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St. Joseph's Hill St. Joseph's Hill

All Midpen Preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year from dawn until one-half hour after sunset.

One of the distinctive scenic backdrops to the Town of Los Gatos is the 270-acre St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve, which provides a quick escape from the nearby urban areas of the southern peninsula. At the eastern edge of the preserve, the top of 1,250-foot St. Joseph's Hill features panoramic views of Santa Clara Valley, Lexington Reservoir, and the impressive Sierra Azul mountain range. The purchase of St. Joseph's Hill in 1982 was a joint project between the District and the Town of Los Gatos.

St. Joseph's Hill

There are a number of regional trails that provide access to St. Joseph's Hill and other nearby open space areas. The Los Gatos Creek Trail provides a connection from the City of San Jose directly into Los Gatos. From there, the popular Jones Trail connects Novitiate Park to St. Joseph's Hill, then to Santa Clara County's Lexington Reservoir County Park. A portion of the Jones Trail follows the historic alignment of Jones Road, which was used in the last century by stagecoaches and pack teams. This was an important route, bringing people, supplies, and equipment over the precipitous St. Joseph's Hill and then down into Los Gatos.

St. Joseph's Hill is a popular destination, offering trails that will challenge hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.


Dog walkers are required to bag and remove all dog waste from all dog-friendly preserves, including St. Joseph's Hill. Moving dog waste off trail is not permitted.

  • Please bag and remove dog waste from the Preserve by packing it out.
  • Do NOT leave bagged waste at the Preserve or outside Preserve restrooms; the plumbing cannot tolerate plastic.
  • Leaving bagged waste is considered littering, and failure to comply may result in a fine.


From southbound Highway 17, take the Bear Creek Road exit, cross over the highway, and go 0.4 miles north on Highway 17 to Alma Bridge Road. Proceed across the dam to the parking area at Lexington Reservoir County Park (there is a parking fee). The trail to St. Joseph’s Hill starts opposite the boat launching area at the north end of the reservoir.

Download a map of St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve


Latest News

New Bald Mountain Parking Area at Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve now open!

(10/29/14 )

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