Starting and ending on trails within Coyote Lake - Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, Rancho San Ysidro Trail is typically mixed with other trails for a hike through the park. Therefore, one may begin this trail at either the starting point or ending point shown in this description, depending on the route of the entire hike. There are many possibilities.
In this description, Rancho San Ysidro Trail starts from Willow Springs Trail
, about 1.1 miles from the parking area at the Harvey Bear Ranch Entrance to the park. Heading southwest in the oak-studded grass hills, there are views of rural southern Santa Clara Valley below. After about a quarter mile, Savannah Trail
appears. Rancho San Ysidro Trail turns left at this trail junction and almost immediately is behind hills to the west, thus blocking all views of civilization.
For about the next 1.1 miles, Rancho San Ysidro Trail is enveloped by the hills on all sides and is very pretty. The trail descends gradually and then climbs gradually as it winds its way southeast through the oak studded grass hills, passing a few seasonal streams on the way. The golden grasses of summer and autumn in these hills become bright green in winter and spring, which also brings an assortment of wildflowers to the hills.
At mile 1.5, Savannah Trail
comes in on the right and rejoins Rancho San Ysidro Trail. Once again, the civilization of southern Santa Clara Valley can now be seen to the south and southwest. Then shortly after passing Gaviota Trail
at the 1.8 mile mark, Rancho San Ysidro Trail veers sharply left and begins a serious climb up the side of Coyote Ridge. Trees become more common, especially in a quarter mile section along and around a seasonal branch of Church Creek. After this creek is passed, the trail opens up and makes a final push for the top of Coyote Ridge, where there is a bench waiting for you to sit and admire the views of rural southern Santa Clara Valley and central California in the distance.
Rancho San Ysidro Trail ends here at Coyote Ridge Trail
on the Coyote Ridge top.
Grass hills dotted with oak trees and spring wildflowers can be found here.