Three mountain bikers and two hikers traveling along dirt trail at top of grassy hill overlooking urban San Jose below

Conditions & Safety

Open space preserves are open to the public for your enjoyment and we strongly encourage you to come prepared for the outdoors. Cell service is limited in some of the preserves, so always remember to let others know where you’re going and when you’ll return home. Before hitting the trail, be prepared for all types of weather conditions and carry enough water and snacks for the entire day.

SIERRA VISTA Preserve

 

COVID-19 UPDATES

The Open Space Authority strongly believes that connecting people to nature and outdoor spaces provides essential benefits related to physical and mental wellness. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, our open space preserves provided important places for the public to enjoy nature, along with modifications to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff.  
 

FIRE & heat SAFETY

Red flag warnings and fire activity may impact trails or preserves as conditions change. Please check back on this page prior to visiting an open space preserve, and keep yourself safe to ensure emergency services are available for fires.
   

On the Trails


AMENITIES


BUSY TIMES

With warmer weather and longer days, it's the perfect time of year to enjoy the outdoors. If you want to beat the crowds, try visiting the preserves at these times:
 
 

Current Trail Conditions

updated October 18, 2021

  • Sierra Vista open space preserve

    • Aquila Loop Trail Visitors must travel counterclockwise around the Aquila Loop.
      Open
    • Boccardo Loop Trail
      Open
    • Kestrel Trail
      Open
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista Trail
      Open
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista - Boccardo Loop - Sierra Vista - Kestrel Trail
      Open
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista - Bridge - Upper Calaveras Fault - Lower Calaveras Fault Trail
      Open
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 1 Trail
      Open
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 2 Trail
      Open
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 3 Trail
      Open
    • Upper Calaveras Fault Trail
      Open
  • Rancho Cañada del Oro open space preserve

    • Bald Peaks Trail
      Open
    • Catamount Trail
      Open
    • Llagas Creek Loop Trail
      Open
    • Mayfair Ranch Trail Visitors must travel one-way along the Mayfair Ranch Trail from the parking lot to the Longwall Canyon junction.
      Open
    • Mayfair Ranch - Longwall Canyon Trail
      Open
    • Mayfair Ranch - Longwall Canyon - Bald Peaks - Catamount Trail
      Open
  • Coyote Valley open space preserve

    Open
    Visitors must travel counterclockwise around the Arrowhead Loop Trail.
  • Coyote Ridge open space preserve

    Closed

Basic rules to follow:

  • Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are only allowed on designated trails
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Fires, fireworks, and smoking are prohibited
  • Do not feed, disturb, touch, or remove wildlife
  • Do not remove or vandalize preserve facilities
  • Hunting, fishing, and trapping are not allowed
  • Possession or use of firearms, pellet guns, paintball guns, bows, or slingshots is prohibited
  • Unmanned aerial systems or drones are not allowed
  • Be considerate to other preserve visitors and share the trail
  • Please leave no trace and pack out your trash

Precautions when hiking outdoors

As you explore open space lands, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings as there can be plants and animals that can cause illness or injury. Here are some common plants and wildlife that you should avoid:

Close-up of shiny green and red poison oak leaves

Poison Oak

Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) causes an allergic reaction in many people that produces an irritating rash.

Poison oak is a shrubby or climbing plant with three-part leaves that are toothed or lobed. The plant tends to be green in spring and red in late summer and fall. Because it regrows from rootstock, the plant easily recurs after disturbances and is difficult to totally remove from a landscape. Sticks without leaves can also spread poison oak oils.

The best way to avoid this nuisance is by learning to recognize the plant, avoiding contact with it, and washing skin, clothing, and gear after exposure.

Illustration of brown and black tick

ticks

Ticks (Ixodes ricinus) are small invertebrates, scientifically classified as Arachnida, the classification that includes spiders. There are several types of tick-borne illnesses that can be transmitted by tick bites.

There are several things you can do to reduce your likelihood of being bitten. First, make ticks more visible, and reduce their access to skin by wearing ligh-colored clothes, long sleeves and long pants, and tucking your pant legs into your socks. Also, avoid contact with places where ticks are likely to be, such as sitting on logs or lounging under trees.

Always do a self-check after being in areas where ticks may be found.

Brown and tan rattlesnake on gray rock

Rattlesnake

The northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis oreganos) lives in much of northern California and has been spotted on most Authority lands. This snake is venomous and a bite can be dangerous. While the snake will strike if threatened or attacked, generally it will retreat if left alone.

A rattlesnake has a thick body and a triangular-shaped head, which is much wider where it joins its distinct neck. This snake often has a series of dark and light bands near its tail, just before the rattles. Not all specimens have rattles, as they can easily break off.

Mountain lion on path walking away from camera

mountain lion

Mountain Lions (Puma concolor) are very common throughout Northern California. For everyone's safety, it’s important to minimize the chance of mountain lion encounters. Since research has found that single hikers are three times more likely to encounter a mountain lion, hike with a friend or in a group.

If you do see a mountain lion, stay back. Maintain eye contact—they perceive this as threatening. Try to appear large by raising your arms or holding your jacket open. Speak in a loud, firm voice. Don’t run, crouch, or bend over. If the mountain lion approaches, fight back. People have effectively defended themselves and others with sticks, rocks, or whatever they could grab.