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Bear Creek Redwoods Hike Information

This beautiful redwood preserve is just three miles from Los Gatos and contains six miles of trails for hikers and equestrians to explore.

Watch for:

Keep an eye out for newts, banana slugs and black-tailed deer.

Hiking Details for Bear Creek Redwoods

Distance: 6 miles

Elevation change: 1,400 feet

Hiking time: 3-4 hours

Trail surface: Varied

Best Season: Year-round

Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: The Alma Trail is found directly across Bear Creek Road from the main parking area. It’s accessible using the new pedestrian crossing. This trail takes you through densely wooded fir and redwood forests, including past a beautiful old-growth redwood. The hike is steep at times; bring plenty of water and take your time.

From the trailhead, climb a few hundred feet until, about a mile in, you arrive a junction with the Redwood Springs Trail. Stay on the Alma Trail at this junction. If you’re up for it, from this junction you can climb the few hundred feet to the Madrone Knoll, which is the highest point of the preserve at 2,400 feet. The views between the vegetation are well worth the extra effort. Return via the Redwood Springs trail, which connects back to the Alma Trail to take you back to the parking lot.

Directions to the Bear Creek Redwoods Hike

Take highway 17 to bear Creek Road, opposite Lexington Reservoir. Going south: go under the overpass; the road curves right onto Bear Creek Road. Going north: take the overpass. From the stop sign, drive 1 mile. The parking lot is on the left.

More About Bear Creek Redwoods

Bear Creek Redwoods is rich in cultural history. Within the preserve you’ll find Ohlone mortar stones at the newly constructed entrance, stumps of ancient redwoods once harvested for the construction of nearby San Francisco and the remnants of the Alma College, the first Jesuit school of theology in the American West.

In 1999, in partnership with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, POST protected Bear Creek Redwoods, narrowly saving it from becoming a golf course with luxury estate homes.

Our intention was always to open the preserve for public use, but dilapidated buildings, hazardous old roads, invasive species and a lack of safe parking made that a prohibitively expensive and complex undertaking at that time. Momentum to open this preserve picked up speed in 2014, when voters approved Measure AA—a $300 million bond with funds designated for public access improvements within Midpen’s properties. Over the past four years, they have been hard at work preparing this new preserve for everyone to enjoy.

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