Located in South San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Rancho Cañada Del Oro Open Space Preserve is one of three open space preserves in the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Preserve Authority. Covering over 4,600 acres, this preserve backs up to Calero County Park and provides excellent views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the back of Mount Umunhum.
To reach Rancho Cañada Del Oro, take 101 South from San Jose and exit at Bailey Avenue. Take Bailey Avenue then turn left onto McKean and finally right on Casa Loma Road (there will be a sign advertising the preserve).
Good to Know
Because it does not have water, you need to bring water with you. While the hikes are not particularly long, there are exposed areas and San Jose does get hot. We went in the morning before all the fog had lifted, so this was less of a problem for us.
The trails are multi-use, which means they allow bikers, hikers, and horseback riders. What they do not allow is dogs.
The parking area has a bathroom, which I did not use so I cannot attest to either cleanliness or usability.
trails and hiking
We hiked along the Mayfair Ranch Trail from the parking lot to the top then came back down the Longwall Canyon Trail. Most of the trail is exposed grassy hills and oak woodland.