Return: SF Bay Rec & Travel
Los Alamitos Creek
Guadalupe River Park Part 1: Central - Coleman
Road to the Arena Green
South - Santa Clara Street to I-280
Part 3: North -
Guadalupe Gardens to I-880
Guadalupe River Trail: Hwy 101 to Alviso
Facebook Album: Los
Alamitos/Calero Creek Trails, 9/2/12
Facebook Album: Guadalupe River Trail, Downtown San Jose to Almaden Lake
Facebook Album: Guadalupe River Trail, Downtown San Jose to Ulistac
River Park and Gardens
Los Alamitos Creek
Calero Creek Trail
Bay Area Biking
Bay Area Parks
Bay Area Back Pages
of Los Alamitos Watershed
Friends of Santa Teresa Park
New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association
Santa Clara County Parks
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Bay Area Ridge Trail
Los Alamitos-Calero Creek Trails, Dec. 24, 2012
Christmas Eve, 2012, I went for a bike ride on the Los Alamitos-Calero
Creek Trail in San Jose's Almaden Valley. The previous days had
heavy rain, but today was sunny. As a result of the rain, the creeks
were running high. These pictures show what the creek looks like with
high water flows. Today was a Monday, which meant that Almaden Lake Park was closed.
I normally would have started at the Almaden Light Rail station and ridden through the park, but today I had to start
at the trailhead at the south end of Winfield. I rode the entire length
of the paved trails, though I took some unpaved sections.
is Los Alamitos Creek just before it flows into Almaden Lake.
At the Mazzone Drive
undercrossing, Los Alamitos Creek was almost to the level of the trail.
It had overflowed onto the trail recently, causing it to be muddy.
Instead of taking the underpass, I took the high road and crossed
This is the creek downstream of
the Mazzone Drive bridge. It is much higher, wider, and faster than
This is the view looking down Los
This is a view of the trail from the
Mazzone Drive bridge.
This is a view of west bank of Los
Alamitos Creek from the Mazzone Drive bridge.
This is a wide
part of Los Alamitos Creek next to Crossview Circle. The creek has an
overflow channel to the west. Not visible is McAbee Creek, which joins
Los Alamitos Creek from the west.
The trail is very busy on this straight section along Crossview Circle.
This picture was taken on 4/10/09 showing this section of creek with higher vegetation and
much lower water levels.
This is looking upstream along Los
Alamitos Creek as it flows through the wide floodplain between Crossview
Circle and Fleetwood Drive.
The trail becomes tree-shaded as it
passes by the hills below the Boulder Ridge Golf Course. The creek runs
close to the trail here.
Looking across the creek, there are
houses which back up to the creek along Fleetwood Drive and Redmond
This is the trail below Pfeiffer Ranch
The houses on the other side of the creek
are along Wallace Drive.
The trail runs through Pfeiffer Park.
There are places where you can easily get down to the creek.
There are stretches of fast water here.
Pfeiffer Park has picnic tables, gravel
walking paths, parcourse stations, and drinking fountains.
The bridge over Los Alamitos Creek leads
to the parking lot along Camden Avenue.
This is a view looking downstream from
This is looking upstream from the bridge.
There are Christmas ribbons tied along
the rail of the Graystone Lane Bridge.
This is the creek downstream of the
Graystone Lane Bridge.
This is the creek upstream of the
Graystone Lane Bridge.
This is the Pfeiffer Stone House next to
the creek at the corner of Graystone Lane and Pfeiffer Ranch Road. It
was built around 1875 and was used for storing tools and food when the
area was a rock quarry.
The trail runs high on a levee between
the creek and Camden Avenue on the right.
There's a break in the trees in this part
of the trail. You can see how swollen the creek is.
The trail runs through a tunnel of trees
This is Randol Creek, which originates in
the hills of Almaden Quicksilver County Park, runs through the Almaden
Valley and next to Leland High School in a concrete channel. Here is
where it joins Los Alamitos Creek.
One a bench next to Randol Creek is an
interpretive sign showing the Guadalupe River watershed. Los Alamitos
Creek, which is highlighted, joins Guadalupe Creek below Almaden Lake to
become the Guadalupe River.
This is the trail across Camden Avenue
from Leland High School. On the left, you can see the unpaved equestrian
trail, which parallels the paved trail and runs closer to the creek.
