Guadalupe River Trail mud clearing day

Update: The Guadalupe River Trial under Highway 101 is (more or less) passable. The real problem spot now is the trail under Montague Expressway. We’ll work there this Saturday, March 11, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This chart from the United States Geological Survey shows the level of the Guadalupe River underneath Highway 101 just north of San Jose International Airport. The trail floods here at any level over seven feet deep.

Guadalupe River Stream Guage

Over the past few days the river level has dropped by about an inch per day. At this pace, the trail should be above the water in about ten days, but the trail will still remain covered in mud and debris.

City of San Jose and Valley Water District crews are still incredibly busy cleaning up and repairing significant flood damage elsewhere in the area, so we’re on our own for the time being cleaning up the trail. Because Hwy 101 is the most significant barrier to bike travel, I’d like to start with that underpass. If the water level drops enough, I tentatively plan to bring a shovel here the morning of Saturday, March 11. Many hands make light work, so I invite you to come along to help.

Bobcat loader rental runs about $200 / day. If somebody wants to rent one and trailer it to this location I’ll pitch in for the cost. Let me know immediately if you can do that so I can contact the city, the airport, and the water district about whatever permits we might need to get this done.

I’ll bike here, but if you drive remember that airport parking costs money ($15/day at the Economy Lot, located right next to the trail). Nearest free parking is street parking on Airport Parkway about a one mile walk away, but those spots are usually filled up with sleeping uber and Lyft drivers.

Let me know if you think you can participate. I’ll bring water and snacks, maybe figure out a way to get pizza delivery here. Bring your own shovel and rubber boots. And if it turns out city and water district crews get a chance to clean this up for us, I’ll cancel this volunteer effort.


  1. Thank you for setting this up! I’m very interested in helping, but need to make sure my schedule is open. I’d love to contribute money to the “heavy” machinery either way.

  2. Shoot, just seeing this. I have a cargo van with trailer hitch here in Santa Clara. You still need help?

  3. Thatnks Pete. I scouted the underpasses today. I don’t think we’ll need a Bobcat for most areas. Under 101 is just a little silty and it’s not that deep. If I can make the time I’ll scoop some of it out this evening.

    The only really bad spot is under Montague, and for that we’ll need a chainsaw and a couple of strong backs I think.

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