Mountains, Redwood Forest and
Fantastic Views around San Francisco Bay Area
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讀萬卷書    行萬里路

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Tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, Saratoga is a lovely residential
community with a small-town feel. Saratoga is a town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. It is
located on the west side of the Santa Clara Valley, directly west of San Jose, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The City is well known for its excellent schools, fine dining, unique shops, distinctive cultural institutions and
beautiful flowers along its streets.
More flowers along the streets of Saratoga.
On August 10, 2020, we came to Sanborn County Park in Santa Cruz Mountains near Saratoga to enjoy some
hiking in the majestic forest of giant redwoods.  The redwoods were astonishing and beautiful at George
Peterson Memorial Grove.
Some Baby Redwoods.
Hiking trail in the redwood forest in Sanborn County Park. Many other hiking trails in this park are very steep
and strenuous. We chose the level and easy trail for senior people in this park.
More flowers on the streets in Saratoga.
步道非常平緩, 非常好走,兩旁的林蔭濃密。

On July 30, 2020, we drove to Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in Oakland Hills to enjoy hiking on this trail
(Golden Spike Trail/Bridle Trail ) in redwood forest. Many other trails in this redwood park are very steep and
strenuous. We chose this one along the Redwood Creek and is level and easy for senior people. We parked
our car at Wayside Parking Lot which is slightly north of Redwood Gate. The level trail is a loop with Golden
Spike Trail/Bridle Trail on west side of Redwood Creek and Stream Trail on east side of Redwood Creek. Two
small bridges connect these two parallel trails to form a loop as shown on the interactive Google Map
and on the park map
here. It takes about one hour of hiking around this loop at leisure pace for senior people.
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park just a few miles over the mountain ridge from downtown Oakland in San
Francisco Bay area. This redwood forest is the largest remaining natural stand in the East Bay in San
Francisco Bay area..
Flower on the streets of Oakland, California.
Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay as viewed from Oakland Hill
near Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. More spectacular views of San Francisco Bay can be seen
here and
Oakland International Airport as viewed from Oakland Hills.
Hiking on the Stream Trail on the east side of Redwood Creek.
The Dragon Mountain (天龍山) Culture Park and Temple on the Calaveras hills in Milpitas in southeast part of
San Francisco Bay Area. The entrance gate is located at 3215 Calaveras Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035. We drove
here for a tour in the afternoon of September 19, 2020. It is only about 20-minute drive from Fremont,
The Sign of The Dragon Mountain (天龍山) Culture Park and Temple near its entrance gate.
The entrance gate of The Dragon Mountain (天龍山) Culture Park and Temple is temporary closed probably
due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oakland Hills also has spectacular view of San Francisco
Bay as shown on my website
here. But when we went to that area on July 30, 2020, that church was also
temporary closed probably due to the same reason of Covid-19 pandemic.
A view of the temple builds and facilities along the slope of the Dragon Mountain.
Zoom in on one of the temple buildings on the mountain slope.
Zoom in on another temple building way up there near the top of the Dragon Mountain.

The Dragon Mountain (
天龍山) Culture Park and Temple is a wonderful multi-religion, historic park of the
Vietnamese cultural heritage, a tranquil place where Buddhism and Catholicism merge to allow dedicated
prayer to take form in a private setting.

This place is much more than a temple. It has great views, peaceful and good for hiking with 1000+ steps to
walk up to the upper levels of the temple. Benches are available along the way to rest and the scenery is
breathtaking. However, if you do not want to do the strenuous hiking up thousand of steps, there is a free
shuttle bus to take visitors from the parking lot to the upper levels of the temple. Beyond the top level facilities,
there are unpaved very steep trails for another 30-minute hike to go up to the peak of the Dragon Mountain.

The panoramic views of San Francisco Bay, the Spring Valley golf course, sun reflecting lakes and the city of
Milpitas from the Dragon Mountain are fantastic as shown
here, here, here, here,  here  and here.  

This is not just another 'Buddhist monastery', this is an inter-faith amazing place to meditate, wonder, pray,
have a picnic with family and friends, read a book in the red hammock or even do an exhausting workout
climbing stairs made of cement and rooted to the mountain, stairs that seem to bring you directly to heaven.

The YouTube video
here provides good overall views of various buildings, long and steep stairways, religious
statues, etc.

The best season to visit The Dragon Mountain Culture Park and Temple is the spring season when the whole
mountain is green and the wildflowers are blooming on the entire mountain slope. This is probably one of the
best hiking trails in San Francisco Bay Area. Be prepared for a hardcore hike because those steps are steep!

Even though the main theme here is about Buddhism, there is a section for Christianity with Mother Maria and  
huge Christian Cross as shown
here, here and here. The Buddha statues are scattered all over the space for
visitors to enjoy.  Most of the statues also have short scriptures next to them describing the history of the
Buddha.  You can pray, meditate, or simply take a nap under one of the trees (there are hammocks and
lounge chairs of all kinds underneath the bigger trees).

When it is open in the future, come on Sunday when they have religious service followed by free vegetarian
lunch, and the folks here welcome everyone to join.

There are small buildings along the uphill long stairway for visitors to rest, to use the toilet and to enjoy the
fantastic views as shown
here. They resemble Tibetan monastery.
Indian Hills Horse Ranch located at 3460 Calaveras Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035. It is only about 0.7 miles
southeast of The Dragon Mountain Culture Park and Temple.

The Ed R. Levin County Park and Spring Valley golf course with couple lakes are also nearby.
Whispering Hills Horse Ranch, located at 80 Evans Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035, is only about 2 miles southwest of
the Dragon Mountain Culture Park and Temple.
A nice sunset view after we came back to Fremont in San Francisco Bay Area.
Some people and many birds were also quite active at sunset time as shown in the following YouTube website: