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What you need to know

Location Activities

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Photo Op
  • Redwood
  • Waterfall
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Preserve Information

At the foot of Loma Prieta, the highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this preserve offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Follow trails that wind through native grasslands, sage-chaparral scrub and creekside habitats. The preserve's blue oak forest, clear creeks and abundant wildlife are protected forever thanks to POST, who acquired the land in 1999.

Watch for:

Bobcats, deer, coyotes, foxes and mountain lions. It's also a great place to see wildflowers in the spring.

Our Favorite Hike at Rancho Cañada del Oro

Distance: 5.8-mile loop

Elevation change: 1,460′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours

Trail surface: Hard-packed dirt

Best seasons: Winter, spring

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Midpen Logo-TransparentThough we try to keep this page accurate, please see the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority’s website before visiting for the latest information.



With over 12 miles of trails and spectacular views, visitors can choose to take a relaxing stroll or a challenging hike.

For a moderate, 5.8-mile loop hike, head to the preserve entrance and turn right onto Little Llagas Creek Trail. Follow this for 1.5 miles to Bald Peaks Trail. Continue on Bald Peaks Trail for about two miles before turning left onto Catamount Trail and descending into Longwall Canyon. (There’s a picnic table on Catamount Trail that’s a great spot to stop and have a snack — you’ve made it over halfway!)

Finish the hike by turning left onto Longwall Canyon Trail, and enjoy views of the creek as you head back to the parking lot.

The Backstory

POST protected this property in 1999 and soon after transferred ownership to the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority for permanent management. The 4,685-acre Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve opened to the public in 2004 with the dedication of the Bald Peaks and Longwall Canyon trails.

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