Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve hike

The hike at Sierra Vista Open space was meant to be a grand exploring adventure today of originally 15 miles but now changed to 10 miles.  The intrepid hiking crew of me, S. and E. all showed up promptly at 9:30 at the Rustic Lands parking area in Alum Rock park.  It wasn't that rustic but there was lots of land around.   We bundled up a bit as it was a cool morning, put on some sun screen, visited the restrooms and then headed off on our adventure.

We started on trails at Alum Rock: North Rim and Todd Quick trails.  At the end of Todd Quick trail we reached Sierra Vista Open Space preserve.  We went through the gate (to keep the cows in the right place) and found the Bocardo Loop trail.  We decided to do the loop in a clockwise direction in order to do the steeper section uphill and the less steep section downhill.  The Borcardo trail was very exposed with wonderful views of San Jose in the distance.  We got rained on twice as we made our way to the top of Borcardo but it was not very light rain and went away quickly.

When we reached the top of the Borcardo loop we were excited to find the new Sierra Vista trail and start our exploration of the trail.  Alas we were thwarted in our attempt.  The heavy rain of the night before resulted in the trail being closed.  What a bummer to hike 3 miles uphill and not get to see the trail that was the whole motivation to hike here.  Oh well.  We obeyed the sign and decided to head up to the top of Borcado hill to have lunch and enjoy the view.  It was a wonderful lunch spot but we ended up finishing up lunch quick when the wind started to blow and we got cold.

We headed back down the Borcado loop trail on the less steep bit.  It was a wonderful section of trail that took lazy long switch backs down to the loop beginning.  When we got back to where the Todd Quick trail intersects the Borcado loop trail we decided to add some miles to our shortened trip by exploring the Weather Loop and more of the North Rim trail.  These trails took us down to the Penitencia creek trail.  It was only an extra mile but was fun.  We arrived at our cars at 2 p.m.  In all we hiked for 4.25 hours with about an hour stopping time for lunch, admiring views, and finding some geocaches.  We hiked 7.38 miles according to my GPS.

All in all it was a marvelous hike but disappointing that we did not get to explore the newest trails of Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.  S. and I may return later this month or in December to try again.  Unfortunately E. doesn't have free time for further exploration till January.

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