Calero County Park

Prescribed Burn Notice - May 21-24, 2024: The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Santa Clara Unit, in cooperation with County Parks, will be conducting a live prescribed fire at Calero County Park near the Main Entrance at McKean Rd. The three day project will commence Tuesday, May 21, 2024 and conclude Friday May 24, 2024. Live burns will be conducted from 8:00am until 5:00pm each day.  Fire suppression personnel and equipment will be present for the entirety of each day.  The public is advised that these resources will be moving in and around the park during the previously mentioned date and times and that smoke may be visible in the area.  If the conditions are conducive, approximately 10 acres of grass and oak understory will be burned. There are no trail closures during this project. News Release
 

Prescribed Burn Notice - June 17-21, 2024: In cooperation with County Parks, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Santa Clara Unit will conduct a 165-acre live prescribed fire at Calero County Park near the Main Entrance at McKean Rd.  The five-day project will commence Monday, June 17, 2024, and conclude Friday, June 21, 2024. Live burns will be conducted from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm each day.  Fire suppression personnel and equipment will be present for the entirety of each day.  The public is advised that these resources will be moving in and around the park during the previously mentioned date and times and that smoke may be visible in the area.  If the conditions are conducive, approximately 165 acres of grass and oak understory will be burned. The following trails will be closed during this project: Oak Cover from Junction 37 - (Main Trail Head), Pena Trail from Junction 30-11, Figueroa Trail from Junction 4-7-8, and Serpentine Trail from Junction 37-3. Learn more about Fire Management.

Aerial view of Calero Rancho San Vicente

Welcome to Calero County Park, one of Santa Clara County's most diverse regional park and recreation areas. Once part of the Pueblo lands of San Jose and Rancho San Vincente land grant, this approximate 4,471 acre park is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Two distinct areas define this park: the reservoir, which offers a host of water-oriented recreational activities, and the adjoining "back country," which reveals to the visitor California Oak woodland, chaparral, riparian plant communities, and associated wildlife habitats. During the months of March, April, and May, the "backcountry" offers a spectacular display of wildflowers. In addition, the park offers breathtaking views of southern Santa Clara County and the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountain Range. Enjoy your visit today, and return again to experience the diversity of Calero County Park.

How to Get There

Calero County Park is located at:

23205 McKean Rd San Jose, CA 95120

Park Office: (408) 535-4070

The boat launch area and the park entrance/trail head are located off McKean Road. Traveling to the boat launch area from Central San Jose, take Almaden Expressway south to Harry Road. Turn right onto Harry Road; then left onto McKean Road. The reservoir is on the right; about three miles south of Harry Road. Traveling to the park on southbound Highway 101, exit Bailey Ave (Exit 373) and turn right.  Head west on Bailey Ave until you reach McKean Rd. Turn right and continue about 0.5 miles and the entrance to the reservoir will be on your left. Traveling on northbound Highway 101, exit Bailey Ave (Exit 373) and turn left onto Bailey Ave heading west. Continue on Bailey Ave until you reach McKean Rd and make a right. In 0.5 miles is the entrance to the reservoir.

To reach the trailhead staging area and access to the 18.9 miles of trails, follow the directions above but at Bailey Ave and McKean Rd turn left onto McKean Rd (southbound) and continue 0.5 miles to the park entrance on your right.

Activities

The reservoir is open year-round to both power and non-power vessels. Power boating, sailing, fishing, water-skiing and jet-skiing are all activities for which Calero Reservoir is ideally suited. Two sites near the water's edge include picnic tables and barbecues, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A reservable group picnic area is also available. Group picnic,, boating reservations, and boat inspections can be made online at Go Outside and Play or call (408) 355-2201.

The back country offers 18.9 miles of trails available to hikers and equestrians. At the trailhead is a large staging area , which can accommodate vehicle and equestrian parking and is adjacent to the park office. Bicyclists can now enjoy the 0.5-mile segment of the Serpentine Loop Trail that connects to Longwall Canyon Trail in the Open Space Authority’s Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve. All users will now be able to use trails that connect these two parks.

Dogs on leash will be allowed on Bald Peaks Trail and all trails north of Bald Peaks Trail.

First-come, first-served picnic sites with barbeques are available. This area may be reserved for organized events and gatherings. Arrangements can be made with park staff for a wide range of interpretive programs and outdoor projects.

CATCH AND RELEASE... PLEASE DON'T EAT THE FISH

Mercury has been found to accumulate in Calero Reservoir at levels that make the fish from Calero Reservoir unsafe to eat.

The nearby Almaden Valley area of Santa Clara County was once the site of quicksilver (mercury) mining. Sediments containing mercury have been deposited in some of the local reservoirs. Over time, the mercury in the sediment may have been converted to methyl mercury by naturally occurring bacteria. Methyl mercury is absorbed by aquatic plants and fish, and subsequently by humans who may eat the contaminated fish. If you have any questions regarding mercury and its effects, please contact the County's Environmental Health Services, (408) 918-3400

Hours and Fees

The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. The reservoir use hours are 8 a.m. until 30 minutes before sunset. Reservoir and vehicle use fees are collected daily. Launch and entry fees are posted at the kiosk. There is no fee for parking at the trailhead staging area.

Access Fees Information Here: Park Fees

Accessibility

In compliance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ('ADA'),the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its programs, services, or activities. The Department will make reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disability have an equal opportunity to enjoy our programs, services, facilities, and activities. If you need assistance with an ADA request, please contact our ADA Coordinator.

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Address

23205 McKean Rd
San Jose, CA 95120

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Hours of Operation

Sunday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Monday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Tuesday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Wednesday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Thursday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Friday:
8:00 am —
Sunset
Saturday:
8:00 am —
Sunset

Contacts

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