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John Nicholas to Skyline Shuttle

  3.8 ( 4 ) Favorite


5.3 mile 8.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,141' 348 m
Descent: -167' -51 m
High: 2,906' 886 m
Low: 1,798' 548 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A great shuttle hike that allows you to enjoy all that the John Nicholas Trail has to offer!

Kristen Arendt

Features Lake · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly With plenty to see and explore along the way, kids will love this point to point hike. You can always hike it in reverse too for an overall downhill route depending on what you think the kids can handle


This shuttle allows for an easy day-hike on a fun trail connecting Black Rd to Skyline Trail with some great views and beautiful redwood forest.


Park one car at the trailhead for the Skyline Trail and then drive to the trailhead for the John Nicholas Trail off of Black Road.

This trail starts from the gate on Black Road, where you can park. The first 1.5 miles of trail is fairly flat on a well-maintained fire road, meandering through the forest. At about 1.5 miles, you'll reach the Ranch Lake Reservoir, where you may find some wildlife (deer, rabbits, and skunks). After going around the reservoir, you'll see a steep fire road on the right dropping down to Sanborn Rd.

Instead, you'll veer left and start climbing up a section of the trail along a small creek. This section of trail is about 4' wide, with a few wooden bridges and benches under heavy tree cover. The climb is fairly gradual with only a couple of steeper sections. As you climb higher, there will be a couple good vista points to enjoy.

After about 5 miles, you'll reach Skyline Trail. Keep right on Skyline and you'll reach the parking lot on Skyline Blvd.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

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May 28, 2018
Jason Willebeek-LeMair
hiked in to the reservoir, ate lunch, hiked back out. Me and the boys. 3.6mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes


  3.8 from 4 votes
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1,007 Since Oct 13, 2016



Nice craftsmanship on the bridges at the base of the John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
View from the crest of John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
Gate entrance on Black Road.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA
John Nicholas Trail.
Oct 13, 2016 near Monte S…, CA

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