Golden Vista

Hike and Sunset Viewing at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Around the bay, stunning sunsets are just a quick hike away. This 4.5-mile loop through Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve includes beautiful vista points, seasonal tarantula sightings, and an epic grand finale sunset spot!

From the main parking lot, head south on Kestrel Trail, then turn left onto Sierra Vista Trail. This rocky area is home to desert tarantulas, who are most active during their autumn mating season. Sharp-eyed hikers can spot males wandering the trails in search of love.

At the next intersection, turn left onto Calaveras Fault Trail. This hilly stretch offers spectacular views of the surrounding Diablo Range and Santa Clara Valley. Continue past Cutoff Trail and take a well-earned break at the picnic area.

Continue along Calaveras Fault Trail, then turn right onto Sierra Vista Trail. Enjoy the aromatic eucalyptus before the trees give way to grassland. On sunset hikes, keep an eye out for gopher and king snakes basking in the last few sun rays before nightfall.

Retrace the route back to the parking lot, where benches have been set up for excellent sunset viewing. Watch as Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay light up in Barbie pink and beautiful orange. Be sure to look behind you to catch the golden glow on the hillsides.

Sierra Vista Open Space has another fantastic sunset spot that can be accessed from the same trailhead, Boccardo Hill.

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve is located at Sierra Vista Point on Sierra Rd. in San Jose. From I-680, exit east onto Berryessa Rd. Turn left onto Piedmont Rd., then right on Sierra Rd. Drive 3.7 miles, then turn right into the parking lot. For sunset viewing, visitors must arrive before 6:30 p.m. The park closes a half hour after sunset. No dogs.

Story and photos by Heather Werner, @heath.er.wer.ner

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