Conditions & Safety

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


Hear more from General Manager Andrea on how you can do your part to #LoveYourParks6ftApart

Hạn chế các hoạt động tại công viên và các hoạt động ngoài trời khác để gia tăng việc giữ khoảng cách xã hội

Limitar las actividades en los parques y otras actividades al aire libre para mejorar el distanciamiento social   

Due to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s shelter in place order, the Open Space Authority will be closing its office until further notice. Administrative staff are working from home, and all in-person docent-led and volunteer stewardship events are canceled until further notice. This is to ensure the health and safety of you and our staff during this time. To keep you connected with open space, we will be providing interactive virtual nature events to attend from the comfort of your own home.

The Open Space Authority strongly believes that connecting people to nature and outdoor open spaces is more important than ever, as being in nature provides important personal physical and mental health benefits. At this time, our open space preserves will remain open for the public to enjoy nature in a safe and healthy manner.

During this time, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the health of preserve visitors and staff. Please observe the following rules and conditions:


Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve will now be open for viewing the sunset! Preserve hours are 7 AM to 1/2 hour after sunset. All visitors must exit the preserve prior to closing.


Due to recent fire activity, trail or preserve access may be impacted as conditions change. Please check our website prior to visiting an open space preserve. Keep yourself safe to ensure emergency services are available for fires.



On the Trails



Over the recent months, our preserves have been busier than ever. If you want to beat the crowds, try visiting the preserves at these times:

Current Trail Conditions

updated October 22, 2020

  • Sierra Vista open space preserve

    • Aquila Loop Trail Visitors must travel counterclockwise around the Aquila Loop.
    • Boccardo Loop Trail Visitors must travel one-way along the eastern section of the Boccardo Loop Trail downhill from the Boccardo Spur to the Boccardo Trail.
    • Kestrel Trail
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista Trail
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista - Boccardo Loop - Sierra Vista - Kestrel Trail
    • Kestrel - Sierra Vista - Bridge - Upper Calaveras Fault - Lower Calaveras Fault Trail
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 1 Trail
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 2 Trail
    • Sierra Vista- Segment 3 Trail
    • Upper Calaveras Fault Trail
  • Rancho Cañada del Oro open space preserve

    • Bald Peaks Trail Multiple preserve conditions are in effect. Please check the Trail Conditions.
    • Catamount Trail
    • Llagas Creek Loop Trail
    • Mayfair Ranch Trail One-way trails in effect. Visitors must travel clockwise on Mayfair Ranch Trail from the parking lot to the Longwall Canyon junction.
    • Mayfair Ranch - Longwall Canyon Trail One-way trails in effect. Visitors must travel clockwise on Mayfair Ranch Trail from the parking lot to the Longwall Canyon junction.
    • Mayfair Ranch - Longwall Canyon - Bald Peaks - Catamount Trail One-way trails in effect. Visitors must travel clockwise on Longwall Canyon Trail from Mayfair Ranch Trail junction to Bald Peaks Trail.
  • Coyote Valley open space preserve

    One-way trails in effect. Visitors must travel counterclockwise around the Arrowhead Loop.
  • Coyote Ridge open space preserve


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

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 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 liklihood 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 you 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


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 is joins a distinct neck. This snake often has a series of dark and light bands near the 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

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.