Even Indiana Jones can’t top this mammoth discovery. And we literally mean mammoth! In 2005 while walking along San Jose’s popular Guadalupe River Trail, local resident Roger Castillo spotted a large bone. Turns out it was part of the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth that lived during the Pleistocene period. The skeleton now resides at the Children’s Discovery Museum in downtown San Jose, but the site of discovery was commemorated this past summer with a massive art installation of the mammoth, nicknamed Lupe. Created from bent pipe, Lupe looks good in the spotlight, gleaming in metallic glory with massive swooping tusks, taut and muscular limbs, and flowing ears. See Lupe by biking the Guadalupe River Trail, which spans 11 miles. If you start from downtown it’s about 5 miles to Lupe, starting from Guadalupe River Park.
Follow the trail north on this easy paved trail that’s mostly flat. You’ll start by pedaling through trees, with greenery and tranquility so abundant you’ll forget you’re in an urban environment. You’re reminded when the trail emerges alongside the airport. Follow signs for the Guadalupe River Trail and soon you’ll see a massive silver and shimmering mammoth. Hello, Lupe! A plaque at the site explains more about Columbian mammoths. Oh, yeah, this is a big deal.
In downtown San Jose, there’s $7 all-day parking along S. Almaden Blvd. at W. San Carlos. The Children’s Discovery Museum is also right here, at W. San Carlos and Woz Way. Park and then bike a block north to Park Ave. Make a left and you’ll soon see the entrance to the Guadalupe River Trail. Follow the signs to stay on the trail until you get to Lupe’s sculpture, located on W. Trimble Rd.