Santa Clara County Highpoint Trip Report

Dates: 3 days in 2005-6
Author: "Rayo"

In late 2005, I walked around San Francisco Bay. I am now walking from the Bay to the highest point in each of the 9 bay area counties. I have completed the walk from San Francisco Bay to Copernicus Peak at the summit of Mount Hamilton - the highest point in Santa Clara County.

Spring 06: Dixon Landing to Eastridge Transit Center - 12 miles, elevation gain of 100 feet.

April 6, 2006: Walked up Quimby Road and thru Grant Park via Yerba Buena Trail to Twin Gates parking area. Total was 13.5 miles and 3,200 feet gained (includes 0.5 mile to exit). Thanks to the nice young couple who gave me a ride. I hope that was not your uncle rolling around in the trunk.

November 26, 2006: Walked off road from Joseph Grant Park to summit. Total was 8.5 miles and 2,350 feet of gain (includes 2 miles and 50 feet for exit).

Total Mission: 3 days, 34 miles and 5,650 feet of gain (includes 2.5 miles and 50 feet for exits).

Some notes about the final leg: USGS topo maps show an old jeep trail from just above the Smith Creek Ranger Station almost to the summit. Parts of the trail can be seen with aerial imagery. I did this part on a very foggy day and I wore bland khaki colors.

At the first bend after the Smith Creek Ranger Station, you see the gate to the old jeep trial on the right. Skip that. Go around to the next bend and crawl through the fence. Then go straight up. You are trying to avoid being in the line of site of two ranch houses behind you - one on the left and the other on the right. Also, about 200 yards to your right is a trailer home. Avoid that too.

Just go straight up the hill. The terrain is grassy with lots of oaks but no brush to get in the way. It is very steep in some parts. Keep the main road on your left and the old jeep trail on your right. A bit after you pass a pond on your right, you can crawl through the next fence. Both fences are damaged, suggesting that other people have gone thru here.

At this point, you leave the ranch property and enter University of California property. The land has no cattle and no people. It is amazingly pristine. You will probably see wild pigs and will certainly see their trails and poop.

Scramble straight up the ridge. At the other side, you can merge onto the old jeep trail. This will take you about a mile short of the summit where it joins the main road. I kept off trail as far as I could but had to merge onto the road for the last half mile. This last segment puts you in full view of residences at the top. So take your breaks behind trees, etc....

Other reports tell you how to find the highpoint.