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Copyright © 2000-2002 by Michael Wimble, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday, January 12, 2002

Hidden Villa

The first waterfall hike of the 2002 season.

For the gallery of pictures from the hike, click HERE.

See the Trip Report below.

Hidden Villa is a frequent destination of the FOM/FOK hiking group. Located near FootHill College, it encompases 1600 acres in Los Altos. It has many environmental education offerings, including a multicultural summer camp. It also includes a hostel. They are open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays) during daylight hours, and closed during to the general public during summer camp (see their web site for the schedule).

The trails are well traveled and well maintained. There are two major hiking loops, each climbing about 600 or 700 feet if you go to the top, with several trail options that climb across two hills or follow the several streams. The hikes are all easy to moderate on the "Wimble Scale".

Poison oak, while present, is usually well trimmed and not a problem if you stay on the trails. There are wildflowers for a large portion of the year as there are wet and dry regions, exposed and covered regions, and a wide variety of biomes.

Plan on at least one large water bottle—or more if it is very warm. You can buy cold water in a bottle for $1 at the Visitor's Center.


Take I-280 to the El Monte exit. Follow El Monte west (away from the bay), past the stop light at Foothill College to the stop sign at the intersection with Elena and Moody Road. Bear left on Moody Road and travel 1.7 miles, following the signs to Hidden Villa, which will be on your left. Parking is $5.00. There are toilets at the visitor center right next to the parking lot.

On line information

The Hidden Villa home page is located at

Virtual reality panoramic views are at

Another site with pictures of trails

Another site which discusses the hostel at Hidden villa

Trip Report

Four new hikers began the season with us, so, along with Gwyn, there were 7 of us on the hike. There are only a few weeks during the year where this trail is ideal, with just enough water in the two streams, and the trail in good hiking condition.

We made unexpectedly good time along the trail. It was rather cool, the trail was damp, and the rocks were slippery. Along the way, we came across a jogger who passed us. She came back and joined Gwyn for a while as she saw coyotes along the trail and thought it would be safer if she wasn't by herself.

Gwyn is a strong hiker and walks faster than Michael anyway, so she frequently went ahead and then waited for us to catch up.

It seems like a long hike to the park boundary along the West Fork. From there, the hike is flat for a while and then makes a steep descent along the Bunny Creek. At the bottom of the trail, we went from the camp ground to the farm, then back to the visitor center and the parking lot.