Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve opened the 1,432 acres up to the public June 2019. This south bay hike has been on our list since the opening was announced and we finally went to check out the second-growth redwood forest this fall. The maples were turning their bright yellow colors and the morning light made the leaves glow like a beacon guiding us around the preserve. With approximately 7 miles of trails and a total elevation gain of 1,680 feet through redwoods, firs, bays, madrones and next to creeks…this preserve checks a lot of boxes to explore!
Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
Bear Creek Redwoods is a wonderfully rugged preserve with a diverse forest. It was saved from being a golf course and gorgeous homes by MidPen. Tucked away just a few miles away from bustling Los Gatos this preserve is a perfect retreat to the outdoors.
The parking lot is new and fills up fast so get there early! Take a walk around the interpretive area near the parking lot and read up on what their plans are!
Carefully cross the road at the crosswalk and step onto a nice wide fire road that meanders through the preserve.
We tend to hike counter-clockwise for some reason and this trail was no different. Our hike was Alma trail to Redwood Springs trail then up to Madrone Knoll and back to Alma trail.
Redwood Springs Trail
Alma trail is a nice wide fire road that gently climbs up from the main road and branches off onto Redwood Springs trail.
The trail narrows in some spots and is fully engulfed in the shade. This is definitely a great spot to escape the summer heat! Fall was a beautiful time to experience the park for the first time! The maples were glowing!
As we made our way up to Madrone Knoll we started to hear voices in the distance. Kids running in circles at the top of the knoll! Smart parents getting them to burn off some energy!
If you are wanting the go to the 2,400 ft peak, definitely head up to the knoll but don’t expect any views. It is, thankfully, still covered in beautiful trees! There are some views here and there on the trail up where you can see other mountain ranges in the area but you are mostly under the forest canopy.
Madrone Knoll is definitely a great spot to pause and enjoy the moment and remind ourselves this is here because people CHOSE to save the land for public use instead of private use!
When you are ready, head back down from Madrone Knoll and take Alma trail.
Do you like to save the best for last? If you do, you will appreciate doing the hike counter-clockwise!
As you head back down on Alma trail you enter the redwoods part of the hike! Young redwoods line the trail and if there’s water flowing you could hear Bear Creek flowing through. While we love pretty much all nature related things, redwoods hold a special place for us!
Most of this area was logged and only a few old-growth redwoods remain. They are right along the trail and just as majestic as ones in a full old-growth forest. Seriously, the feeling you get when walking through a redwood forest is so different than any other. The air is somehow different.
Enjoy the solitude if you happen to be on the trails by yourself!
Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve is located perfectly for people to be able to access this preserve year-round and take advantage of what nature does for our physical and mental health.
This is currently being written during a major worldwide health crisis and we are so very thankful places like this exist in Northern California for all of us to be able to escape to. Be well friends.
Parking is free but does fill up fast! Vault toilets are available near the parking lot. The easy to moderate (only because of a few steep spots) 7.5 mile balloon hike has 1,680 ft elevation gain/loss and is mostly shaded. Perfect for year round hiking! Sorry, pups need to stay home. Bring a picnic and enjoy the pond!
Things We Love:
Snacks! WE LOVE SNACKS! What’s your favorite snack to hike with? We have a few we alternate through.
If we know we are going to have a brutal hike with lots of sweating, we make sure to carry some Skratch Labs Energy Chews. We have had both the orange and raspberry flavors and can’t quite decide which one we like better so we also alternate these!
The bosslady always has Chomps Grass Fed Beef Sticks on her. Truly she does. If you see her just ask for one. 🙂 She has a jillion food allergies and this is one thing she can have on the go.
The hubs likes his sweets so his trail snack of choice is Lara Bars. The more chocolate the better…as long as there are no chunky nuts. Just in case you were wondering what to get him for his birthday. 😉
We used to take rice crackers with sunflower butter and tangerines but those get messy out on the trails. We do usually have something like this in the car for our drive home!
Are you one that has a full sandwhich or burrito with you on hikes? Or are you more of a snacker?
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