Spring in the Silicon Valley is an amazing time! The hillsides turn vibrant green and wildflowers sprout up everywhere! Only 20 minutes... more » off Interstate 280, Monte Verde Open Space Preserve is a great place to view wildflowers!
Directly from the parking lot, we started on the Stevens Creek Nature Trail, expecting to meet up with the White Oak Trail a mile down. Turns out we missed our turn and hit the Canyon Trail to the Indian Creek Trail. We took the small detour up to the peak of Black Mountain (actually part of the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve) where the wind was at its strongest and then headed back to the parking lot via Monte Bello Road, Old Ranch, Bella Vista and Canyon Trails.
The hike begins with a steady descent down the Canyon Trail. There was a nice batch of flowers on the Canyon Trail between the junctions of White Oak and Indian Creek trails. The track bottoms out at the Indian Creek trail and then it's a steady 900-foot ascent to the peak of Black Mountain. Just before you reach the top, at the site of the former Black Mountain Ranch, there is an option to turn left and head back to the parking area, but if you've come this far, you may as well go right and hike the 0.4 miles to the peak, where you'll find a vista of the surrounding Open Space Preserves. Snap some obligatory photos and it's all downhill from there!
On the descent along the ridge, check out the views of Stanford University's Hoover Tower 7.5 miles to the north, and Moffett Field 9 miles northeast. less «