Added by BayTrailrunners

An amazing run with relatively little crowds. The views are phenomenal. Hills, ravines and everything in between.

Communes, dairy, and gold. These words are not often associated with trail running, but out on Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain which rise high above Silicon Valley, you might just hear them uttered.

From the parking area in Skyline Open Space we start our run by crossing Skyline Boulevard and gain entrance into Monte Bello via the Skid Road Trail. We follow Skid down into the valley, cross over Stevens Creek and hang a right on the Nature Trail. Mostly grassland and oak, this valley also contains the last remaining Douglas-fir forest in Santa Clara County.

At the intersection with Canyon Trail we head left and begin our climb. This area was once inhabited by a communal group known as "The Land". When this property was sold to the MROSD, these people sadly found themselves homeless.

Where Canyon meets up with Bella Vista we go right, continue our climb and cross over the San Andreas Fault. Geologically this area is very different from the rest of the Santa Cruz Mountains as most of the rock is granitic, similar to those of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After the Gold Rush, this region was used as a grazing pasture for cattle coming from a nearby dairy along Page Mill Road.

Bella Vista joins with Old Ranch where we stay to the right and link up with Indian Creek. Rumor has it that a lone Indian made a living from gold he was able to extract from a lost mine located nearby! Just up ahead we take a right on Montebello, follow it for a bit and turn around at the Calera limestone rock formation found at the summit.

Again we end up on Indian Creek, passing by Old Ranch and start a relentless section of downhill back into the valley. At Canyon we go right, take the entrance to the Stevens Creek Nature Trail on the left and follow it out to Skid Road. At Skid we head back up to Skyline Blvd and cross back to the start! Source

Check out the interactive aerial tour.

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Tags

Running
Bathrooms
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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