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Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
November 17, 2012
Grant Ranch County Park
Santa Clara County
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The Place

Grant Ranch County Park
November 17, 2012
10:00 AM

Rolling Hills

Joseph D. Grant park, otherwise known as Grant Ranch, is the largest park within our county park system. Grant Ranch Park has 9,553 acres of rich open space. The trails are intricate and diverse. The entire trail system within the park totals 51 miles (WOW). The parks diversity spans the hills and travels into the valley and on along the ridge. The elevation gain is had with sweat and tears, as it is pretty steep. But the price is a fair one, once you get a look around from the summit. The views are spectacular. The landscape, of course, is characteristic of the East foothills. The hills are covered with low-lying grass and are scattered with majestic oaks. The oak-woodland community is said to be typical of California. The diverse oak community, which includes Blue, Black, Live and Valley Oak species, is a breeding and food habitat for over 70 species of birds and mammals. Keep a look out for the allusive Bobcat as I saw one on my last scouting. Joseph D. Grant Park is located at the foot of Mt Hamilton. The valley, known as Halls Valley, is suspended between two major ridges in the Diablo Range. Seismic activity along the still active Calaveras Fault continues to alter the parks terrain even today.

Water Tank

Walking The Walk
Level: 3.0       Miles: 7.5       Elevation: 1200 ft       Host: Anna J.

Our hike will take us from the parking lot past the campgrounds to the San Felipe Trail to the Brush Trail then to the Dutch Flat Trail where we will summit from the south. Our halfway point will be at the gate near the top. If weather permits, we will look for a meeting spot there; otherwise we will continue on to the Scenic Overview. From the overview the trail is a straight shot down to the parking lot along the Dutch Flat Trail.

Field of oaks and fire road

From San Jose: take 280 South toward the east hills. This will turn into Highway 680 as you pass Hwy 101. Take the Alum Rock exit and turn right. Go all the way through town to Mt. Hamilton Road and turn right. The park is only eight miles from this intersection but can take a good deal of time as the road has some serious turns. Use caution and give yourself enough time to arrive safely. We will meet in the 2nd parking lot near the bathrooms.

{Picnic bench at view

Know Before You Go:
This is an early Fall hike, so please, wear plenty of layers. We will be out in the open and high up in the hills. We will be exposed to both wind and possible rain. A wool hat or something to keep your ears warm is probably a real good idea. Bring something water-resistant to sit on in case of rain. On the other hand, in case of a warming trend (similar to the year we hiked Grant Ranch on the HOTTEST November day in recorded history!), sunscreen and cooler clothes might come in handy too. LAYER! We most likely will come across grazing cattle. Please leave these animals to their business. Though they look domesticated, they can become quite agitated and aggressive if threatened or frightened. We may also come across European wild pigs. These animals have been crossbred with domestic pigs back in the day and are still seen wondering in packs. Again, it is a real good idea to let these creatures be as well. The male pigs are quite large and we've heard they run pretty fast. If you are chased by one, head for a tree, I don't think they can climb.
For more information, contact your host, Anna J .

No Dogs Allowed
Parking $6.00
Bathrooms in the parking lot.