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Willow Springs Trail, CA

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.77 miles
Trailhead Elevation 359 feet
Elevation Gain 720 feet
Accumulated Gain 720 feet
Avg Time One Way 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 4.17
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
24  2021-01-01
Harvey Bear New Years hike
PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 225
Photos 5,981
Trips 1,093 map ( 2,433 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:10am - 7:15pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water


ranch style cardio
by PaleoRob

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Warning This open space is still open range. Heed all warning signs and steer (pun intended) clear of cattle. There is no potable water on the trail, and during the summer/fall, the tall grass is a serious fire hazard. Be cautious.


Overview The trail starts at the base of the southern end of the San Felipe Hills just east of San Martin and climbs through rolling hills and past massive live oaks. This description ends at the Town Springs Trail's junction, but the Willow Springs Trail continues up into pines and eventually crosses a ridge overlooking both San Martin and Coyote Lake.

History The Harvey Bear open space is on the traditional lands of the Ohlone people, who were forced into missions by the Spanish during their colonization of the area. The land became an essential pasture for ranchers and eventually became part of the Santa Clara County Parks system in the early 21st century after much political back-and-forth. Most park trails, including this one, follow old 4x4 roads, and ranchers still use some.

Hike The hike is straight forward. From the parking lot, there are only two major trail options. One loops around a flat pasture and is paved. The other heads for the hills. Take this branch and head towards the hills yourself. The path is obvious, and after about 1/10th of a mile, you'll reach a gate. Cross through this, and the trail begins to rise following a drainage. Another 0.1 miles past the gate is a trail junction with the Harvey Bear Trail on the left (north). This can be used to make a 4+ mile loop, but the Willow Springs Trail continues following the drainage uphill. About 0.1 miles past the Harvey Bear Trail, there is another trail junction on the left, this one unmarked. This is not an official trail, though it is often used by members of the public. Instead, keep to the right and climb the hill's west side as the trail leaves the drainage. Climbing out of the drainage begins to offer a view to the south of Gilroy and Hollister, while Coyote Ridge and the pines become visible to the east/southeast. The trail wraps around towards the east and continues to climb, allowing a better view of the rest of Willow Creek Trail and the end of this segment at a prominent post on the left (north) side of the trail. Just before reaching the junction with the Town Springs Trail, the social trail that you bypassed at the base of the climb comes in on the left. From the signed junction, you can continue uphill to Coyote Ridge Trail or take Town Springs Trail. Both intersect the Harvey Bear Trail and loop back to the Willow Creek Trail. Alternately, you can turn around and proceed back down the trail the way you came. There are plenty of choices!

Water Sources None, bring your own.

Camping Allowed at the Lakeview Campground, but not on this trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2021-01-20 PaleoRob
  • Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park Map
    area related
    Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Information is listed below


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From U.S. Highway 101, take the San Martin Ave exit (apx 30 minutes south of San Jose). Proceed east on San Martin Ave for 2 miles. The entrance to the park is on the left, 0.25 mile east of Foothill Avenue. Fees are self-pay and are $6/day for vehicles.
page created by PaleoRob on Jan 20 2021 6:45 pm
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