Skyline's the Limit

Hike the New Saratoga to Skyline Trail in the South Bay

Hiker on the Saratoga to Skyline Trail in the South Bay looking out at rolling hill scenery

The brand-new Saratoga to the Skyline Trail connects Saratoga to the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. An adventurous and approachable way to experience it is to thru-hike the first 5.1 miles, enjoying freshly sculpted paths, shady creeksides, wooden bridges, and Santa Clara Valley vistas. There are picnic tables at both ends of this route for savoring the views. You can make this a 10.2-mile round-trip hike or arrange a thru-hike ride at one of the designated parking areas (see italics below).

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Begin at Quarry Park, climbing a hillside towards a picnic area with intricate stonework. Then, turn right at a pond to continue on the Saratoga to the Skyline Trail. The newly built singletrack climbs under shady California bay and Douglas fir to the sound of Congress Springs Creek. Vistas of forest-covered canyons, the Santa Clara Valley, and the Diablo Range peek out now and then. Four wooden bridges are fun to cross and admire the creekside scenery from.

Hiker on a bridge on the Saratoga to the Skyline Trail

After 3.6 miles, the route transitions to an unpaved service road and descends a sunny ridgeline. Follow signs for Sanborn County Park to Sanborn Creek, flowing under big-leaf maples, redwoods, and one more gorgeous bridge. Picnic tables are scattered along the creek, and trails connect to Sanborn Road. Pick up your thru-hike ride at one of the designated parking areas, or turn around for a 10.2-mile round-trip hike.

BONUS FOOD: Big Basin Cafe is located 1 mile east of Quarry Park in Saratoga Village and is open for to-go orders.

Take the Saratoga Ave. exit from Hwy. 85, heading southwest. Drive through Saratoga Village and then continue another 0.7 mile on Hwy. 9. Turn left into Quarry Park and the gravel parking lot. There is space for roughly 25 cars. Parking can fill by mid-morning and there is no entrance fee. To do a thru-hike, park a car at one of the roadside parking areas off Sanborn Rd. (see Sanborn County Park Guide Map for locations), and then drive back to Quarry Park to begin. There are picnic tables at both ends of this route. Dog-friendly!

{Covid-19 Update, January 2021: Trails are open for day use at Quarry Park and Sanborn County Park. Please maintain six feet of physical distance while hiking. Please wear a mask when you are not able to social distance, such as passing another person on a trail. If you visit Saratoga Village, please maintain social distance and wear face coverings.}

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