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San Jose, California

The San Jose area of California is a true wonderland. With its stunning vistas, abundance of lush parks, and wide variety of activities, it's a great spot to explore whether you want a leisurely day outdoors or an action-packed adventure. From the unique and beautiful Winchester Mystery House to the warm waters of the Guadalupe River, you won’t soon run out of places to visit. With its variety of sports and recreation options, the area is sure to provide everyone with fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

Top Spots in and near San Jose

  • Soquel, California

    Land of Medicine Buddha Loop

    4.5
    5.74 mi / 915 ft gain
    Near the retreat, there is a short trail called "Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail" providing people with the opportunity to meditate on thought transformation in a peaceful and picturesque outdoor setting. From there, a beautiful 6 mile loop will take you up to the top of the ridge and then back aro...
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  • Felton, California

    Tree Climb Mount Hermon

    5.0
    Climbing an aerial obstacle course through the redwoods of Mount Hermon is a great way to experience the thrill of climbing and being in the trees.  See what it's like to scurry through the trees like a squirrel.  This unique vantage point offers amazing views of the redwoods. There are many aeri...
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  • Livermore, California

    Hike to Murietta Falls

    4.0
    12 mi / 4175 ft gain
    Get ready for one of the toughest, lung busting hikes in the east bay with over 6-miles and 4,000ft of climbing in one direction. When you make it to the hike, it's also important to realize that without recent rain, there many not actually be a waterfall. With that said, you're still getting in ...
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  • Livermore, California

    Paddle Lake Del Valle

    4.0
    Lake Del Valle is a reservoir located in Livermore, California. The lake has boat motor boats, pedal boats, patio boats, canoes, and row boats available for rent. There is a dock and rental  house in the marina.The lake is also a popular destination for picnics, barbecues, and camping. Parking fi...
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  • Aptos, California

    Hike to Nisene Marks' Maple Falls

    4.6
    8.5 mi / 900 ft gain
    As you enter the park, you'll need to pay $8 for parking via a self-pay envelope, so it's recommended that you bring exact change. At the park booth, be sure to grab a map. The hike can be a little tricky with no cell service and limited trail signage. Once you've grabbed your map, keep driving p...
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  • Portola Valley, California

    Hike the Windy Hill Loop

    4.3
    7.2 mi / 1400 ft gain
    This 7.2-mile loop starts by heading out of the parking lot and onto the Spring Ridge Trail. Head Southeast On Spring Ridge Trail until you connect with Hamms Gulch Trail. When you jump on Hamms Gulch, head southwest for ~3.4 miles as you circle the far end of the OSP. At this point, you will con...
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  • Santa Cruz County, California

    Camp at Henry Cowell Redwoods Campground

    4.8
    / 665 ft gain
    Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a great weekend option for Bay Area residents. With approximately 30 miles of hiking trails, the incredible Garden of Eden swimming hole, and proximity to Santa Cruz - this campground is not to be missed! On sunny days, view...
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  • Felton, California

    Redwood Grove Loop

    4.0
    0.93 mi / 144 ft gain
    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located just a few miles north of the city of Santa Cruz, along Highway 9. The park is home to an array of hiking and biking trails, but the crown jewel of the park is the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which is only a 1/4 mile in from the park's entrance. Many peo...
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  • Felton, California

    Observation Deck Loop in Henry Cowell Redwoods SP

    4.3
    5.3 mi / 869 ft gain
    The trail starts at the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Visitors Center. Grab a map in the center, as your hike has you turning onto a few different trails to get to the observation deck.  Starting at the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, follow the trail until it connects with the Pipeline Road Trail ...
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  • Felton, California

    Hike Fall Creek at Henry Cowell SP

    5.0
    9.7 mi / 2191 ft gain
    This quiet 10 mile hike features a winding creek and tall redwoods throughout the trail.  The parking at the Fall Creek Trailhead is limited, so it is best to get there before 10am.  There are redwoods very close to the trail and a good portion is alongside the creek.  Most of the trail is dirt, ...
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  • Felton, California

    Hike to Limestone Kilns and Big Ben Redwood

    5.0
    8 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Henry Cowell Redwood State Park is a super easy destination to get to from Santa Cruz, but the seclusion of the Fall Creek Unit makes this a big bang for buck hike. This hike will take you to Big Ben, a medium sized old growth Redwood, and the abandoned Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company Kilns ...
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  • La Honda, California

    Hike the Brook Trail Loop

    7.1 mi / 1500 ft gain
    The Brook Trail Loop is a beautiful hike, starting off in Sam McDonald County Park and later entering into Pescadero Creek County Park. This adventure can be done in any season, with the trails almost entirely shaded for even the hottest summer days. Starting off from the Heritage Grove trailhead...
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  • Livermore, California

    Del Valle Regional Park

    4.0
    Looking for a quick summer escape filled with stand up paddling, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and picnics? Look no further than Del Valle Regional Park. Consistently considered one of the best campgrounds in the Bay Area, the centerpiece of Del Valle is a 5-mile long lake that allows swimming, fish...
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  • Sunol, California

    Hike the Pleasanton Ridge Trail

    4.3
    6.4 mi / 1443 ft gain
    Pleasanton Ridge Trail is a 6.4 mile loop. The loop is shared by dog walkers, trail runners, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. From the ridge your viewpoints will include Mount Diablo and the San Francisco Bay.  This hike from the Foothills Staging Area is an excellent introduction ...
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  • Boulder Creek, California

    Berry Creek Falls Loop (Closed)

    4.8
    10 mi / 2310 ft gain
    Unfortunately, this trail is closed due to a past fire. See CA.Gov for updates on trails in Big Basin.  Nestled in California's oldest state park, the popular Berry Creek Falls Loop hike begins at the Big Basin park headquarters. If you're up for 11 miles, a thousand feet of elevation gain throu...
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  • Boulder Creek, California

    Camp at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

    4.0
    0.5 mi
    Big Basin is currently closed including the campgrounds. Please visit the Parks.ca.gov site for updated details.  An hour away from the thrumming city of San Jose, ancient immense trees live in a forest full of vibrant ferns and rushing waterfalls. Big Basin Redwoods State Park encompasses 10,00...
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