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Alum Rock Park
May 30-Jun 1

Alum Rock Park views


Send a flyer to your friends and encourage them to join you.

Download the Project Fact Sheet for directions, schedule and other key information.

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Project Background
Alum Rock Park, San Jose's largest and wildest park will once again welcome V-O-Cal volunteers. Dedicated in 1872, Alum Rock Park is California's oldest city park. Alum Rock Park features rugged ridges with spectacular views of the Santa Clara Valley. It is a natural, rugged getaway just minutes from downtown San Jose. At 720 acres, Alum Rock Park is huge, has miles of trail, and is very heavily used, but has a very small staff. The trails in Alum Rock need our help!

Important note: There is no cell coverage in our camp area for this project. We will include contact information for emergency contact in the project fact sheet.

Trail Description
V-O-Cal will focus on repairing the South Rim Trail, restoring tread, clearing overgrowth, installing steps, repairing switchbacks, and restoring habitat. The South Rim Trail is characterized by very steep slopes, so the views from every part of this trail are spectacular!

Level of Effort
Hiking: moderate
Manual Labor: mixed

Camping is open to volunteers Friday and Saturday nights. Food is also provided for volunteers from breakfast Saturday through lunch Sunday. While camping is optional and participants are able to participate for one day, this will be a unique opportunity to relax after the work day and camp in a festive atmosphere with other volunteers.

Carpooling, Public transportation and Parking
We encourage participants to carpool to this project. If you need a ride, or have space in your car, please try and carpool.

Driving Directions

Getting to Alum Rock Park can be misleading if you are accustomed to letting your GPS guide you, so it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to follow the directions below:

Access is currently available only from Penitencia Creek Road. Do not follow Internet-based maps to the park! They will likely lead you to a closed gate.
15350 Penitencia Creek Road
San Jose, CA 95127

Coming from the North:
1. Take I-680 South toward San Jose.
2. Take the Berryessa Road exit, and cloverleaf around to the left onto Berryessa Road heading east towards the hills.
3. Soon thereafter, turn right onto North Capitol Avenue. (If you miss the turn, you can turn right on White- see map)
4. Go about 0.2 miles and turn left onto Penitencia Road.
5. Follow signs to Alum Rock Park.
6. Travel about 2 miles along Penitencia Road to the Park Entrance.
7. After entering the park, follow the main road to the end of the road, about 1.5 miles.

Coming from the South:
1. Take I-680 North toward Hayward.
2. Take the McKee Road exit, and merge right onto McKee Road heading east towards the hills.
3. Continue about 0.8 miles along McKee Road.
4. Turn left on White Road, and continue about 0.8 miles.
5. Turn right onto Penitencia Road.
6. Follow signs to Alum Rock Park.
7. Travel about 2 miles along Penitencia Road to the Park Entrance.
8. After entering the park, follow the main road to the end of the park, about 1.5 miles.

Preliminary Schedule
5pm - Registration and camping opens
7:30am - Registration, light breakfast, and lunch prep begin.
8am - Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk. Project begins.
12:30pm - Break for lunch on trail.
3:30pm - Head back to camp.
4pm - Drinks, appetizers and socializing. Showers available.
6:15pm - Dinner and entertainment.
8am - Registration, hot breakfast, and lunch prep.
8:30am - Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk. Project begins.
11:30am - Break for lunch on trail.
1:30pm - Head back to camp to pack gear and truck.
2pm - Celebrate the work and say goodbyes.

What to bring and wear
For your safety and protection from hazards, please be prepared with the following items:

  • Water, sun hat, and sunscreen. You will NOT be allowed on the trail without a water container.

  • Plates, utensils, coffee mug and a cup.
  • Work Gloves (if you do not have work gloves V-O-Cal can provide a pair to use).
  • Sturdy shoes or boots with tread. Working in sandals or open-toed shoes will not be permitted.
  • Day pack to carry water and lunch.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent, allergy medicine, etc.
  • A change of clothes for each work day and for lounging at camp to minimize the spread of poison oak.
  • IF CAMPING: bring a tent, sleeping bag, folding chair, flashlight, and other camping gear. A coffee mug is also necessary. Also bring a change of clothes.
  • Meals
    V-O-Cal provides all meals for volunteers from breakfast Saturday through lunch Sunday. Vegetarian options are available for all meals.

  • Please bring your own reusable plates, coffee mug, cups and utensils. To minimize waste from our projects, we ask that you bring your own dishes. Hot water and soap are provided.
  • A continental breakfast is served Saturday morning.
  • Lunch is prepared before hitting the trails. You break for lunch on the trail around 12:30.
  • Please arrive at camp by 7:40am to register, eat breakfast and prepare your lunch.
  • Appetizers and beverages will be available at 4pm after the work day on Saturday. Dinner will follow at 6:15pm.
  • Hot breakfast is served Sunday.
  • Hazards
    HYDRATION/SUN EXPOSURE: The work site is exposed and it may be HOT. Wear a sun hat! Please drink plenty of water throughout the work day. If you feel tired or weak, let your crew leader know and take a break.
    POISON OAK: There is a risk of exposure to poison oak at at the work site. Have your crew leader point some out to you if you don't know what it looks like. Clean with Tecnu after the workday and be cautious when handling your dirty clothes.
    SNAKES: Snakes are present on the property. Use caution when walking the trails and when picking items up off the ground.
    TICKS: Ticks are always a hazard so it is important to check during and after the project.
    SHARP TOOLS: Please listen to your crew leaders tool safety talk and observe proper tool use throughout the day.

    View other V-O-Cal Projects.