Exploring Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve Sign

Nestled in the heart of Santa Clara County at the edges of Cupertino, the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Offering a unique blend of diverse environments, rich cultural history, and a variety of recreational activities, this park is a treasure trove for nature lovers. Covering over 4,277 acres, the preserve is managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and offers over 25 miles of trail, making it a perfect destination for a day out in the open.


Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve is a conjoined public recreational area in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the northwest quadrant of Santa Clara County, California. The preserve is bordered by Los Altos with some parts of the eastern part of the County Park in western Cupertino. The Open Space Preserve is on the west side of the County Park, also bordered by Los Altos Hills, Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, and the Permanente Quarry.

The park features a plethora of activities and designated trails for hiking, bicycling, and equestrian activities. However, it’s important to note that dogs on leashes are not permitted within the preserve.

Getting There

The park is located at:

22500 Cristo Rey Dr Cupertino, CA 95014

You can reach the park via Highway 85, taking the Interstate 280 exit to San Francisco. From Interstate 280, take the Foothill Boulevard exit and proceed south on Foothill Boulevard approximately 0.2 miles to Cristo Rey Drive. Turn right on Cristo Rey Drive and proceed 0.9 miles to the park entrance. The nearest bus stop is located at Foothill Expressway at Cristo Rey Drive.

For more information, please contact the park office at (650) 691-2165.

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The preserve offers both formal and informal recreational opportunities. From hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails to informal play areas and a working farm, there’s something for everyone.

One of the most popular destinations within the Open Space Preserve is the Deer Hollow Farm, operated by the City of Mountain View. The farm offers a variety of environmental and agricultural education programs throughout the year and is a great place for school groups and families. Please note that the farm is closed on Mondays. For more information about Deer Hollow Farm, call (650) 903-6430.


The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. to sunset.


The park is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (‘ADA’), the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities.

Park Regulations

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, it’s important to abide by the park’s regulations. Visitors are encouraged to use designated trails to avoid damage to natural resources and prevent injury. Always yield to equestrians, regardless of whether you’re walking or biking. And remember—leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in. Most preserves do not have trash cans, and littering is prohibited.

Hiking Trails

Do you love hiking? The preserve’s trails cater to a variety of skill levels, from the beginner to the advanced hiker. One popular route is the Deer Hollow Farm trail, a 1-mile trail that takes you through various types of scenery. The preserve is also home to the challenging Black Mountain Trail, a 9.7-mile trail that offers some great views of the South Bay.


If you’re looking for wildlife, the preserve is home to numerous native species such as deer, mountain lion, and bobcat. Visitors are warned of the presence of these animals with signs at the entrance to the preserve and various trail map stations. Along with deer, other commonly seen animals are California quail, cottontail rabbits, crows, hawks, jays, lizards, squirrels, turkeys, and white-tailed kites.


Several ecosystems exist in the preserve. In canyons, bay trees and big-leaf maples form shady groves. On cooler, north-facing slopes, oaks and bays form a forest. On hotter, south-facing slopes, chaparral scrub predominates. The preserve protects the watersheds of West Branch Permanente Creek and its Ohlone Creek tributary, providing a crucial habitat for wildlife.

Historical Significance

The Ohlone Indians lived in the area for over 3,000 years prior to the arrival of the Spanish. A large village, known as Partacsi, was located in the general area. In March 1776, Juan Bautista de Anza led the first overland expedition to San Francisco Bay from Monterey through this area.


Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or just looking for a place to unwind, the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve has something to offer everyone. With its rich history, diverse ecosystems, and a plethora of recreational activities, this park is truly a gem in the heart of Santa Clara County.

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