Preserve Info

Hiking
Biking
Equestrian
Restrooms
Camping
Good for Kids

Overview

Italian for “Beautiful Mountain”, Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is a place of rolling grasslands, dense creekside forests, and spectacular vistas. The preserve encompasses the upper Stevens Creek watershed from Monte Bello Ridge to Skyline Ridge.  The 3,436-acre preserve is one of the District's richest in wildlife and ecosystem diversity.

Monte Bello Preserve is surrounded by other open space preserves and parks, which makes trip options nearly limitless.

Dog, Bike, and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Gallery

Features

  • Black Mountain offers visitors incredible views of Santa Clara Valley and over to the Mt. Hamilton range.
  • The forest and riparian corridor along Stevens Creek provide a lush environment for many species.

Black Mountain Backpack Camp

Black Mountain Backpack Camp

The only campsite on District lands provides visitors with a camping experience just one half-hour away by car from the cities below. The camp is a 1.5-mile hike from Page Mill Road, including a 500-foot uphill climb from the parking lot.

A permit is required and the fee is $2 per night per camper. Reservations are Required. For more information about the Backpack Camp click here.

Directions

Directions:
The preserve's main entrance is on Page Mill Road, 7 miles west of Highway 280 and 1.5 miles east of Skyline Boulevard.

Parking:
Lot parking is available for 45 cars, with 2 wheelchair accessible spaces.

Get driving directions:

 

Note: Additional parking is available at the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve parking area, located directly across Page Mill Road.

Trails

Stevens Creek Nature Trail - 
The self-guided 3-mile loop takes about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. The first segment, beginning from the main parking area, can accommodate a wide array of physical abilities (although it is not officially designated an easy-access trail). This gently sloping segment of trail, which is at an average grade of 5%, takes visitors to a dramatic vista point and to a bench where visitors can sit and look down Stevens Creek Canyon to see Mt. Umunhum and Loma Prieta, the epicenter of the 1989 earthquake. The route descends 450 feet into the headwaters of Stevens Creek, continues along the creek, and returns along the San Andreas Fault.  Interpretive signs provide insights to the wonders around you.

Canyon Trail - 
The spine of the Monte Bello Preserve trail system is a popular route among bicyclists. From here, several trails connect to the top of the ridges. This old road descends 400 feet from Page Mill Road through cool forests into the Stevens Creek Canyon.

The Bella Vista and Indian Creek Trails - 
These trails branch off the Canyon Trail leading to the top of Monte Bello Ridge, on to Black Mountain and connecting to Rancho San Antionio Open Space Preserve.

Grizzly Flat Trail - 
Branching off of the Canyon Trail the trail travels through Upper Stevens Creek County Park to Skyline Boulevard, connecting to Long Ridge Open Space Preserve.

Trail Conditions

  • The White Oak Trail, Stevens Creek Nature Trail, and Skid Road Trails are OPEN to bicycle and equestrian use.

History

Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain provide the scenic backdrop to the communities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Cupertino. Settlers to this area named one of their towns Mountain View because they had a view of Black Mountain. From the top of Black Mountain, visitors have an incredible view of Santa Clara Valley and the Mt. Hamilton Range. On clear days, visitors can see beautiful sunsets from the Black Mountain backpack camp, or watch the fog roll in from the coast. As the fog breaks like a giant wave over the peninsula, one can see why it is often referred to as “waterfog.”

Dairy ranching was prevalent in this area and Monte Bello Ridge was once dotted with cattle. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this area was the site of several ranches: the Black Mountain Ranch, the Stevens Creek Road Ranch, and the Monte Bello Ranch. The Waterwheel Creek Trail follows an old ranch road, where remnants of orchards and vineyards can be seen. 

Regulations

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves 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

Italian for “Beautiful Mountain”, Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is a place of rolling grasslands, dense creekside forests, and spectacular vistas. The preserve encompasses the upper Stevens Creek watershed from Monte Bello Ridge to Skyline Ridge.  The 3,436-acre preserve is one of the District's richest in wildlife and ecosystem diversity.

Monte Bello Preserve is surrounded by other open space preserves and parks, which makes trip options nearly limitless.

Dog, Bike, and Equestrian Access Limited: Activities may not be designated on all trails within the Preserve-- always refer to the map and trail signage for where the activity is permitted. 

Photo Gallery

Features

  • Black Mountain offers visitors incredible views of Santa Clara Valley and over to the Mt. Hamilton range.
  • The forest and riparian corridor along Stevens Creek provide a lush environment for many species.

Black Mountain Backpack Camp

Black Mountain Backpack Camp

The only campsite on District lands provides visitors with a camping experience just one half-hour away by car from the cities below. The camp is a 1.5-mile hike from Page Mill Road, including a 500-foot uphill climb from the parking lot.

A permit is required and the fee is $2 per night per camper. Reservations are Required. For more information about the Backpack Camp click here.

Directions:
The preserve's main entrance is on Page Mill Road, 7 miles west of Highway 280 and 1.5 miles east of Skyline Boulevard.

Parking:
Lot parking is available for 45 cars, with 2 wheelchair accessible spaces.

Get driving directions:

 

Note: Additional parking is available at the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve parking area, located directly across Page Mill Road.

Trails

Stevens Creek Nature Trail - 
The self-guided 3-mile loop takes about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. The first segment, beginning from the main parking area, can accommodate a wide array of physical abilities (although it is not officially designated an easy-access trail). This gently sloping segment of trail, which is at an average grade of 5%, takes visitors to a dramatic vista point and to a bench where visitors can sit and look down Stevens Creek Canyon to see Mt. Umunhum and Loma Prieta, the epicenter of the 1989 earthquake. The route descends 450 feet into the headwaters of Stevens Creek, continues along the creek, and returns along the San Andreas Fault.  Interpretive signs provide insights to the wonders around you.

Canyon Trail - 
The spine of the Monte Bello Preserve trail system is a popular route among bicyclists. From here, several trails connect to the top of the ridges. This old road descends 400 feet from Page Mill Road through cool forests into the Stevens Creek Canyon.

The Bella Vista and Indian Creek Trails - 
These trails branch off the Canyon Trail leading to the top of Monte Bello Ridge, on to Black Mountain and connecting to Rancho San Antionio Open Space Preserve.

Grizzly Flat Trail - 
Branching off of the Canyon Trail the trail travels through Upper Stevens Creek County Park to Skyline Boulevard, connecting to Long Ridge Open Space Preserve.

Trail Conditions

  • The White Oak Trail, Stevens Creek Nature Trail, and Skid Road Trails are OPEN to bicycle and equestrian use.

Monte Bello Ridge and Black Mountain provide the scenic backdrop to the communities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Cupertino. Settlers to this area named one of their towns Mountain View because they had a view of Black Mountain. From the top of Black Mountain, visitors have an incredible view of Santa Clara Valley and the Mt. Hamilton Range. On clear days, visitors can see beautiful sunsets from the Black Mountain backpack camp, or watch the fog roll in from the coast. As the fog breaks like a giant wave over the peninsula, one can see why it is often referred to as “waterfog.”

Dairy ranching was prevalent in this area and Monte Bello Ridge was once dotted with cattle. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this area was the site of several ranches: the Black Mountain Ranch, the Stevens Creek Road Ranch, and the Monte Bello Ranch. The Waterwheel Creek Trail follows an old ranch road, where remnants of orchards and vineyards can be seen. 

  • Hours: Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves 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
Restrooms
Camping
Good for Kids

Hours

Open dawn to one-half hour after sunset.

Preserve Activities

August 26, 2015
August 29, 2015
August 30, 2015