Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve is located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Bailey Avenue and McKean Road in south Santa Clara County. The valley climate is cool and bright in the winter and hot during the summer months. The 4,685-acre preserve was opened to the public in 2004 with the dedication of the Bald Peaks and Longwall Canyon trails.
Construction in 2005 of a paved staging area with a restroom, picnic tables and space for horse trailers made the preserve’s trails more convenient for hikers and equestrians. The addition of the Mayfair Ranch and Catamount trails in 2007 provided a direct connection to the higher-elevation trails that enabled the authority to open all Rancho Cañada del Oro trails to mountain bike use. A paved loop trail opened in 2007, providing a nature experience for visitors with limited mobility.
From April 16 through September 15 preserve hours are 6 a.m. to sunset. From September 16 through April 15 the preserve is open from 7 a.m. to sunset. The preserve provides several horse troughs but no water for human consumption is available.
Beginning April 19, 2014, mountain bike use will be allowed on the ½ mile segment of Serpentine Loop trail in Calero County Park that connects to Longwall Canyon Trail in Rancho Cañada del Oro. The County of Santa Clara will now allow limited access for dogs in designated areas within Calero County Park including their parking area located on McKean Road. Get more info on Calero here.
Please Note: at this time, dogs are not permitted on Open Space Authority lands or trails including the Rancho Cañada del Oro Casa Loma parking area.
Over 8 miles of connected trails offer spectacular views of the Diablo Range and Mt. Hamilton and wind through native grasslands, live and valley oak woodlands, sage-chaparral scrub, and creekside habitats.
Llagas Creek Loop Trail
This paved whole-access trail begins at the parking area. Almost a half-mile long, the trail meanders through a meadow that offers great birding, deer watching, and a vista of flowers and native grasses under huge oaks and California walnut trees. The trail meets all ADA guidelines and also provides two wheelchair-adapted picnic tables.
Mayfair Ranch Trail
New in 2007, this 3.1-mile trail begins at the staging area and climbs into oak woodlands and savannas to join the Longwall Canyon Trail. At this point visitors can continue into the preserve on a 4.7 mile loop or return to the staging area along a 1.2-mile route that passes into Calero County Park. It’s important to note that bicyclists are prohibited in the county park.
Longwall Canyon Trail
A steep climb, this 2-mile trail provides a picnic table and horse trough at its peak. The summit offers panoramic views of the valley floor, Diablo Range and surrounding ridges. It connects to the Bald Peaks Trail, which continues into the preserve.
Bald Peaks Trail
The 1-mile segment of the Bald Peaks Trail within Rancho Cañada del Oro joins the Catamount Trail, allowing bicyclists as well as hikers and equestrians to complete a loop that returns to the preserve’s staging area. Bald Peaks Trail also continues into Calero County Park, which is closed to mountain bikes.
This 1.7 mile trail has steep and moderate stretches as it rejoins the Longwall Canyon Trail. From that point it is possible to return to the staging area through the county park or along the Mayfair Ranch Trail. Bicyclists must use the Mayfair Ranch Trail.
From Highway 101 or Highway 85. Turn west onto Bailey Avenue. At the intersection with McKean Road turn left. Where McKean Road becomes Uvas Road turn right onto Casa Loma Road. Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve is at the end of the public access portion of the road. Map to Rancho