Sanborn County Park

The Santa Cruz Mountains is home to a number of state, regional, and county parks. With its towering redwoods, lush ferns, and unbeatable views of the San Francisco Bay, these parks provide visitors with plenty of hiking and biking trails. Not far from downtown Saratoga and about halfway up Highway 9 on the San Jose side, you can find Sanborn County Park. 

Earlier this year, my friends Maddy and Tyler married beneath the redwoods, and I thought, "This would be a great place to come back and hike," not when I'm at my friend's wedding and wearing really uncomfortable shoes. A couple weeks later, my boyfriend and I found ourselves near the entrance to the park and we pulled over to the side of the road: there was an unmarked entrance into the woods with a couple of cars parked near it. 

I'm always looking for places where there are going to be fewer people. I don't like people especially when I'm trying to get my nature on. I like hiking with one or two people and crowded trails get on my nerves. This looked like the perfect place to go exploring, especially since I had seen the signs of a large Korean Baptist church gathering at the park. 

This trail did not disappoint. It meandered along a creek underneath the towering shade of the redwoods. In large redwood groves, you can manage to stay cool even after the morning fog burns off. The trail eventually split off into a million directions (mountain biking single tracks) and we decided to continue following the creek up eventually to another road. We only saw one other couple hiking with their baby and their stroller. They were definitely doing some heavy-duty off-roading with that stroller. 

After getting back to the car, we drove further along the road into the park proper. Parking costs five or six dollars, which you can pay with cash or credit card. The trails around here are mostly paved or packed down gravel. They got past noisy campgrounds and the trail we took went straight up hill, which got quite unpleasant as the sun got higher in the sky. 

I would return to Sanborn and explore the woods off the trail.