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Alma Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer point to point
85% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,029' 314 m
Descent: -153' -47 m
High: 1,873' 571 m
Low: 995' 303 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

Trail shared by David Hitchcock

Run through a second growth forest with giant redwood trees as you climb up into the preserve.

David Hitchcock

Features Birding · Wildflowers

Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve is open half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset.

Need to Know

Restrooms are located in the parking lot along Bear Creek Road and are the only ones in the preserve at this time. The trail is steep, with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Make sure to bring enough water for your run.

Runner Notes

The trail is partially gravel and partially dirt, but it is wide and free from most debris. Once the trail turns to dirt, the center can be soft in places, areas that haven't been run over with a vehicle.

Description

Opened to the public for running in June 2019, the Alma Trail starts at the parking lot along Bear Creek Road and climbs steeply up to a junction with the Redwood Springs Trail and Madrone Knoll Trail through a forest of fir and redwood trees. Park in the new parking lot along Bear Creek Road and cross the road via the pedestrian crossing. From here, the trail begins to immediately climb steeply uphill via a series of switchbacks.

The trail is wide, packed gravel at this point which makes the running easy. Flowers bloom along the trail in spring time and trees are all around you, providing shade throughout the day. At roughly 0.7 miles, the trail levels off for about 0.2 miles as it hugs the side of the hill before it starts to climb steeply again.

1.1 miles along the trail, the Redwood Springs Trail breaks off to the right while the Alma Trail begins to descend ahead of you. For 0.75 miles, the trail either descends or is flat, giving you a nice break from the 500+ feet of climbing you accomplished in the first mile. After crossing a small creek via a bridge at the 1.8 mile marker, the trail starts to approach boundary of the park that is open to the public.

At 2 miles, the trail breaks off to the right and transforms from gravel to dirt as it nears Bear Creek Road. For the next mile, the grade of the trail is often between 5-10%. The forest opens up in places, but the trees provide a great amount of shade for most of this section. At close to 3 miles, you arrive at the junction of the Redwood Springs Trail, the Madrone Knoll Trail, and the Alma Trail. From here, you can turn to the left and hike up to Madrone Knoll (Bear Creek Summit) or you can continue forward and enjoy the Redwood Springs Trail.

Since the run back down the Alma Trail is the same distance as running the Redwood Springs Trail, you have options. Combining the two trails makes for a nice loop hike through the forest of redwoods and fir trees that the preserve protects.

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Check-Ins

Aug 10, 2019
Matthew Arterburn
Nice trail. Good workout. Fast manageable downhill 5.6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#1

in San Jose

#9276

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in San Jose

#996

in California

#9,276

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96 Since Jun 10, 2019
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Photos

Roses and other flowers can be seen along the trail. You'll notice how blackberries, native to the area, grow among the flowers.
Jun 10, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
A nice bridge provides you an easy method for crossing this creek.
Jun 13, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
Blackberries ripen along the trail.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
A turkey feeds along the trail in the evening.
Jun 10, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
This old growth redwood sits off the left side of the trail and reminds you just how gigantic these trees can become.
Jun 18, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA
Upper Lake where you may encounter bullfrogs, turtles, salamanders, and newts, native to the area.
Jun 11, 2019 near Lexingt…, CA

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