“A short trail that climbs from the parking area for views of the Cupertino area.”
— David Hitchcock
Views · Wildlife
The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset. While other trails in the preserve are open to bicyclists and equestrian use, the Hill Trail is for pedestrians only.
While the Hill Trail is short, it climbs to a hill above the parking area where views of the surrounding Cupertino area and parts of the South Bay can be enjoyed. To access the trail, park at one of the lower lots on Cristo Rey Drive and follow the service road until there is an opening in the fence, where a sign indicates where the Hill Trail starts.
The trail begins climbing immediately up the hill to the left before cutting back to the right. Climbing above two open fields, deer can be seen feeding in these areas in the mornings and in the evenings at dusk. Views of the trails around the parking area spread out behind you, and you can see people flying model airplanes above the designated field in the preserve.
Continuing to climb the trail, is either gravel or packed dirt, which makes for easy running as you continue to climb up the hillside. The trail wraps around the hill, where a water tank sits at the summit. If you look behind you, limited views of the South Bay area and the mountains on the other side of the bay stretch out before you. Homes sitting just outside the preserve serve as a reminder of what could have happened to the area had it not been purchased and set aside as a recreational area by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
As the trail levels out, it meets up with the Coyote and PG & E Trail
. If you follow the PG&E Trail to the left for half a mile, you come back to the parking areas and can make your way back to your car. If you follow, the PG & E Trail
or the Coyote Trail
to the right, you can explore the upper areas of the preserve.
Due to its proximity to Cupertino and Los Altos and the ease with which it can be combined with the other trails to create loops of varying length, this is a popular trail despite its short length.
Flora & Fauna
Deer can be seen feeding on the hillsides in the evening.