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Lisa Killough Trail

Intermediate
 4.5 (2)

Enjoy a glorious trail through the scenic grass and wooded hills of Calero County Park.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.0

KM

98%

Runnable

886' 270 m

High

421' 128 m

Low

504' 154 m

Up

397' 121 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. There is no fee when parking in the trailhead parking area.

Description

Lisa Killough Trail starts from the parking area at Calero County Park's Rancho San Vicente Entrance on McKean Road in the northwest corner of the park. From here, this trail winds through grass and wooded hills to end at the Cottle Trail deep in the backcountry of this park. The golden grasses of summer and autumn turn a brilliant bright green in winter and spring, exploding in vibrant wildflowers by March and April.

From its trailhead, Lisa Killough Trail heads into the grass hills climbing gently. To the right in the distant wooded hills are a few widely scattered homes. To the left rise the grass hills of Calero County Park. A few trail junctions are passed—North Ridge Trail at the 0.2 and 0.4 mile marks, and then the start of the Cottle Trail at the 0.6 mile mark. About 1.1 miles from its trailhead, Lisa Killough Trail finally passes the Vista del Oro Trail on the left.

Shortly after passing Vista del Oro Trail, Lisa Killough Trail veers left (southeast) to head to the interior of the park, leaving all signs of civilization behind. A high, grassy ridge rises to the left of the trail. To the right of the trail is a wooded creek valley. Across the creek valley, one can see the wooded hills of the park and the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance. The trail now goes through sunlit wooded sections as it levels off briefly before resuming its gradual climb.

At the 2.9 mile mark, there is a short 0.1 mile spur to Lisa's Lookout, above the trail's highpoint. This lookout has picnic tables and a great view of the hills and Santa Cruz Mountains. Lisa Killough, the trail and lookout's namesake, had a dedicated 25 year career with Santa Clara County Parks, enthusiastically promoting Santa Clara County Parks' growth and preservation.

Just after passing Lisa's Lookout, Lisa Killough Trail reaches its high point and begins to gradually descend. Continuing to wind through grass hills and thin woods, the trail passes the end of Vista del Oro Trail on the left at the 3.5 mile mark. From here the trail heads east to one giant switchback where it does a U-turn to head west down into the Cherry Canyon Creek Valley on the Cottle Trail.

Lisa Killough Trail ends after 5.0 miles at the Cottle Trail's 2.9 mile mark, deep in the interior of Calero County Park.
From here, one can turn left onto Cottle Trail to enjoy an 8.5 mile loop that takes one back to the start of Cottle Trail and Lisa Killough Trail at the Rancho San Vicente Entrance parking area.

Flora & Fauna

You can occasionally find deer and coyotes here.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#6754

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#609

in California

#6,754

Overall
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1,627 Since Mar 29, 2018
Intermediate

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Photos

Wildflowers and spring greenery is everywhere along Lisa Killough Trail in late March.
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA
Mt. Umunhum of the Santa Cruz Mountains is in the distance as Lisa Killough Trail emerges from a shaded section.
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA
Beautiful spring greenery is everywhere in a shaded section of Lisa Killough Trail.
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA
California poppies, blue eyed grass, and yellow flowers along Lisa Killough Trail
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA
California poppies along Lisa Killough Trail
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA
Lisa Killough Trail travels through fields of spring wildflowers with the Santa Cruz Mountains and Mt. Umunhum in the distance.
Mar 29, 2018 near Almaden…, CA

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May 5, 2019
Corey B
hard to escape seeing an everpresent McMansion in the 1st 3 miles. otherwise is beautiful area. 3.5/5. did not do whole trail. 3mi