Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Sierra Vista was one of the first places I hiked after moving to California. I’d been there a few other times but not recently. Since it is still open for hiking during Covid stay-at-home orders, I decided to head up there and go for a hike.

I thought that I had chosen a shorter route, but it turns out I missed a .8 mile segment in my calculations so the hike turned out to be longer than I had planned. The challenge with Sierra Vista is that you start your hike at the top of the hill. This means that getting back is all uphill, making it too easy to go a further than you should.

I was surprised to discover that there was an attendant at the parking lot. I was lucky enough to arrive at just the right time, as I got the last available parking spot. I’m guessing the attendant is there to ensure that no one parks illegally, which ensures that the park isn’t too full.

They put a nice sign at the top of the trail. I love the hashtag #loveyourparks6feetapart
I was amazed at just how clear the view was. It was awesome to be able to see so much of San Jose without a huge layer of smog.
I was surprised at how green things still are. These hills won’t be green for much longer, as they turn golden in the summer. On the distant hill you can see the hiking trails at Alum Rock park.
I took this picture from near the bottom of my hike as I was climbing up this road, which doesn’t at all look steep here, but it got steep! If you look closely you can see turkey vultures flying in the stance. The road/trail went up past the dead tree in the distance.
When I got to the top of the trail/road I turned around to capture another picture. On the right, you can see the trail that I had been on earlier.
Another view from above of the trail I was hiking.
The Runkeeper log of my hike

Runkeeper says that my total climb was 282m (925 feet). This is perhaps one of the more strenuous hikes I’ve been on in a long time – and certainly the most strenuous since my surgery. The parts between the 3 and 5km mark were pretty much uphill.

I’m doing surprisingly well a couple days later – mild shin splints and some stiff muscles but that is to be expected. I’m not sure if I’ll get back up to Sierra Vista this year (or at least until the weather turns in the fall). Too much of this hike is exposed and the hills to the east of me can get rather hot in the summertime.

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