Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mt. Eden Loop - Sat Feb 24

Despite the drizzly weather, Malinda chased me and Raleigh out of the house for a short hike this afternoon.  We went to Mt. Eden Open Space Preserve.  Actually, I'm not really sure if it's a preserve in its own right or just part of Stevens Creek County Park or something.

Regardless, we parked at the top of the "pass" between the Mt. Eden "valley" (Saratoga foothills) and Stevens Canyon and started off downhill (to the left) from the parking lot.

Not many people hike here, and fewer go that way.  We followed the road (through a couple of real muddy spots).  Just past the deep gully/washout, we tried to go up a use trail through the chaparral.  It was steep going and the route fizzled out before meeting up with the horse trail up above.  So we doubled back to the trail.

Soon enough, you come to a small muddy corral.  There were a couple small horses and a pig (!) in it; they got a little agitated seeing Raleigh.  The road then goes up steeply through the oaks via a few switchbacks.  Views of the Saratoga hills appear, then further out into the valley to San Jose and beyond. 

The trail/road is kind of nice.  It's mostly covered with wood chips so it doesn't get muddy.

After you pass under the power lines, you're back into the preserve (prior to that you pass through private property marked with "permission to pass granted" signs).  The road is a gradual uphill till it ends at a vineyard (there's another vineyard if you take the road that branches off to the right at the top).

Nothing too interesting along the way.  We descended the standard route back to the parking lot.

Hike totals: 2 miles; 800' elevation gain

2007 totals: 78 miles; 18,000' elevation gain

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