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As described by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District: "Overlooking the town of Los Gatos and the south bay, Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve is the District's largest preserve, encompassing over 17,000 acres of mostly rugged and steep terrain. The environment of Sierra Azul is strikingly varied. One can visit serpentine grasslands, hard, rocky, and steep chaparral, dense stands of bay trees, or quiet, shaded oak woodland forests. For the more hardy explorers, there are deep ravines and riparian corridors, some containing seasonal or year-round water flow. Wildlife is abundant in Sierra Azul. The entire Preserve is prime mountain lion habitat and also provides homes for deer, bobcats, coyotes, and many other species of animals. Sierra Azul ("Blue Range") is a true wilderness area, yet surprisingly close to the urban areas of the South Bay, making it a popular destination."

hiking
12 hours ago

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6 days ago

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6 days ago

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7 days ago

After being recommended to hike Mt Umunhum since its opening in September 2017, I had been waiting to get out there.

The trail seems very well maintained and has mile markers along the way right up till the 3 mile mark after which you are led up to the summit (approximately another 1 mile), with gorgeous panoramic views along the way. The trail is shaded throughout and in-spite of being out and back (which I generally do not prefer), there is still a lot to see to keep you busy both ways.

If it interests you, spread across the trail are informative boards explaining the history of the mountain. There are also a few scenic lookouts. The summit is accessible via road and has restrooms.

hiking
12 days ago

An enjoyable trail to an interesting historical artifact. Characteristics:

1. Parking can be limited. We spent half-an-hour on a Sunday early afternoon waiting for one parking spot among 20-ish at the Bald Mt. TH parking lot until one freed up. YMMV depending on the day and time.

2. As of early October 2017 (read: prior to its first rain season), the Mt. Umunhum trail is extremely well-graded and groomed. But as a primarily dirt 1.5 track (everything but the last 0.2 miles to the summit was designed and designated as a multi-use trail), it can be a bit dusty. It is a very fast trail to crank-out a bit of miles/elevation (on foot or on wheels), and noticeably easy on the feet and knees. But as somebody who used to be an expert-level MTBer, the trail as it currently stands would not be very attractive due to its high foot traffic and completely sanitized nature (read: long, dirt sidewalk on a mild incline).

3. The trail is more shaded along the route than you might imagine. It can also be windy, esp. at the summit.

4. There is no potable water at either the Bald Mt. TH nor the Mt. Umunhum summit. I am told there isn't any at the general-parking/picnic/restroom facilities just off the summit as well. I was also told that there are no plans to run water up there. You need to bring yourself every bit you will need.

5. The Mt. Umunhum summit is accessible by car (next-to-the-site parking is available for handicap placards, regular parking is just off the summit a short distance away), so there will be lots of people visiting the site that way. You're not reaching some secluded waterfall to introspect and wax philosophical. There will be lots of people with kids, taking phone panoramas. That's all good, as long as your expectations are in-line.

DY

hiking
13 days ago

If you're hiking to the top, give yourself enough time to hike back down by 7:35pm or else you'll find yourself running down hill for almost 4 miles nonstop racing against the clock :)

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13 days ago

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14 days ago

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15 days ago

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18 days ago

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19 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

on Mount Umunhum

21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago