Sierra Vista & Alum Rock Park Links:
Sierra Vista Sierra Road Staging Area Dedication 8/23/14
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
Sierra Vista Map
Directions to Sierra Vista
Meetup.com pictures, Sierra Vista Opening
Sierra Vista Trail Dedication 10/22/11
Facebook: Sierra Vista Trail Dedication 10/22/11
Sam Drake's Pictures, Sierra Vista Hike 10/22/11
Ellen Finch's Pictures, Sierra Vista Hike 10/22/11
Sierra Vista Boccardo Trail Hike 8/14/10
Facebook: Sierra Vista Hike 11/23/12
Calipidder Blog Sierra Vista
Youtube: Top of Boccardo Trail
mnn.net: the Boccardo Loop
Trail Roller: Alum Rock/Sierra Vista
Trip Report: Alum Rock to Boccardo Trail
Morgan Hill Times: Going Up at Sierra Vista
Everytrail: North Rim to Boccardo Trail
Everytrail: Boccardo Loop Trail
Everytrail: Alum Rock Park
Boccardo Loop Trail, 8/14/10
Alum Rock Regional Park
Alum Rock Park Map
Alum Rock Park History
Wikipedia: Alum Rock Park
Coastal Conservancy: Sierra Vista Construction
Mercury News article on Sierra Vista
SF Examiner: Sierra Vista Trail Opening
Bay Nature: Going Wild Again at Alum Rock
Bike Ride Profile: Alum Rock Peak
Panoramio: Sierra Vista
Flickr: Sierra Vista
Flickr: Boccardo Peak - Bird-eye's View
Flickr: Alum Rock Park - KQED QUEST
NASA: Alum Rock Park
Video: Geocaching Alum Rock Park
Mercury News: Sierra Vista Dedication
SCC Open Space Authority
Board of Directors
Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve
Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike, 5/16/09
Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike, Mayfair Ranch Trail, 3/14/10
Facebook: Ulistac Natural Area, Santa Clara, 1/12/14
Facebook: Rancho Canada del Oro Hike, Mayfair Ranch Trail 1/18/14
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
Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08
Coyote Ridge Wildflower Walks 4/18/10 and 4/3/10
Coyote Ridge, 4/18/10 (Facebook)
Coyote Ridge, April 17, 2011 (Facebook Album)
Coyote Ridge Wildflower Walk, 4/13/14
Facebook: Coyote Ridge Hike 4/13/14
Light of Morn: Coyote Ridge
Light of Morn: Coyote Springs Wildflowers
Coyote Ridge Serpentine Grasslands Field Trip
Blair Ranch Hike, 5/9/09
Blair Ranch Hike 3/28/10
Doan Ranch Page 1, Page 2
Palassou Open Space Preserve Hike, 6/6/09
Bay Area Ridge Trail Links:
Bay Area Ridge Trail
Bay Area Ridge Trail Council's Facebook Page
Facebook, Goal:Hiking the Entire Bay Area Ridge Trail
Ridge Trail Guidebook
Ridge Trail, Sierra Vista map
Ridge Trail: Alum Rock and Boccardo Trail
KQED Quest on the Bay Area Ridge Trail
Mercury News: Santa Clara County: Lots of Trail, Lots of Gaps
Other Park and Trail Pages:
Santa Clara County Parks
Guadalupe River Park and Gardens:
Guadalupe River Trail
Guadalupe Creek Trail
Coyote Creek Trail
Bay Area Biking
Los Alamitos Creek Trail
Bay Trails, South Bay
Bay Area Parks
Friends of Santa Teresa Park
Almaden Quicksilver Park
SF Bay Rec & Travel
Calero Healthy Trails Hike, 4/25/09
Uvas Canyon Healthy Trails Hike, 2/21/09
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
Joseph D. Grant County Park 1/31/10
Ed Levin County Park, Monument Peak Trail 3/3/09
The Penitencia Creek Trail
Penitencia Creek Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail Dedication, 10/25/08
Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve Aquila Trail Dedication 8/23/14
Kitty Monahan, OSA Citizens Advisory Committee Representative for Trails looks at the view from the Aquila Trail to the northwest.
The Aquila Trail is a new trail at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve. It was dedicated on 8/23/14, the same day as the staging area across the street. It is an easy 1.2-mile loop trail, suitable for families. It loops around the hilltops, making gradual climbs and descents. What's unique about this trail, compared to the other trails in Sierra Vista, is that it is on the north side of Sierra Road, providing views to the north. As the trail winds around the hills, new views are revealed at every bend. Aquila means eagle in Spanish. It's pronounced like tequila. From the trail, you can see views that an eagle would see, soaring over the hills. You might even see an eagle.
Docent Paul Billig gathers together a group at the new Sierra Vista Staging Area. The trailhead for the Aquila Trail is across Sierra Road.
Paul gathers the hikers at the Aquila Trailhead.
The trail begins an easy climb uphill.
Rock retaining walls reinforce the side of the trail.
Other groups are hiking the trail at the same time.
The hills are mostly grassland with some scattered rock outcroppings. Managed cattle grazing is allowed, which helps control the grass.
As the trail ascends the hill, adjacent private ranchlands can be seen north of the preserve.
A picnic table provides a convenient rest stop. The green plants are croton setigerus, called doveweed or turkey mullein. They are about the only plants that are green at this time, aside from the trees.
This is a view from the picnic table, which is near a rocky out-cropping. The trail can be seen continuing below.
