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Canada de Pala Trail

Intermediate
 5.0 (1)

Through grass and wooded hills to awesome views of the entire Bay Area, deep in Joseph D. Grant County Park backcountry.


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Map Key

9.1

Miles

14.6

KM

89%

Runnable

2,892' 881 m

High

1,359' 414 m

Low

2,098' 639 m

Up

884' 270 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open 8am to sunset.

Need to Know

Cows graze around this trail, as a nod to the history of this land. They are monitored by a resource management plan.

Description

Trail Start to Mt. Hamilton Rd. (3.65 miles)
Starting in the grassy meadows, Canada de Pala Trail soon enters thin woods and follows a small creek, passing Eagle Trail at the 0.6 mile mark. At the 1.0 mile mark, San Felipe Creek is crossed at the trail's low point. Emerging from the woods, the trail begins a serious climb for the next 2.65 miles all the way to Mt. Hamilton Road. Hotel Trail is passed at the 1.8 mile mark. Looking out over the grass and wooded hills, the views get better and better as the trail climbs.

Mt. Hamilton Rd. to Trail End (5.45 miles)
Hiking north from Mt. Hamilton Road, Canada de Pala Trail immediately climbs to a high grassy ridge top. As it climbs nearby views of Mt. Hamilton and Lick Observatory appear to the right/northeast. Additionally, a broad panorma of the Bay Area emerges in the distance - metropolitan Bay Area, blue Santa Cruz Mountains, and far away the Monterey Peninsula. The trail follows this ridge top with a few gentle ups and downs, for the next 2.5 miles. Along the way a few trails are passed on the left - Yerba Buena Trail (4.1 mile mark), Los Huecos Trail (5.6 mile mark), and Halls Valley Trail (6.0 mile mark). At the 6.5 mile mark, Canada de Pala Trail passes Pala Seca Trail on the left. Pala Seca Trail continues on the ridge top. Going right here to continue on Canada de Pala Trail, Canada de Pala Trail descends a short ways into a broad creek valley at the base of the ridge, and follows this creek valley downstream, passing Washburn Trail at the 7.1 mile mark. Canada de Pala Trail is on the left/west side of this valley, with a gentle brushy hillside rising to the left, and the broad, wet valley to the right. Canada De Pala Trail leaves the creek behind at about the 8.0 mile mark, veers right, and winds its way up the ridge to end at a trail junction with Pala Seca Trail and Antler Point Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Grass hills that are green in the spring, golden in summer and fall. Stands of oak trees and wooded sections. Cows, deer.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1676

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#180

in California

#1,676

Overall
33 Views Last Month
406 Since Apr 1, 2020
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Photos

Views of the broad San Felipe Creek Valley, and grass and wooded hills to the west-northwest, from high on Canada de Pala Trail, as one approaches Mt. Hamilton Rd. from the south.
Apr 1, 2020 near Alum Rock, CA
A giant rock that seems very out of place in these grass and wooded hills. Why is it here? How did it get here?
Apr 1, 2020 near Seven T…, CA
The spring green hills deep in the Joseph D. Grant County Park backcountry near the Canada de Pala Trail start. The trail is faint here as it goes through the grass meadows.
Apr 1, 2020 near Seven T…, CA
The hills of Joseph D. Grant County Park stretch on forever, with Grant Lake in the valley below on the left. Far in the distance are the blue Santa Cruz Mountains. Looking southwest from high on Halls Valley Trail.
Apr 14, 2020 near Alum Rock, CA
The oak studded grass hills of Brush Trail. In the distance, at the left, to the northeast, is Mt. Hamilton, 4,265 ft., with Lick Observatory on its summit.
Mar 28, 2020 near Seven T…, CA
Cows graze along Canada de Pala Trail as they have done for over a century.
Apr 1, 2020 near Seven T…, CA

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