Stevens Creek County Park

Experience the grandeur of nature at its finest at the Stevens Creek County Park, a sprawling 1,063-acre recreational area nestled in the foothills between Cupertino and Saratoga. A century ago, the County acquired this land, sparking the preservation movement in Santa Clara County. Today, visitors from near and far come to experience the park’s diverse recreational amenities, historical significance, and natural beauty.¬† This comprehensive guide will give you all the information you need to plan your visit to¬†Stevens Creek County Park.

Celebrating a Century of Preservation

On January 24th, 1924, the County acquired a 400-acre piece of land in Cupertino that would eventually become the Stevens Creek County Park. This initiative served as a starting point for the preservation movement in Santa Clara County. Today, we are celebrating 100 years of Stevens Creek to honor the visionary initiative that has paved the way for environmental conservation in the region.

Navigating Your Way

Stevens Creek County Park is conveniently located along Stevens Canyon Road and Mt. Eden Road, providing easy access to visitors from Cupertino and Saratoga.

Stevens Creek County Park
Address: 11401 Stevens Canyon Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone: (408) 867-3654

To reach the park from Cupertino, take Interstate Highway 280 to Foothill Expressway. Follow Foothill Blvd west for three miles to the northern park entrance (Foothill Blvd turns into Stevens Canyon Road as it crosses McClellan Road). From Saratoga, drive north on Highway 9 to Pierce Road. Follow Pierce Road for 1.8 miles to Mt. Eden Road. Turn left onto Mt. Eden Road and travel 1.5 miles to the south park entrance.

Upper Stevens Creek County Park is located at:

Upper Stevens Creek County Park
Address: Skyline Blvd, Palo Alto, CA 94034
Phone: (408) 867-9959

Public transit is also available to Stevens Creek County Park, making it accessible to everyone.

For Best Results

Recreational Activities Galore

Stevens Creek Reservoir, an 87-acre, non-power boating reservoir, is a favorite among anglers and boaters. Here, you can fish for black bass, large-mouth bass, catfish, and crappie. Sailors, kayakers, and non-power boaters can enjoy a breathtaking view from the calm waters. Reservations can be made by calling (408) 355-2201 or online at Go Outside and Play.

The park also offers several picnic facilities. The Lakeshore Picnic area is extremely popular, and there are six shaded first-come, first-served picnic spots scattered throughout the park. If you’re planning a group function, two group picnic areas are available for reservation.

For those who prefer an active day out, the park offers over nine miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Mountain biking is one of the most popular activities at Stevens Creek Park. The park also connects with the Mid-Peninsula Open Space Fremont Older Preserve, offering even more opportunities for exploration.

Archery enthusiasts can practice their skills along the 28-station roving archery course and range, which is open to the public.

For bird watchers, Stevens Creek County Park is a paradise, with over 125 species sighted and recorded to date.

The park’s ranger station, located at the north entrance, provides maps and displays for visitors.

Picnic Guidelines

To ensure everyone’s enjoyment, please adhere to the following rules and any posted regulations:

  • Picnic tables are first-come, first-served. An adult must be present to hold a picnic table.
  • For groups larger than 20, reservations are recommended. Call (408) 355-2201, 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking stalls cannot be reserved.
  • Vehicles are not allowed into picnic areas, on lawns, paths, or landscaping.
  • Yellow zones have a maximum parking time of 20 minutes for unloading and loading picnic supplies.
  • Directional signs should only be posted in designated areas.
  • Do not use tacks, nails, or staples on park signs, tables, or trees.
  • Allow fires in barbecue pits to burn out. Adding water damages the grill and pit.
  • Amplified music requires a permit.

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Operating Hours and Fees

The parks are open year-round from 8am until sunset. Boats must be off the water 30 minutes before sunset. Lake use and vehicle entry fees are collected daily at the Chestnut Parking Lot. Fees are also required for group picnic reservations.

For more information on access fees, please visit  this page: Park Fees

Accessibility

Stevens Creek County Park is committed to providing an inclusive environment 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 ensures that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy the park’s programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you require assistance with an ADA request, please contact the¬†ADA Coordinator.

Maps and Brochures

You can download the Stevens Creek/Upper Stevens Creek County Park Guide Map and Brochure from the following links:

The Historical Significance of Stevens Creek Reservoir

The Stevens Creek Reservoir is an artificial lake located in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Cupertino, California. The reservoir was formed by the Stevens Creek Dam, built in 1935 across Stevens Creek. It is named after Captain Elijah Stephens, who led the first wagon train across the Sierra Nevada in 1844 and settled in Cupertino.

The reservoir and the dam have a rich history that adds to the overall charm and lure of the park. The dam is a 132 feet high structure and 1,080 feet long, with its crest standing 554 feet above sea level.

Stevens Creek Reservoir is surrounded by a 1,063-acre county park, offering “catch and release” fishing, picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding activities. Non-power boating is allowed for certain parts of the year. All vessels must be inspected for invasive Quagga mussels prior to launch.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has issued a safe eating advisory for any fish caught in Stevens Creek Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury.

Stevens Creek Reservoir

Responsible Fishing

The reservoir is home to various species of fish, including bluegill, koi, common carp, largemouth bass, crappie, white catfish, and native landlocked steelhead. A few illegally stocked white sturgeon have been caught in recent years.

While regulations permit the taking of fish, catch and release is recommended due to the concentration of mercury and PCBs in the water. The reservoir was historically stocked with farmed rainbow trout for recreational purposes, but this practice was discontinued after elevated levels of methylmercury were assessed. Fishing for trout at the reservoir is frowned upon since holdovers are likely endangered native steelhead.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, Stevens Creek County Park offers a wealth of attractions and activities. Come and immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural haven. We look forward to your visit!

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