At a spot a little past Leland High
School is an easy access to the creek. This is the creek looking
downstream. There are large homes and ranches on the other side of the
creek along Graystone Lane.
This is looking upstream from the same
Just past Yamouth Way, the trail splits
into a high road and a low road. Since the high road on the levee top
might have had some muddy spots, I took the paved low road, which runs
through what used to be an orchard.
Finally, the trail crosses Camden Avenue.
The bridge to the left crosses Los Alamitos Creek and leads to the start
of the Calero Creek Trail, which follows Calero Creek. The Los Alamitos
Creek Trail runs on both sides of the creek across Camden Avenue.
This is looking downstream from the bridge at Los
Alamitos Creek. Unseen farther downstream, Calero Creek flows in from
the right. I took the Calero Creek Trail.
This is looking
back on the Calero Creek Trail, running next to Camden Avenue. Calero
Creek is on the right behind the trees. Boulders on the shoulder deter
off-road vehicle use.
There are a few
places in the dense creekside vegetation where you see Calero Creek. The
creek is a lot smaller than Los Alamitos Creek. It flows from Calero
Reservoir, which is a large reservoir that rarely spills, so the flow is
usually lower and more controlled than Los Alamitos Creek.
The paved Calero Creek Trail ends at
Harry Road. In the background on the left is the hill at Rancho San
Vicente, the newest addition to Calero County Park. On the right are the
hills of Calero and Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve. The
Calero Creek Trail continues on the other side of Harry Road and on the
other side of the creek.
This is Calero Creek flowing under Harry
The unpaved Calero Creek Trail runs next
to an old orchard on property owned by IBM as part of their Almaden
Research Center. It leads to the Stile Ranch/Fortini entrance of Santa
Teresa County Park at San Vicente Avenue near Fortini Road. The Stile
Ranch Trail in Santa Teresa Park is part of the Bay
Area Ridge Trail
. So is the Virl O. Norton Trail in Almaden
Quicksilver County Park. Because the Los Alamitos Creek and Calero Creek
trails link those trails (with a small gap), they are also part of the
Bay Area Ridge Trail network.
The entrance to the Calero Creek Trail is
wet, so the trail itself is likely to be wet. I decide not to take the
trail and turn around here.
From a spot not far from its confluence
with Los Alamito Creek, here's another view of Calero Creek.
Back at the Camden Avenue bridge over Los
Alamitos Creek, this is the southeast corner of the bridge at the Los
Alamitos Creek Trail segment that runs along the east side of the creek.
Crossing over the bridge, this is Los
Alamitos Creek flowing under the bridge.
The west side of the Calero Creek
Trail parallels Queenswood Way. There's an unpaved path that runs closer
to the creek.
There are many spots along this route
where you can get close to the creek. With the creek this high and fast,
it's best not to get too close.
There's a gravel-covered path close to
the creek, so even with all the rain, it's not muddy.
This is a view of the unpaved trail from
the paved trail.
The trail runs under Almaden Expressway.
It's very close to the creek level, so it can get flooded. There was
just this one wet spot, which was easily avoided.
Los Alamitos Creek flows under Almaden
Expressway. On the other side is the trail along the east side of the
Looking downstream, the creek flows under
the Almaden Expressway Bridge.
trail ends abruptly at Portswood Circle. Pay attention and don't follow
the trail or you may end up being a chalkline on the wall, like this
poor soul (simulated).
This is the bridge over Los Alamitos
Creek, leading to the trail on the east bank.
This is the creek downstream from the
This is what the creek looked like at this same spot on 9/2/12, showing
what it looks like most of the year during normal flows.
This is the
creek on the upstream side of the bridge. There are no trails here.
There are essentially no more public trails upstream along Los Alamitos
Creek, except for short sections in New Almaden.
The Los Alamitos Creek Trail on the east
bank of the creek begins next to this huge old eucalyptus tree.
This is the creek from the east bank.
The trail on the east bank ends at the
Camden Avenue Bridge. Cross over to the other side to return. From here,
it's a back-track to the start of the trail by the south entrance of Almaden
Lake Park. Because Almaden Lake Park is closed on Mondays, to reach the
Guadalupe River Trail, cross Coleman Avenue to reach the trailhead at
the Almaden Light Rail Station. Cross Almaden Expressway to reach the
start of the Guadalupe Creek Trail.
Created by Ronald Horii, 12/24/12