For a furrific hike near Silicon Valley, bring your pup to El Sereno Open Space Preserve! Named for Mount El Sereno, this 1,415-acre site west of Los Gatos and south of Saratoga draws hikers, bikers, and equestrians with its chaparral community and pawsome scenery. Not to worry, though; the preserve is never crowded, so you and Fido can go on an adventure without any distractions!
El Sereno welcomes four-legged hikers on all of its trails as long as they are leashed. The preserve contains about 7 miles of wide, gradual trails, all of which are out-and-back routes. There are no loop opportunities, so it will probably take you and Fido a few visits to explore them all. The good news is, you don't have to hike far into the preserve to be treated to puptastic views on clear days.
One of the trails on the preserve is the 3-mile Aquinas Trail. As you and your pooch trek along the ridge, you'll get to see the Lexington Reservoir, the South Bay, and Sierra Azul and Saint Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserves. Another route is the Overlook Trail. Nestled in the north section of the park, this 1.2-mile trail will take you and your doggo through open grassland and a lightly shaded forest. Whichever trails you tackle, you and Fido can enjoy the woofderful smells of the California bay laurel and various chaparral plants, including yerba santa, chamise, and coyote bush.
Don't furget to bring sunscreen, doggie waste bags, and lots of water! It is recommended to head out early as shade and parking are limited. Note that while there is a small parking lot near the trailhead for the Overlook Trail, you must have a permit (no fee) to park in this lot. If you don't have a permit, head to the parking area on Montevina Road.
Stretch your legs and enjoy the views with your furry pal at El Sereno Open Space Preserve!