Explore the most popular views trails in Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

14 days ago

It was a moderate hike with beautiful panoramic views all along way. Almost entire path is shaded unless it’s midday.

29 days ago

I don’t come here too much in the hotter months but I like the trails a lot. There is a lot of elevation gain and the trails are wide enough to share with the many bikers. My dog loves it. Not much in terms of views unless you go all the way up to El Sombroso, and even those are not the best on hazy days. Not too much parking at the trail head, just roadside turnouts. Also a bummer that you can’t swim in the reservoir.

1 month ago

Scenery: 3.5
Views: 4.5
Difficulty: 3
Crowds: 3
Shade: 4

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

1 month ago

Nice gradual incline to the top with a great view of the bay especially on a clear day. Saw a rattlesnake near the bottom so be careful. Make sure you get there before 830am so you can get a parking spot. Small parking if you wanted to do the incline first but if you want to go downhill first then you can drive to the top which had more parking.

1 month ago

It’s a bit steep but beautiful. A lot of birds. Mostly shady. Parking is limited.

1 month ago

Well maintained, shaded trail for 85%.
Vegetation not as gorgeous like you find in forests but still nice, different.
Pretty decent ascent not hard at all.

Well maintained paths and spectacular views of South Bay. Parking is tough so go early.

Amazing views at the top.

2 months ago

Nice hike. Shaded all the way. One thing i don’t like is that it opens late; it says open and closes at sunrise and sunset, so you won’t be able to go there to see the sunrise. Bummer!

Steep both on the up and downhill sections of the loop. Some nice views up towards the bay. Very light foot traffic. Some hardy bikers.

Love this trail. Some really nice climbs.

2 months ago

Tough for a beginner, all uphill, but a great trail!

2 months ago

This is a fairly straightforward hike. The trail is well maintained and not too heavily trafficked, especially early in the morning (i.e. 7am). The ascent is very gradual to the top and not strenuous with the exception of a few sets of stairs to reach the summit. The summit gives some great views of the surrounding area and some information on the history of the area.

Overall, this is a good hike that can be done fairly quickly and offers some good views.

2 months ago

It was a well maintained, shaded trail. There were a couple of really nice scenic view points...and deer! Caught glimpse of a creepy, rusted wrecked car on the way back...did someone drive off the main road and roll down the cliff?? I wish the building at the summit was open to wander around in...but overall a good hike!

Very nice hike. Not for the beginners. Mostly shaded. View from the peak is awesome. Gates are not opened till 7 AM in the morning, even in summer. Not of much place on the side of the road to park the car. So, going early may not be advised.

nice n quiet. good incline. plenty of sunshine, definitely need hat and sunblock.

Doing the loop clockwise is a good up-hill challenge but not overly so. Mostly in the shade during the uphill and not too bad on the downhill section. Some nice views at the top though nothing jaw dropping.

3 months ago

Very nice trail, shaded most of the way. Elevation gain is graduate and not too steep. Beautiful recreation spots at the top: picnic tables with lots of shade, placards to teach about the place, the Indian tribes who lived here (and still have ceremonies here) and the history, beautiful overlook, even a restroom at the top (also at the beginning). took us 4 hours with lots of stops and breaks.

Very challenging and fun hike. It’s very steep early on heading up Priest and also very exposed. I started around 8:30am and it was pretty warm by 9:30. Wonderful views near the top and Linekiln on the way back down was a nice change with a little more shade. Loved the elevation change on this hike. Light traffic on a Saturday, very nice.

Fun & challenging mt. Bike ride from Hicks parking lot. About 1.5 mi. Of very steep section in the middle. The last 3.5 miles are very nice.

For a shorter hike to the peak park at the Bald Mountain Trailhead. Most of the trail from here is on a inclination but is shady. We started our hike at 3pm on a hot day and it was stilla great hike! Next time we'd start with

3 months ago

Great hike, very well maintained, not too crowded

Went on a Saturday at 8am. Woods and Barlow were pretty quiet, but Umunhum was pretty busy. Great long hike with a great view at the summit.

Great workout!!!! Trail running at its best!

This is one of the trail we like the most and hiked the most. It may be quite challenging for the beginners. The steep hike gives you great workout, the best hike near Los Gatos in the winter time. I wouldn’t recommend for a very hot day because most of the trail has no shades.

4 months ago

Beautiful, well maintained trial with plenty of shade, lots of interesting flora and some fauna. The incline is very steady, with no real steep parts. The view at the top is awesome.

After conquering the trail from the Bald Mountain parking lot, we decided to go for the full beans and hike the 16 miles from the lower parking lot. Overall, not a bad hike. We left at 7am and got back to our car at 12:40 or so. The first half of the trail is nice and steep. Most people don’t take this route so it’s pleasantly quiet and unpopulated. You end up merging with the Bald Mountain trail and finish the ascent using that same route. Lots of interesting wildlife: foxes, snakes, butterflies, birds, and deer. The hike is mostly covered so you don’t have to endure the full strength of the sun on this trail

Challenging but very nice!

5 months ago

Giving this 3 stars only because it qualifies as a good urban hike. Tons of people and views are so so. It is a great way to get the family out and not a far drive away from suburban/urban life. A couple of nice placards review the history of the building at the summit. Mild elevation gain makes this doable for all ages.

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