The Halls Valley Astronomical Group is based at Joseph D. Grant County Park in the hills east of San Jose, California. Grant Park is located in a rural area and is separated from San Jose and the other communities of the Santa Clara Valley by a 2400 foot (700 meter) high ridge of the Diablo Mountains. Lick Observatory, on the summit of Mount Hamilton, home of the second largest refracting telescope in the world, is located 11 miles beyond the park entrance.
Directions to Grant Park:
In San Jose, from either highway 101 or highway 680, exit at the Alum Rock Avenue interchange. Go east on Alum Rock Avenue (which is also state highway 130) for 3.6 miles from route 101 or 2.2 miles from route 680. Turn right on Mount Hamilton Road (which continues state highway 130). There is a sign at this intersection indicating Grant Park. Continue on Mount Hamilton Road for 7.7 miles. This takes you over the first ridge of the mountains and into Halls Valley. Turn right at the park entrance, which is indicated by the large "Joseph D. Grant County Park" sign. If you are coming from outside of San Jose, our regional map of the Bay Area shows the location of Grant Park in relation to the major cities and highways.
Information About Grant Park
Located in the hills east of San Jose, Joseph D. Grant County Park is the largest park managed by the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. This 10,882 acre (4,404 hectare) park ranges in elevation from 1200 feet (366 meters) to 4000 feet (1219 meters), and has a 51 mile (82-kilometer) trail system that offers visitors the opportunity to hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Bay Area.
Shaded picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campers can choose from almost forty (40) reservable family campsites. Hot showers are available with paid campsite use. Group picnic and youth group camping areas are available by reservation. A large lake and several smaller ponds are accessible for warm water fishing.
Vehicle entry fees are collected year-round. Fees are required for camping and for use of the group picnic areas. The park is home to a variety of wild flowers, including the Woodland Star which is featured in the FGRP & HVAG logos. Click here to see some of these wild flowers in bloom. You can also view the Grant House leaflet here for more information on this historic building.