Coyote Lake County Park southeast of San Jose has plenty of options for boaters, paddlers and campers, but the hiking options were... more » pretty thin until Santa Clara County acquired the neighboring Harvey Bear Ranch section, the halfway point of this out-and-back hike.
This route starts across the road from the Lake View Campground -- a handy trailhead if you've got youngsters eager for explorations. It's also one of the rare shady hikes in a section of the Diablo Range better known for wide-open expanses dotted by the occasional oak tree.
Trails on this hike:
Valley Oak Trail > Rancho San Ysidro Trail.
While this is a very basic route that's easy to navigate, it connects to a network of trails that offer vast options for the more adventurous.
For instance: The Campground Trail connects to the new Mummy Mountain Trail, and the Valley Oak Trail connects to the Calaveras Trail, which leads to the Harvey Bear Trail or to the north end of Coyote Lake.
Best time to go: Springtime when the hills are green and the wildflowers bloom. October brings the tarantula migration (though sightings can be rare). It's a bit too hot for summer hiking, though you might be OK if you start out from your campsite first thing in the morning. less «