Distance: 6 miles round trip
Elevation change: 600′ elevation gain
Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours
Trail surface: Packed dirt, mostly shaded
Best Season: Year round
Managing agency: Santa Clara County Parks
Parking lot location: Click here for directions
Overview: Sanborn County Park contains over 3,449 acres of mixed forest, tucked into the Santa Cruz Mountains between the town of Saratoga and Skyline Boulevard. With over 15 miles of trails, there are many options for easy nature walks and more challenging hikes like this one.
This six mile out-and-back hike on the top of Skyline Ridge is the perfect place to go on a hot summer day. The trail meanders through dense forest and is almost completely shaded, making it the ideal place to escape the heat.
From the parking lot at Sunnyvale Mountain Trailhead, walk north from the gate on the Skyline Trail. The trail starts on an old ranch road and after a few feet you’ll come to your first junction. Make sure to stay left and continue slightly uphill on the Skyline Trail. You’ll be on this trail for the entire hike and the other junctions you’ll come to are well marked. Follow the trail through old growth Douglas fir and Pacific madrone and past sandstone boulders until you reach the parking lot near Indian Rock. If you have time, climb the 0.2 miles up to Indian Rock where there’s a great picnic spot and you can watch rock climbers scale the rock’s steep face.
When you’re ready, follow the trail back to the parking lot.