Spring Training: Santa Clara Hiking Spots

One of the great benefits of going to school on the West Coast is the weather, especially in the springtime. Who can complain about weather in the high-70’s most of spring quarter?  As they say, “it’s always great day to be a Bronco.” For those nature-loving souls out there, like myself, hiking is a great way to celebrate our wonderful weather (plus, hiking is a fantastic way to work on your summer body). There are a variety of great hikes just minutes from campus, so grab some friends and go celebrate!

Rancho San Antonio (15 minute drive)

Located just west of Santa Clara outside Cupertino, Rancho San Antonio County Park is a great place for hikers of all skill levels. Round trip to Deer Hollow Farm is a flat 2 mile hike. However, if you’re feeling ambitious, the PG&E trail is about 4 miles and includes some hills. There’s a ton of other trails in the park, so grab a map and start planning your route! Get an early start on driving there, however, as the parking lot fills up fast on the weekends.

Mission Peak (40 minute drive)

Mission Peak is probably the most popular, yet strenuous, hike for Santa Clara students. Despite how challenging the hike is, the accomplishment that sets in as you look out over all of San Jose makes the hard climb insignificant. There are a variety of ways to hike Mission Peak, located north of San Jose. Two of the most popular are Horse Heaven Trail or the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which are 6 and 13 miles in length, respectively. 

Castle Rock (40 minute drive)

It’s always a gorgeous day for a hike in the woods, and Castle Rock State Park never disappoints. Located South West of San Jose outside of Saratoga, there are a variety of trails to explore. But beware: the trails can sometimes be narrow and slippery, so come prepared with a walking stick. Castle Rock features some amazing views, luscious woods, and awesome rock formations that are perfect for exploring with friends. You may even spot some waterfalls along the way!

Guadalupe River Park (10 minute drive)

If you aren’t a hiking connoisseur, Guadalupe River Park provides the perfect opportunity for you to commune with nature, in a metropolitan setting! Located in downtown San Jose, this paved trail runs along the Guadalupe River, beginning near the Children’s Discovery Museum. Pro tip: stop at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, located at Taylor and Spring streets. The garden features a beautiful range of rose species which bloom in the spring, so grab your friends and a camera for some great photo opportunities!

Whether you’re recovering from some Friday night celebrations or are up for a challenging hike, us Broncos are lucky to be in such close vicinity to some great spots to enjoy ourselves during spring quarter!