Where? : Bear Creek is located not so far south of Los Gatos right of hwy 17.
The park landscape is mainly deep shaded redwood forests covering the mountain slopes.
Google Map Link
Google Map Link
When? : Thanks for the redwoods, this is ideal park to hike on hot summer days and at winter when it rains, the danse trees will provide cover from both.
What? : Except the short interpretive trail around the nice water pond near the parking lot, there is practically only one trail that gets into the main park section (across the road).
Due Note : On weekends come early, the main parking lot getting full early and it is difficult to find parking spot on the main road.
My thoughts: A nice winter weekend hike; The hike itself isn't very hard but going all the way up to the mountain top circle might be challenging for some.
from the parking lot and the water pond, cross the road and start your hike.
The forest service road Alma Trail climb the hills into the woods and after 1.2 miles you will reach a trail junction.
A short option is to continue another mile on Alma Trail going down to the main redwood forest grove, once you reach the wooden bridge you can turn around and go back.
A longer loop option is to take right into Redwood Springs Trail that keep going up.
After 1.5 miles of nice trail you will reconnect to Alma Trail.
You can turn left and go down to the redwood grove or turn right and go up on Madrone Knoll trail for additional 1 mile all the way to the Madrone Knoll mountain top.
From the mountain top circle (nice trees but not a viewing point) you will go back all the way down to the parking lot.
If you are doing the entire trail (that is a 7.5 miles hike), the first part is all uphill and going down on the way back.