SCC Open Space Authority

Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve

Santa Clara County Parks

Harvey Bear/Coyote Lake County Park

Henry Coe State Park

Friends of Gilroy Hot Springs

Bay Area Ridge Trails

Ridge Trail Guidebook

The Nature Conservancy

Peninsula Open Space Trust

Park and Trail Pages:

Blair Ranch Hike, 5/9/09

Doan Ranch Page 1, Page 2

Rancho Canada Del Oro Hike

Harvey Bear Ranch-Coyote Lake Pictures, 3/10/07, 3/21-21/09, 4/18/09

Los Alamitos Creek Trail

Guadalupe River Park and Gardens:

Guadalupe River Trail

Guadalupe Creek Trail

Coyote Creek Trail

Bay Area Biking

Bay Trails, South Bay

Bay Area Parks

Friends of Santa Teresa Park

Almaden Quicksilver Park

Bay Area Back Pages

SF Bay Rec & Travel

Calero Healthy Trails Hike, 4/25/09

Uvas Canyon Healthy Trails Hike, 2/21/09

Coyote Ridge Wildflowers, 4/13/08

Almaden Quicksilver Wildflowers and Views, Spring 2008, Part 2

Healthy Trails Walk, Almaden Quicksilver 3/28/09

Santa Teresa Park Pictures:

Santa Teresa Park Mine, Fortini, Stile Ranch Wildflowers, 4/11/08

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge Wildflowers, Feb-Apr. '08

Bernal Hill wildflowers and views, Feb-Apr. '08 Part 1, Part 2

Coyote Peak, Rocky Ridge, Feb-April '08

Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Stile, 5/4/08

Outdoor Photography Class/Wildflower Walk, Bernal Ranch/Hill 4/4/09

Geocaching Class, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 4/11/09

Pre-Mother's Day Walk, Fortini-Mine-Stile Ranch Trail, 5/3/09

Healthy Trails Hike, Fortini, Mine, Stile Ranch Trails, 5/9/09
Palassou Ridge Open Space Hike,
  June 6, 2009

The Palassou Ridge Open Space Preserve is a property owned by the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, purchased as part of a partnership with the Nature Conservancy that began in 1999.
The property covers 3447 acres in the Diablo foothills east of Gilroy, and is located between and ajacent to two huge parks: 4595-acre Harvey Bear/Coyote Ranch County Park, the second largest Santa Clara County Park, and 87,000-acre Henry Coe State Park, the largest state park in northern California. Palassou is not yet open to the public, but there was a guided hike through part of the property on June 6, 2009. The group met at the Open Space Authority headquarters in the morning and car-pooled over to the entrance on Gilroy Hot Springs Road. The group included members of the Friends of Santa Teresa Park and the New Almaden Quicksilver County Parks Association.

Open Space technician Marisa opens the gate to the property on Gilroy Hot Springs Road. Only SCCOSA vehicles are allowed to enter.

There is a cable line over Coyote Creek, which was used to haul items over the creek

One of the reasons the property is not yet open to the public is that entering it requires crossing Coyote Creek on foot. A bridge will need to be built over the creek to allow regular public access.

The old stables.

Walking past an ancient valley oak tree towards the stone house.

The stone house, formerly used as a hunting cabin.

Looking through the archway of the hunting cabin.

The front entrance of the house.

A stone oven behind the house.

The group gathers in front of the house for the hike.

Crossing over an old wooden bridge across Dexter Creek.

Walking by an old corral.

The hike began by heading along the Coyote Creek floodplain.

Part of Gilroy Hot Springs Road was washed out by Coyote Creek during a flood. The retaining wall ahead, which is on the other side of Coyote Creek, was built to shore up the road.

A dry creekbed that is an overflow bed for Coyote Creek.

The bank ahead is on the other side of Coyote Creek. Swallows have built nests in the bank.

The group looking around at the trees and birds. After this, we headed back to the ranch.

The old corral and feeders.

We started heading up the farm road, then went through the field on the left.

Heading through the field into Dexter Canyon. The canyon runs between Sheep Ridge to the west and Palassou Ridge to the east.

Looking back across the field.

Entering shady Dexter Canyon, with the creek on the left.

Crossing the dry creek.

The trail runs on the left side of the creek.

The end of the hike where the trail ended.

Ahead along the creek is a patch of trillium, but there is no trail ahead, so we turned around and went back.

The yellow spores on the back of a gold-backed fern makes a leaf print.

Heading back through Dexter Canyon, crossing a meadow.

Heading back to the ranch.

The group coming back down the ranch road near the corral.

Heading back to the stone house. Cattle were grazing on the hills.

Larry and Kitty.

Acorn woodpeckers left holes in the huge valley oak by the stone house.

Outside the stable buidling.

Bats roost inside the building.

Crossing back over Coyote Creek at the end of the hike.

Views of Palassou from Harvey Bear/Coyote Lake County Park

The west side of the Palassou property abuts the southern half of Coyote Lake. It can be seen from Coyote Lake and the hiking trails on the east side of the park. The part of Palassou that can be seen from Coyote is Timber Ridge, which starts at 800 feet at lake level and soars steeply to over 2000 feet. Here are some views from different parts of Harvey Bear/Coyote Lake County Park:

Timber Ridge provides a background to the Coyote Lake Lakeview Campground

View from the Coyote Ridge Trail of the southern half of Coyote Lake. Timber Ridge begins at Coyote Creek at the south end of the lake.

View from the Ohlone Trail of Timber ridge across Coyote Lake, near the boat launching ramp area.

View from higher up on the Ohlone Trail, looking farther north on Timber Ridge.

View of the wildflower-covered hillside above the Calaveras Trail, Coyote Lake, and Timber Ridge from the Coyote Ridge Trail.

Created by Ronald Horii, 6/11/09, updated 11/19/09