Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, this 7,400-acre valley is the setting for farmland and open space just south of San Jose, the nation’s tenth-largest city. The Santa Cruz Mountain Range to the west and the Mount Hamilton Range to the east bound the Coyote Valley, with Coyote Creek and Fisher Creek running through it. The Amah Mutsun tribal band and Muwekma Ohlone people first settled in the valley before Spanish settlers arrived in the 1770s. From the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth century, the valley became part of an area known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” descriptive of its lucrative agricultural economy. More recently, the city of San Jose and its surroundings became known as “Silicon Valley” due to the world-renowned technology firms located there.
Resting on the southern tip of the primary groundwater basin for San Jose, the valley safeguards the aquifer and 2,500 acres of floodplain. Coyote and Fisher Creeks, traversing through the Valley, sustain wetland and riparian habitats for migrating steelhead trout and other species. Upland from the creeks, mature oak and sycamore trees dot gently sloping hills covered in grasses and wildflowers. These oak savanna areas support mountain lions, the Bay Checkerspot Butterfly, and more than 215 species of resident and migratory birds. Land uses in the valley vary: the IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory, a computer software research facility, is in the north; several farms and Hamlet, a historic village, are centrally located; and rural subdivisions are in the south. The valley also contains water-sport facilities, two golf courses, and the Coyote Creek County Park and Trail system, which reaches the San Francisco Bay.