Coyote Peak P500
Trench Hill

Tue, May 2, 2017
Etymology
Coyote Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile
Coyote Peak previously climbed Sun, Feb 1, 2009

The first heat wave of the season was rolling across the Bay Area which got me to do something I rarely do at home - get up early. I had gone on a bike ride yesterday in the middle of the day and aborted it because it was too warm out and I was still trying to get over a cold. Today I figured it would be much nicer if I started earlier and finished up before noon. It had been more than a week since I'd been up a summit, so I planned to combine this to make one of my occasional bike & hike series (patent pending). The Santa Theresa Hills are located in South San Jose, separating Almaden Valley to the west from Coyote Valley to the east. The county park occupies the southern half of the hills, while other areas are taken up by a golf course, an IBM research center, and suburban development. I had visited Coyote Peak once before more than eight years earlier when I made it a near drive-up. This would be a more "proper" way to visit the summit.

I parked my bike at the trailhead on San Vicente Ave in Almaden Valley and hiked about six miles over the course of several hours. Most of the trails are also open to mountain bikes which appear to be popular here. I was happy to find the hills are still mostly green in early May which is most unusual - much thanks to a drought-ending rainy season this year. The air was fairly clear as well, with fine views of the surrounding highpoints - Loma Prieta to the south, Mt. Umunhum to the southwest, Mt. Hamilton to the east. Only to the north overlooking the South Bay and the Santa Clara Valley could there be seen a thin layer of smog. Poppies and other flowers are still in bloom and there was water running in several small creeks that I passed over. The summit is located in the brush just off the small loop trail at the top, the radio and water tower installations nicely relegated to lower spots on the south side of the summit. There are a number of view benches placed along the trails including two near the summit, providing some nice opportunities to while away some time lost in thought with great views. On my way back I noted that the park map I carried showed a Trench Hill, so I made a short detour to visit its trailless summit. Unfortunately the grasses have started to seed heavily and my shoes picked up all sorts of stickers and such which took some time to remove later. Not really good views from the flat summit area which might have been better called Thistle Hill. With an hour of biking on either side of the hike, the whole outing came in at something over 4hrs, a most enjoyable way to spend a morning...


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