Alum Rock Park



May 24th, 2021: All park trails are open
May 2021: The trail near the hot water baths (on the left side of the stone bridge) can be close because of a work that they are doing to clean old structures.

Where? : Alum Rock Park is one of California’s oldest municipal parks (San Jose) located at the mountain foothill part of the east San Jose.

Google Map Link

What? : The park spread on both sides of Alum Rock Canyon, Upper Penitencia creek, in the foothills of the Diablo Range. You can hike the well maintain shaded trail near the river running water, enjoy the picnic area, visit the mineral springs or hike on the hillsides trails.

When? : year round, also good for summer day, the trail near the river has shade.


Due note: Interesting section of cliffside mineral water springs. Bike friendly park.


My thoughts: Nice and nearby park to visit, interesting history. I really like to hike the main trail in the “canyon”, the upper trails has canyon view.

The visit:

Between the years 1890 - 1932 the park was a nationally known health spa with 27 mineral springs and large SPA (today you can only see the hot-springs); the park was connected to San Jose by Alum Rock Steam Railroad, remnants of the railroad bridges can be seen in the park.

When entering the park, the first 2 parking lots are free of charge and the parking at the end of the road, near the visitor center and large picnic area, require a fee.

The hikes:

You can start your hike from the gate parking lot, there are trails on both sides of the creek but the south trail along the Penitencla creek is shaded by the trees.

You can get on this trail from any parking lot.

The Penitencla trail continue the side of the creek all the way to current closure point 0.5 mile after the mineral spring section (South Rim Switchbacks access is closed due to landslide).

Sycamore Switchbacks trail is open as well as South Rim trail so you can climb up and have some view on the valley and the surrounding mountains.

Another option is to use the North Rim trail, this side has less vegetation, so the trail is expose to sun. The steep trail climbs to the top of the mountain where it connects to Sierra Open Space Preserve.

Not so far view point is at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
you can hike up the mountain from Alum Rock Park to this high viewpoint. Take the trails starting on the north side of Alum Rock Park road and start to climb up Todd Quick Trail.
another option is to drive with your car up to the viewing point.

Pictures from May 2022 visit: