Coyote Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Well-maintained, moderately graded, and very popular, these trails lead to a lovely riparian corridor along Wildcat Creek and past picturesque Deer Hollow Farm. The history of the Rancho San Antonio park complex encapsulates a story shared by many parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Ohlone Indians thrived here for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, harvesting oaks for acorns (their staple food) and using other native plants, like the berries of the bay laurel, blackberries, and willow, for food and medicine. They also hunted the woodlands, which then harbored tule elk and bear."
--Tracy Salcedo-Chourre, Best Easy Day Hikes: San Jose (Falcon Guides).
Please note that there are TWO parking areas to choose from. As mentioned in the guide, this hike description begins at the lot near the restrooms. There is another parking area about 1/4 mi to the south, which is where I started. That lead to a little confusion as I approached the water tower appearing on my right and not the left as described in the hike description. The map provided in the guide is also a little off as it does not indicate all of the side trails and junctions you'll encounter.
If you want to do this hike as described, keep an eye out for the junction of the Upper Wildcat Canyon Trail and the Wildcat Loop Trail. If you miss it, you'll continue up the canyon all the way until it makes a sharp U-turn heading up to the Vista Point.
Actually, I recommend doing this to make it a longer hike. In all, you'll complete about 6 miles before you reach the parking area again.
It is strongly advised that you pick up a trail map at the trailhead to better find your way around.
Once you reach Deer Hollow Farm, the trail flattens out completely and you'll be sharing the road with a lot more bikes, strollers and will cross the adjacent roadway.
That being said, I really liked this trail and its proximity to Cupertino and environs. The view from Vista Point is NOT to be missed. On a clear day you'll see south SF Bay, the entire city of San Jose and beyond. Along the way I did spot a rattler, deer and some wild turkeys. Only downside is that it is a well loved and used area. Go during the week for thinner crowds.
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