Welcome to an exploration of the Los Gatos Creek County Park, a beautiful green oasis offering a variety of recreational activities. From walking and jogging to bicycling, skating, and enjoying nature, the park has something for everyone. The trails are managed by several authorities, including the County of Santa Clara Park Department, the City of Campbell, the Town of Los Gatos, and the City of San Jose. The park also boasts a well-equipped dog park. Park visitors must adhere to all rules and regulations set by each jurisdiction. For those driving to the park, an entrance fee is charged, or you can opt for an annual parking pass.
The Significance of a Regional Trail
A regional trail, like the one in Los Gatos Creek County Park, serves several purposes. It links existing or planned regional parks and open space areas, creating a network of regional trails and alternative transportation corridors. It offers access to significant natural areas and historic sites and provides a variety of recreational opportunities to multiple communities.
Unraveling the Secrets of Los Gatos Creek
A Valuable Water Resource
The Los Gatos Creek, one of the few urban streams in Santa Clara Valley that remains relatively intact, serves a dual purpose. It’s a riparian corridor for plants and wildlife and is part of a complex system of water resources and flood protection.
Surface water runoff from the watershed that drains into Los Gatos Creek is captured by Lexington Reservoir in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That water is then used to recharge the valley’s groundwater basin. Reservoir water is released and carried to recharge ponds via the creek. Water held in the ponds seeps or “percolates” through the earth’s layers until it reaches underground aquifers. This percolation process helps clean the water before it reaches the underground storage basin.
Los Gatos Creek also plays a role in flood protection for the west valley. The creek is part of the vast Guadalupe River watershed. Along with many other smaller creeks, it drains into the river. During rainstorms, the creeks help manage river flows by carrying water from storm drainage systems.
The water supply and flood management in the Santa Clara Valley is the responsibility of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and there is no stocking of fish in these waterways.
Getting to Los Gatos Creek County Park
Located at 1250 Dell Ave Campbell, CA 95008, the park can be accessed from several routes:
- From San Jose: Access the trail at Blackford Elementary School, near the intersection of Leigh Avenue and Willow Street. Limited on-street parking is available at Bascom Avenue, north of Hamilton Avenue.
- From Campbell: Access and parking are available from various points including Campbell Park on Los Gatos Creek at Campbell Avenue, Los Gatos Creek County Park located on Dell and Hacienda Avenues and from Old Camden Ave.
- From Los Gatos: There are several access and parking options available from Vasona Lake County Park and Oak Meadow Park off Blossom Hill Road, downtown Los Gatos at Miles Avenue, Main Street, and Forbes Mill, and from the Lexington Reservoir Dam. Public transit is also available to Los Gatos Creek Trail.
Operating Hours and Fees
The park is open year-round from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Vehicle entrance fees are collected year round. For your convenience, a $2.00 hourly option is also offered. Fees are also required for group picnic reservations.
You can access fees information here: Park Fees
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. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact the ADA Coordinator.
Trail Maps and Guides
- Los Gatos Creek Trail Guide Map – Part 1
- Los Gatos Creek Trail Guide Map – Part 2
- Vasona Lake County Park Guide Map
- Vasona Lake and Los Gatos Creek Brochure
- Los Gatos Creek County Park Guide Map
Facilities at Los Gatos Creek County Park
The park boasts a variety of amenities to enhance your visit. These include a pavilion and picnic tables for leisurely meals and gatherings. Dog owners will appreciate the Los Gatos Creek County Dog Park, located at the northern end of the park. The dog park features separate sections for small and large dogs, and it’s equipped with artificial turf, shade structures, and bench seating.
The park also houses a lake, a reshaped version of a natural lake. This lake was on the eastern boundary of the historic Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos. The park offers a glimpse into the area’s history, with parts of Los Gatos Creek once serving as stopovers on El Camino Viejo, “The Old Road,” connecting Pueblo de Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Pet-Friendly Recreation at Los Gatos Creek County Park
The Los Gatos Creek County Park is a haven for pet lovers, with its dog-friendly policies and arrangements. Your furry friends are welcome to join you for a relaxed stroll along the Los Gatos Creek Trail or a picnic in the park. The Los Gatos Creek Dog Park, located at the north end of the park, is a fully-enclosed area with artificial turf, shade structures, and bench seating. The park has received a rating of 4.3 out of 5 bones by 4 canine critics on BringFido, making it a much-loved spot for dog owners.
The Los Gatos Creek County Park is more than just a park. It’s a hub for recreational activities, a sanctuary for nature lovers, and a testament to the area’s rich history. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic spot, a scenic trail for your morning jog, or a safe place for your pet to play, this park has it all. The next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and take in all the beauty and amenities that the Los Gatos Creek County Park has to offer.
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