enters Calero County Park ahead.

We return on the flat part of the Serpentine Loop Trail in Calero County Park. Note that all the trails in Calero are closed to bikes.

The hill in Calero is covered with gilia.

Baldy Ryan Creek

At the Serpentine Loop trailhead, there are pink checkerblooms and yellow spring gold.

Created by Ronald Horii, 3/26/10