Uvas Reservoir County Park


What? :

Uvas Reservoir and Park is an artificial lake located west of Morgan Hill. The reservoir is surrounded by public land park managed by Santa Clara County. The park provides fishing, picnicking, and one hiking activities.

If you want to hike and the water level is low this will be an easy and flat 3.5 mile out and back hike.



You can’t hike this trail when the reservoir level is high, and water are reaching all the way to the outlet dam.


Where? :

Uvas Reservoir and Park is located west of Morgan Hill, northwest of Gilroy, alongside County Hwy G8.

Google Map Link



When? :

This is year-round park.

You can’t hike this trail when the reservoir level is high all the way to the outlet dam.



Due note 1: Restrooms are available in the parking lot.


Due note 2: Picnic facilities are limited and are located at the parking area.


Due note 3: The park is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.


Due note 4: No boating allowed.


Due note 5: The reservoir is popular with fishermen, License required for all persons 16 or older.


Due note 6: The reservoir is a water conservation facility and water levels.



Due note 7: Drones are not permitted within any Santa Clara County Park


Due note 8: Dog allowed in all areas of the park on a leash.


Due note 9: Swimming is prohibited in all lakes, streams, and reservoirs.


Due note 10: The hills section of the park, above the lake level are closed to Public



My thoughts:

I pass near Uvas Dam reservoir many times but never stop to explore it.

I saw in the map that there is a large open public space in the far side of the lake. I looked at maps but did not see any hiking trail climbing the hills but only a trail following the like shoreline.

I visit nearby on a winter day and decided to hike here.

Fan and easy 3.5 miles long hike, excellent for morning exercise in the nature. The reservoir and the surrounding landscape are nice.



The visit:

The construction of Uvas Dam and Reservoir in 1957 was part of a countywide effort by water officials to ensure adequate water supplies for the valley's growing population. In 1960, the County Parks and Recreation Department began recreational operation of the reservoir.


You can park in the large parking lot but there is no hike starting from this location.

If you plan to hike on the other side of the lake, it is better to park your car near the dam alongside the road, this will be less than half mile from the main parking lot.

If you are walking from the car parking lot to the dam, there is no good hiking trail so be careful from the fast-passing cars.


Although I saw that there are no designated trails within the park there is one trail that is on the far side of the lake.


The hike:

This will be an easy and flat 3.5 mile out and back hike.

You start your hike on the dam, pass it to the far side.

Here you need to cross the lake output near the dam concrete overflow protection exit.

Once you are on the other side, the old dirt road trail is clear and flow the reservoir outskirts. At some point the trail transform to a narrow hiking trail.

After climbing a small hill, the trail reach the end of the public land and the private property fence.

This will be after hiking 1.8 miles from the road.

Here you need to turn around and hike back.


When you are on the dam there are stairs that can take you to the lower level of the dam.

Here there are some facilities and water outlet of the dam.











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