Alum Rock: Penintencia Creek Trail

This hike has been rated easy.

The Penitencia Creek Trail runs all the way from Berryessa BART into Alum Rock Park, and then up the narrow canyon parallel to the roadway. This hike joins the trail about a mile from the entrance to the park itself, where the trail runs along ponds and the channelized creek by the same name. Inside the park, the trail tends to follow the alignment of an old railway, used for getting San José residents out of town and up to the canyon’s mineral water resorts. Ruins of those baths exist along the trail, as do ruins of the railroad itself, and services like playgrounds and picnic tables. Turn around whenever you feel like, or head back until the trail turns up the side of the canyon.

For those looking for more of a challenge, the canyon slopes are dotted with trails as well that can challenge anyone at any level. For the best views in the area, hike up the additional 3-mile, 1600-foot elevation gain trail to the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve parking lot.

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