Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Adventure: Alum Rock Park Hike


My roommate, my friend, and I decided to get in touch with our inner explorers and go for a hike. My roommate wanted to go to Alum Rock Park, about 20 minutes from our apartment. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we ended up being pleasantly surprised. The park itself was small, which meant it wasn’t too crowded and it would be difficult to get lost (something I am typically pretty adept at).


Sustainable Student, Treading Lightly hike

alum rock san jose  sign 2

sustainable student, treading lightly hike 2

There is a saying around campus that we live in a bubble, and it’s often incredibly accurate. We spend most of our time on campus or right next to it. Before college I lived a mile from the beach and another mile from a park with plenty of open space and hiking trails, and it is one of the things I miss most about my hometown. This was the first time I had ventured so far from campus into San Jose without a class project forcing me to. From one of the lookouts along our hike it was clear just how small our bubble really is. We live and study in such a small space of the Silicon Valley that you could barely see it from the hills we look at from our windows at home.

Alum Rock North Rim San Jose view 1


Alum Rock North Rim San Jose 5

It was absolutely amazing to get out of the heavily suburban area we spend so much our time in and see real wildlife (not just drunk students and squirrels, of which there are plenty around campus). We saw some seriously speedy lizards, little birds and hawks, an adorable rat, and a whole lot of cows. I’ve been to farms before with school groups, but I’ve never spent so much time so close to quite that many. At one point we were walking through a whole herd of them (which terrified my roommate, she had earlier decided that the cows were suspicious of us and didn’t like her because they would stare at us). Other than having to constantly watch where we were stepping to avoid any surprises they had left behind, it was really enjoyable to be able to see so much life along our hike.

alum rock san jose 6

Alum Rock North Rim San Jose cows under tree

My friends were completely against using a map (it was a really small park with only 13 miles of trails, so we figured we couldn’t get into too much trouble. However, I recommend always taking a park map) and instead we went where we wanted and followed our curiosity. We ended up taking an incredibly steep, winding journey up one of the foothills near Mt. Hamilton and a very steep trip back down.

Alum Rock North Rim san jose 2
We went to the top of the peak in the middle of the photo. 

When we got home I could hardly walk. My roommate and I ended up having to take a nap we were so exhausted. I woke up feeling better than expected, and falling asleep to my memories of the stunning views and peace was well worth the calf pain and foot cramps. 

To read more about my April Adventures, go here.
To see more photos from our hike, go here.

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