Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash

Overview

El Sereno Open Space Preserve is named for 2,249-foot Mt. El Sereno, part of a prominent ridge located south of the town of Saratoga and west of the town of Los Gatos. A distinctive scenic backdrop to these cities, the 1,415-acre Preserve is primarily a chaparral community with some wooded areas near the creeks. Several small meadow areas also boast terrific views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul, and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve. 

Please Note: Parking Available by Permit Only.

Dog Access Limited: Dogs are permitted ONLY on Overlook Trail.

Gallery

Features

  • Visitors will enjoy the fragrant smells of the California bay laurel and a variety of shrubs common in the chaparral habitat, including chamise, coyote bush, and yerba santa.

Directions

Lot Parking Available by Permit Only - A six-car parking lot, is available near the Overlook Trail trailhead; however, a permit (no fee) is required to park in this lot. For additional details or to obtain a parking permit, please see the Permit Information page. 

Access to the southern part of the Preserve is from the end of Montevina Road, three miles west of Highway 17. Take the Bear Creek Road/Montevina Road exit off Highway 17, and follow Montevina Road until it ends. There is limited parking at the roadside turnout.

Get driving directions to roadside turnout:

 

Trails

The Preserve's nearly 7.4 miles of wide, gradual trails provide numerous opportunities for recreation.

Overlook Trail (North End)- This Trail accommodates hikers, bicyclists, and dogs on leash. Please note that dogs are permitted ONLY on this Trail.

Along the ridge, the Aquinas Trail provides a three-mile trek that offers spectacular panoramic views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserves, and the South Bay.

Note: This Preserve is bordered by private property. Please respect the boundaries and stay on designated preserve trails.

Trail Conditions

No trail conditions to report.

History

El Sereno was acquired in 1975, and gave the District an early opportunity to protect land in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno area.

Regulations

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this Preserve. Must be controlled on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. Dogs are allowed only in designated preserves or areas as posted. Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permittedFor information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves. 
     
  • Plants and Animals: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Overview

El Sereno Open Space Preserve is named for 2,249-foot Mt. El Sereno, part of a prominent ridge located south of the town of Saratoga and west of the town of Los Gatos. A distinctive scenic backdrop to these cities, the 1,415-acre Preserve is primarily a chaparral community with some wooded areas near the creeks. Several small meadow areas also boast terrific views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul, and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve. 

Please Note: Parking Available by Permit Only.

Dog Access Limited: Dogs are permitted ONLY on Overlook Trail.

Photo Gallery

Features

  • Visitors will enjoy the fragrant smells of the California bay laurel and a variety of shrubs common in the chaparral habitat, including chamise, coyote bush, and yerba santa.

Lot Parking Available by Permit Only - A six-car parking lot, is available near the Overlook Trail trailhead; however, a permit (no fee) is required to park in this lot. For additional details or to obtain a parking permit, please see the Permit Information page. 

Access to the southern part of the Preserve is from the end of Montevina Road, three miles west of Highway 17. Take the Bear Creek Road/Montevina Road exit off Highway 17, and follow Montevina Road until it ends. There is limited parking at the roadside turnout.

Get driving directions to roadside turnout:

 

Trails

The Preserve's nearly 7.4 miles of wide, gradual trails provide numerous opportunities for recreation.

Overlook Trail (North End)- This Trail accommodates hikers, bicyclists, and dogs on leash. Please note that dogs are permitted ONLY on this Trail.

Along the ridge, the Aquinas Trail provides a three-mile trek that offers spectacular panoramic views of Lexington Reservoir, Sierra Azul and St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserves, and the South Bay.

Note: This Preserve is bordered by private property. Please respect the boundaries and stay on designated preserve trails.

Trail Conditions

No trail conditions to report.

El Sereno was acquired in 1975, and gave the District an early opportunity to protect land in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno area.

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are allowed only on designated trails in this Preserve. Must be controlled on a maximum 6-foot leash at all times. Dogs are allowed only in designated preserves or areas as posted. Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out. Moving dog waste off trail is not permittedFor information visit the Dog Access page.
  • Bicyclists: Bikes are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are required for all riders at all times. Please observe the 15-mph trail speed limit (5-mph when passing or approaching blind turns). For more information visit the Bicycle Access page.
  • Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails in this Preserve. Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
  • Groups: For safety reasons, permits are required for all groups of 20 or more people.
  • Fires: Fires are prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited on preserves.
     
  • Weapons: Weapons of any kind are prohibited on preserves. 
     
  • Plants and Animals: Please leave plants and animals undisturbed. This not only preserves the natural environment, but is also a safety precaution. 
     
  • Water Areas: Swimming wading, or engaging in any water-contact activity in any water areas of the District is prohibited.

Download District Regulations and Ordinances

Download Preserve Map

Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Dogs on Leash

Hours

Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

There are no events scheduled at this preserve currently.