This is a view looking back towards the trailhead and the new staging area across Sierra Road.
The trail makes a gradual descent on switchbacks. Note the hikers on the trail below on the left.
The trail makes a hairpin turn as it descends the hill.
The trail wraps around at the base of the hill ahead.
There's a lone valley oak tree on top of this hill.
The trail makes another turn. You can see the trail ahead under the oak trees.
As the trail makes another U-turn, the upper part of the trail can be seen above.
There are a few valley oaks like this one, providing intermittent shade on the trail.
Looking north, 3864' Mt. Diablo can be seen rising above the hills.
A lone buckeye tree is dropping its leaves. Buckeyes drop their leaves in the summer to save water.
Looking across this valley to the northwest, a tall ridge, topped by antennae can be seen. This ridge includes 2594' Monument Peak at the south end, 2664' Mt. Allison in the middle, and 2517' Mission Peak at the north end. These peaks are in Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Monument Peak can be reached by trails in Ed Levin County Park. The trail to the peaks and along the ridge are part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, as are some of the trails in Sierra Vista. The peak of Mt. Allison has the antennae and is private property, but the Ridge Trail runs along the east side of the peak.
This is a telephoto view showing the antennae on Mt. Allison.
The trail runs over a small bridge.
The trail reaches a stand of valley oak trees. Paul points out acorns and oak galls on this valley oak.
As the trail continues to the east, views of San Francisco Bay start to emerge. At the base of the Mission Peak ridge is Ed Levin County Park.
This is a telephoto view towards the base of the Mission Peak ridge. The lake is Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin County Park. Below it is the Spring Valley Golf Course. Trails lead uphill to Monument Peak and to launching sites for hang gliders.
Down below to the east is a small stock pond, currently dry.
The trail makes one more gentle climb.
As the trail approaches Sierra Road, it returns to the trailhead.
These are topo maps based on a GPS track of the trail, taken on a survey done on 8/12/14.
This is the view looking north across Sierra Road. The trailhead is at the lower left.
This is the view of the trail looking east. Note the steep hillside to the right of Sierra Road. That's where the Sierra Vista Trail runs along.
This is the view looking south. It shows the elevation changes of the trail and its switchbacks.
This is the view looking west. Note how steep the hillsides are on both sides of the trail. The trail runs near the top of a narrow ridge.
Google Earth 3D Satellite Views
This is the track of the Aquila Trail, taken from the GPS survey on 8/12/14, superimposed on 3D satellite views in Google Earth. These views show the trail relative to the surrounding areas.
This is the big picture, looking east into Alum Rock Park (right of center) above Penitencia Creek Park. The blue shape is the Aquila trail along yellow Sierra Road. The mountains in the background are part of the Diablo Range, which rims the East Bay.
This is a view looking east above Alum Rock Park and Boccardo Hill. The Aquila Trail is on the upper left.
This is a view looking east along Sierra Road, above the Sierra Vista Staging Area, which wasn't built when these satellite pictures were taken. It shows the steep canyons of Penitencia Creek, which is in the center, and Arroyo Aguague, which is on the left. The Calaveras Trail runs up the ridge between the 2 creek canyons.
This is a view looking north above the south rim of Alum Rock Park. Alum Rock Park is down at the bottom of the canyon, with trails going partway up the canyon walls. The Boccardo Hill Loop Trail goes up to Boccardo Hill on the upper left. The Sierra Vista Trail runs along the hills just below the top. The Aquila Trail is top center, on top of the ridge. The white line near the bottom of the hills is private Alum Rock Falls Road.
This is a view to the northwest. Mt. Diablo is on the horizon on the right. The Mission Peak Ridge is left of center. The large body of water above is Calaveras Reservoir, which can't be seen from the trail because the view is blocked by the intervening hills.
This is a view to the north from Mt. Hamilton, which is at the lower right corner on winding Mt. Hamilton Road. Lick Observatory is on its summit at 4216'. The highest point in Santa Clara County is just east of it at 4363' Copernicus Peak. The Aquila Trail is at the upper left. The region in the lower left is Joseph D. Grant County Park, the largest of the Santa Clara County Parks, covering 9560 acres. In-between Grant Park and Sierra Vista is the University of California's Blue Oak Ranch Reserve. The reserve is an undeveloped 3260 acre ecological preserve, only open to researchers.
This is a view east from above Ed Levin County Park. The Aquila Trail is at the upper right. Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin is in the center. Behind it is the Spring Valley Golf Course. Trails in Ed Levin lead up to Monument Peak, which is off to the left. Calaveras Reservoir is at the upper left. It is owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and is off-limits to the public. Directly below in the center is the Summit Pointe Golf Club. Angling up from the right is Calaveras Road, which becomes Felter Road, which heads southeast and becomes Sierra Road. Passing along the east side of Calaveras Reservoir and creating the steep hills and valleys south of it is the Calaveras Fault. The Calaveras Fault Trail in Sierra Vista follows the fault line.
This is a view looking west from above the Sierra Vista and Calaveras Trails. The road along lower part of the hillside on the left is Alum Rock Falls Road.
This is a closer view of the trail, looking west. Sierra Road is in yellow. Private ranchland is on the lower right. Note the steep valley to the right of the trail.
This is a view of the trail looking south, showing how it descends the hill on switchbacks on the right and runs level along the hillside in the middle, then climbs back on the left. In the background is the south rim of Alum Rock Park.
Created by Ronald Horii, 8/27/14