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Mount Umunhum Trail (from Bald Mountain parking)

6 reviews #3 hike out of 21 in
8.0 mi
Distance
3 hrs 48 min
Time
terrain
1,164 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a moderate out and back trail starting at the Bald Mountain Parking Area and ending at the summit of Mt. Umunhum. For official details, refer to the Mt. Umunhum - Sierra Azul web page. The trail is part of the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

The hike is officially listed as 3.7 miles one-way, but don't be surprised if you end up with an 8-mile round trip. The trail—opened in September 2017—is well constructed and handles water well, great for hiking even after a rainy day. The route gains 1,150' in elevation, the incline is gradual and steady until the top where there are stairs up to the very top.

Most of the trail is in wooded areas although there are enough views of the valley to keep things interesting. The shade keeps things cool most of the way on hot days, and provides some protection on windy days. Once on the summit you'll have a 360º view which include all of Santa Clara Valley and the East Hills, the San Lorenzo Velley and the Pacific Ocean beyond, even San Francisc​​o and Oakland with Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. Diablo in the distance. The one point of interest along the way is the Guadalupe Creek Overlook.

Getting Started

The Bald Mountain Parking Area is on Mt. Umunum Road, 1.6 miles from Hicks Road. Expect slower speeds and winding roads on the way. The parking area has 23 parking spots (1 designated for handicap) which can fill quickly. There's a bigger parking lot just below the summit, another ~3.5 miles farther, for people who only want to climb the stairs to the summit (or drive to the top for handicap parking or to drop people off). There are bathrooms available at this location. There are 23 spaces available (1 designated for handicap). Cross the street to start towards Mt. Umunhum.

Taking Children

Rated 7 of 10 for children. This is an easy hike terrain-wise and appropriate for anyone who can handle walking 8 miles and climbing ~1,000'. But if your children tire easily and want to be carried this may not be the best hike.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    2 months, 1 week ago
    This is a very well maintained and pretty easy hike with amazing views in all directions from the summit, so you have to start early cause it gets crowded. The gate at Hicks Rd opens at 7, so you can’t really start before that, but by 8am Friday morning, the parking by Bald Mountain was almost half full. When we ended our hike a little after 11, the parking was completely filled and cars were parked along the road. There is no water on the trail, so make sure to carry enough, especially on a hot day. Bathrooms are open at all parking lots, including at the summit.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 10 months ago
    The views are wonderful and the weather was perfect - foggy and cool when I started off in the morning, but it cleared up as I got near the summit. The trail was very well-maintained. Lots of people out but it didn't seem crowded. Interesting exhibits up at the top about the history of the radar station and especially the indigenous peoples of the mountain and their cultures. First time up here and I will be back!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 10 months ago
    Lot of beautiful views. Not much of a vertical gain but good length. Great workout.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile stars
    4 years ago
    I've hiked this trail four times so far, the latest time in January 2019. This time I arrived at the parking lot at 9:20 a.m. and there were already quite a few cars, about half full. I think it must be pretty busy on a weekend day, especially with good weather. There had been heavy rain two days earlier, with lighter rain the day before, and the trail was in great shape. There were a few spots where water was still draining across the path, but only one area that could be considered muddy, and it was easy to step carefully around it. The path, being new, is a uniform width with room for two people to walk side-by-side. The incline is fairly steady until the stairs at the top and pretty easy for anyone in decent shape. There's a lot of shade along the way, with oak, bay, and madrone trees lining the paths. The park recently released a phone app (get to it from the [park website](https://www.openspace.org/mount-umunhum-sierra-azul)) which has information about the site. The app is designed to be used at the summit, but I listened to it on the way down—either way, I'd recommend it (did you know the Radar antenna rotated every 12 seconds and resulted in an audible beep on radios and TVs in the Valleywhen it was pointed in that direction?) The final segment ​to the summit was closed due to work being done on the tower at the top. The trail is routed through a picnic/interpretive exhibit area, then through the upper parking lot, then to the stairs to the summit. Round trip was just over 2 hours (walking at a pretty good pace) and I had the summit all to myself. An interesting tidbit for this particular day: there was a man in the summit parking lot creating huge bubbles—it was quite a show, especially when the bubbles caught a breeze and sailed up into the sky!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 8 months ago

    user_profile
    3 years, 6 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★


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