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Lookout Trail

Stevens Creek County Park

April 8th, 2007

1.8 miles
640 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:06

Rating: 5/10

Directions: From San Francisco, take Interstate 280 south. Exit Foothill Expressway and turn right onto Foothill. Follow the road as it becomes Stevens Canyon Road. When you reach the intersection with Mount Eden Road, make a U-turn. You'll pass Sycamore group area, and then Madrone group area (both on your right). Shortly after passing the Madrone lot, you'll see a dirt pullout next to a fire gate as the road bends to the left. Park there. There's no sign telling you what this is, but if you walk a few feet past the gate, you'll see a trail marker.   View Driving Map

Once again we found the driving directions from a book inadequate and ended up circling back and forth past the Madrone and Sycamore group areas. The lot is actually unmarked, so my best stab at directions is above. The parking area only has enough space for about 4 or 5 cars without blocking the gate.

After parking, we walked past the gate and turn right onto the signed Lookout Trail, which heads parallels the road for a bit as it heads toward the Madrone group area. The first half of this hike is pretty much a steady climb along a completely shaded well-maintained narrow trail just wide enough for one person. Along the way are lots of ferns and oaks.

The trail passes the Madrone group area, and then the Sycamore group area. Stay on the left forks, avoiding the side trails to those areas. The trail then switchbacks up to a ridge. You'll get glimpses of views to the right, but the climbing continues for quite some time after the first views. Eventually we reached the intersection with Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. The scenery here is completely different -- instead of dense forest you'll be greeted with open, rolling green hills.

Perfect shady oak tree for a lunch stop

Looking further along the trail

Looking back at Stevens Creek County Park

A power transmission tower mars the scene, but we spotted a big oak further along the trail which looked like the perfect place for a lunch break. To get there, we continued down into Fremont Older, then turned right onto the first trail, stopping underneath the big oak and settling down on the grass beneath it. While we rested and ate, several groups of equestrians passed by. We also saw an occasional mountain biker. While horses and bikes aren't allowed on the trail in Stevens Creek County Park, they area allowed in Fremont Older.

Garrod Farms

After a long break, we retraced our steps, returning along exactly the same path back to the parking area.

Walking along the trail

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