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Alum Rock Park

Other Link Alum Rock Park Rules & Regulations
Trial Updates
  • All trails are now open with the exception of Mineral Springs Trail
  • No dogs / pets allowed inside Alum Rock Park


Mountain Lion Sightings at Alum Rock Park

FREE parking at the Eagle Rock & Rustic Lands parking lots has been adopted as an ongoing community benefit beginning July 1, 2017. This means you can continue to park for FREE inside Alum Rock Park at these locations (except on Holidays). We encourage everyone to use this free parking to reduce impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the park. The Alum Rock Visitor Center & Youth Science Institute parking lots will still cost $6.00 per vehicle for daily parking, or you can use a Regional Parks Annual Parking Pass. The Holiday parking rate for all Alum Rock parking lots will be $10.00 per vehicle.

Please see park trails map for re-opened sections. 

Related Resources
For park closures, updates and notices please follow the links below:

  • News and Announcements (Holiday closures, visiting hour changes)
  • Emergency and Alerts (Fire hazard closures, weather related alerts)

**All Alum Rock Park visitors are requested to park in the parking lot and not on surface streets outside the park.

  **No dogs / pets allowed inside Alum Rock Park.

Alum Rock Park
alum-big1.jpgAlum Rock Park was founded in 1872 and is one of California’s oldest municipal parks. Nestled within the Alum Rock Canyon in the foothills of the Diablo Range, the Park's 720 acres of natural, rugged beauty, provide visitors with many leisure outdoor activities including hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, family and group picnicking, and of course just relaxing. Picnic tables, barbecue pits, water and restrooms are available in most picnic areas, with lawns and a children's playground in the mid-canyon area.

alum-big2.jpgFrom 1890 to 1932 the park was a nationally known health spa with 27 mineral springs, an indoor swimming pool, tea garden, restaurant, and dance pavilion. At the time you could ride from downtown San Jose to the park on the Alum Rock Steam Railroad, a ride that cost a quarter. Today, remnants of the railroad bridges can be seen, some of the stone grottos that contain mineral springs are still accessible, but now the charms of the park focus on nature, wildlife, and hiking.

There are approximately 13 miles of trails including six miles of horse trails and three miles of bicycle trails. Hikers are welcome on all trails, while equestrian and cyclists are required to use designated trails only. Please observe trail usage signs; don’t endanger yourself and others by using inappropriate trails.

Alum Rock Park trails are the portal to Santa Clara County Open Space Authority Trails. Occasionally OSA trails are closed due to poor weather conditions, please visit for trail status.

If you would like to report maintenance issues, or an experience of concern, on one of the Alum Rock Park trails you may download this trail report. Please Submit or Fax to: CITY OF SAN JOSE, Alum Rock Park Rangers, 1300 Senter Rd.,San Jose, CA 95113 Ranger Office (408) 259-5477 Fax (408) 729-8742

Picnic Sites
alum-big4.jpgReservable picnic areas can accommodate groups up to 300. Each area includes tables, barbecue grills, and nearby restrooms. Some of the more secluded sites require a short walk from the parking lot since vehicles are not allowed into the area. You may make on line reservations, but please call 408-794-7275 if you have questions about your chosen site.

During the fire season the use of fires and barbecues may be severely restricted, or the park may be closed to the public due to extreme fire conditions. For any concerns please call the Alum Rock Rangers Office.

Activities / Camps / Classes
Alum Rock Park staff offer a variety of educational programs for school children and other groups, and hosts a Summer Camp during the months of June, July, and August. Summer Camp is open to children 5-14 years and includes hiking, exploring creek waters, bird watching and other recreational activities.

The Youth Science Institute is a non-profit Science and Nature Center that has been open to the public since 1953. They offer school activities and have a museum open to the public Tuesday-Friday 12:00pm-4:00pm and on Saturday 12:00pm-4:30pm. Please visit for details on their programs.

The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority offers free walks that meet inside Alum Rock Park. Please visit their website for information .

Natural Beauty       
The unique east-west canyon and its steep sides contain many delicate plant and animal communities. Soils on the north canyon slopes are held in place by a variety of grasses, poison oak, holly leaf-cherry, sagebrush, and scattered live oak trees. Quiet, observant hikers can see black-tailed deer, brush rabbits and quail. Red tailed hawks and turkey vultures can frequently be seen riding the air currents over-head.

alum-big5.jpgThe opposite or south side of the canyon offers a totally different natural community. Trees such as the California black oak, bay, madrone, and California buckeye are abundant, while smaller shrubs like the toyon, wild rose, and wild blackberries are found in more sunny areas. The chattering of gray squirrels and Steller's jays are common sounds. On rare occasions, a hiker might see - only for an instant - the elusive bobcat as it disappears into the dense brush.

Penitencia Creek is lined with big-leaf maple white alder, and western sycamore. Wild honey-suckle vines, the arroyo and red willow add to its lush plant life.

Spring provides the park with color from a variety of wild flowers including the California poppy and sticky monkey flower. Ferns are prevalent during the winter and spring months. Alum Rock Park must be seen during all its seasons to be truly appreciated.

Parking Fees

Parking Fees are collected daily.
When the parking booth is unattended please use one of the automated machines.
Each automated machine accepts credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Card) and cash.
Please bring exact currency as the machines do not dispense change.
Parking Passes are honored at Alum Rock Park, Lake Cunningham, Almaden Lake, and Kelley Park/Happy Hollow.

$6.00 Daily Pass
$2.00 Discounted Daily Pass (discount card required)*
$10.00 for the following high use days:

  • Easter Sunday
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
$80.00 Annual Pass
$30.00 Discounted Annual Pass*

*Discount eligibility: Age 60 or older, Disabled Person Parking (DMV Issued DP Paperwork needed), Military Veterans, or Active Military. DD214,or active military card for eligibility - Applications for discount must be submitted to Leininger Center (inside of Kelley Park) IN ADVANCE of your visit.

Please call Leininger Center for additional information and questions. 408-794-7275. 

Planning & Historic Documents


Recent clean-up efforts by hard working Alum Rock Park volunteers has made an area once thick with thistles accessible to natural deer!

Provisions Information
Acreage 720
Reservable Picnic Sites Yes 
Non-Reservable Picnic Sites Yes 
BBQ Yes 
Sports/Activities Sand volleyball, horseshoes, hiking, bicycling, running, bird watching, picnicking
Tot Lot Yes 
Youth Playground Yes
Restrooms Yes 
Parking Parking lots - $6 daily fees apply
Report a Concern 1-408-793-5510 or email a concern
 Water Play Structure Currently Closed
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