Ed Levin County Park

Next in our series on Santa Clara County Parks is Ed Levin County Park, which is about a 20 minute drive east from our house in the Diablo Mountains. Ed Levin is also where there are a hang gliding and paragliding schools.

The main hiking trail in the area goes to the top of Monument Peak, which is also the upper launch zone for the gliders. As this is a training location, there are multiple launching areas at various heights up the mountain.

The photos I’m sharing were taken over two different attempts at making the peak. The first was me alone on a Thursday, and the second was Scott and I on the following Saturday. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it to the top, but we made it closer than we have in our prior trips. Our round-trip hike as 5 miles and involved more than 1200 ft of elevation gain. Unfortunately I don’t have detailed numbers as both of my tracking devices failed me!

As I reached the top of the first part of trail, I turned back to look at the lake.

Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin Park

Later in the year, all the grasses in this park will dry out. It is pretty green still, despite two weeks of dry warm weather.

The trail then comes to a gated section. The gates are to keep the cows in, when ranchers are using the parkland to paster their cows.

Gates to keep the cows in.

At the first launching area, a couple of paragliders check out the wind conditions.

Checking out the wind conditions.

At this time of year, the various wild flowers start blooming.

Wild California poppies.

As I climbed higher, the view of the bay opened up.

Selfie with the bay in the distant background.

At one point during my hike I was surprised by some cows.

Cows at their watering trough.

Same location, different day!

Becky at the water trough.

Of course, one must take some requisite photos of paragliders.


After the cows, we turn upwards on the trail, 1.6 miles to the top. And way in the distance, you can see monument peak!

View of the trail heading upwards, with Monument Peak far off in the distance.

The view from our high point for the day – about 1 miles from the top.

A rather hazy/smoggy day. You cannot even see the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance!

Our requisite selfie – see how much closer Monument Peak is!

A selfie with Monument Peak in the background.

In this selfie, you can see the trail below us. Whenever we got to a treed section the trail went straight up – which meant that the most difficult parts of the climb where in the shade!

Selfie looking down at the trail below us.

We took a different route down the lower part of the trail, that brought us through some rather pretty treed areas.

The trail through the treed area.

At one point we saw moma and a calf, who decided to follow us along the trail.

Cows follows us.

And some video clips of the hanggliders.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.