On March 30, 1776, The Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition camped along the Guadalupe River near today's River Oaks Parkway and bridge. Captain Anza's diary entry that night reads: "...We came to a large arroyo or fair-sized river, where with difficulty we found a ford. Having crossed it, at four o'clock we halted for the night on its banks, partly because it had been raining and partly because it was threatening to rain harder...To this arroyo or river we gave the name of Guadalupe. It has abundant and good timber of cottonwood, ash, willow, and other kinds. In all directions there is a great abundance of firewood, and likewise agricultural lands for raising crops ... In the place where we are camped there are three good-sized villages, each about as large as the last one mentioned, composed of people like the foregoing, and by whom, according to the paths and trails, the region upstream appears to be populated."
In 1777, San José became the first civil settlement (not associated with a mission or a military post) in the Spanish colony of Nueva California. In 1850, California secured statehood and San José was its first capitol. The seasonal flooding of the river and mild climate made the valley one of the greatest agricultural regions in the world and earned it the nickname, Valley of Heart’s Delights. In the 1950’s the valley began to rapidly transition from agricultural center to high technology capitol. Today, many of the world’s largest and best-known technology companies are headquartered along the banks of the river.
Maps & Itineraries
Explore numerous sites along and near the Guadalupe River Trail - Tourism Map of the Guadalupe River Trail system.
Get a general overview of San José's wide variety of trails by reading the Visitor Guide.
For downtown hotel guests, view an informational informational brochure on the nearby Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek and Los Gatos Creek Trail systems. Also, this interactive map features downtown retail, and how to get around via trails and transit.
Great feature article on travel to San José in Southwest Airlines' August 2015 issue of Southwest The Magazine
Visit "Lupe" the Mammoth - San José's newest piece of public art, just four miles from Downtown San Jose along the fully-paved Guadalupe River Trail! Lupe is 9-1/2 tons, stands 12-1/2' tall, and recalls the discovery of a Columbian Mammoth fossil along the nearby river bed. Use #LupeTheMammoth to share your pictures on Twitter and Instagram.
Lupe gets recognized:
How do I find Lupe the Mammoth?
There is no public parking near Lupe the Mammoth, so here are some options:
Before you go
Visitors will find a beautiful California landscape, and many architectural artifacts from the park's long history; including stone bridges and grottos. As your approach the park from Penitencia Creek Road, you'll see an old covered bridge that once carried streetcars as they carried urban dwellers to the park. Visit the Alum Rock Park page on the Trail Program website for a map, images and more information about the park. VIDEO: NBC Bay Area / Back Roads visits Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista
Find even more trails within the adjacent Sierra Vista Open Space preserve managed by the Santa County Open Space Preserve.