Sierra Azul Preserve


Where? : Not far from Los Gatos on the road of Lake Lexington Reservoir.

GoogleMap Link


What? : Large park stretches from Lexington Reservoir all the way up to the high point of Mt El Sombroso. The landscape is not covered with trees and the trails are mainly fire-roads.

Due note 1: you will not find shade during the hike; it is not recommended for hot summer days. Steep and long climbs.


Due note 2: This is not a loop hike and if you try to do it as a loop you need to walk on the narrow lake road for ½ mile between hike entrances.


Due note 3: the trails start with a very small parking lots on the side of the road things that can lead to situation of no parking space.


My thoughts: This is not on my "must do" list. Open landscape without a shade, very long and strenuous uphill hikes, also for bikes the uphill is difficult.

Recommended for long mountain bike rides.


The Visit:

Park visits are mainly for long hike or bike trips over the open mountain ridge, the dirt-roads following the PG&E electric line.

There are only few fire road trails in the park, and all are going up the mountain and once you reach the top then you need to go down in few loop options.

A recommended 5.5 miles loop hike:

Park on the side of the road near Priest Rock Trailhead.

Start going up the ridge on the steep trail for 2.5 miles until you reach trail junction.

Here you can continue going up (both options are valid trails) or you will go back down on Limekiln trail all the way back to the road.

There is another park entrance point in Los Gatos (Purple color on the map).

From Kennedy road take up the Kennedy trail and after 4 miles you will reach ridge top and the connection to Priest Rock Trail.

For mountain bikers (Orange trail on the map):

There is an option to have long epic 11 mile ride one way; Taking the trails all the way up to Mnt El Sombroso and even go down from the other side all the way to Woods Trail trailhead at the junction of Hicks Rd. and Mt. Umunhum Rd..