This route at Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Reserve ventures beyond the popular sections of the park to offer a... more » diverse introduction to the terrain on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Rancho, as the locals call it, draws big crowds with its abundance of flat trails and attractions at Deer Park Farm, but few visitors venture deeper into the wilds of this park seen on this loop hike.
Trails used: South Meadow Trail > Permanente Creek Trail > Lower Meadow Trail > Wildcat Loop Trail > Upper Wildcat Canyon Trail > Upper Rogue Valley Trail > Rogue Valley Trail > Lower Meadow Trail > Permanente Creek Trail > South Meadow Trail.
Upper Wildcat Canyon is one of the prettiest sections of the park. The trail also climbs to impressive vistas looking out over the South Bay from the Rogue Valley sections of the loop.
Best times to go: Spring wildflowers and winter vistas are the most inviting; autumn will have a touch of fall color; summer will be hot in the exposed areas, but fairly cool in the covered canyons. less «