Mount Umunhum is one of the highest peaks in the Santa Cruz mountain range at 3,486 feet, located within the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve in Santa Clara County. From the summit, visitors can experience 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges, so make sure to bring a camera when visiting. In addition to the spectacular views, there are also horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking trails on the mountain.
Be Aware and Be Prepared:
Drinking water is not available at most preserves, including at Mount Umunhum—carry water with you.
Rattlesnakes are native to this area and are especially active in warm weather.
Poison oak grows on most preserves; learn to identify and avoid it in all seasons.
Be aware that ticks are present in this area and may carry diseases.
Mountain lions are a natural part of this region’s environment and are occasionally sighted.
Mt. Umunhum Road is steep, narrow, and winding with blind curves. Cyclists and vehicles should use caution and patience when on the mountain. Obey posted speed limits. Shift into lower gear on the descent to save your brakes. Conditions can change rapidly during different times of the year, for trail conditions and closures check the web for updates.
As much as possible, the summit has been restored to its original contours. Expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, Midpen preserves, the regional greenbelt, Mount Hamilton, Loma Prieta, ancient redwoods, Santa Cruz and even the Monterey Peninsula can be seen on a clear day. Area highlights include:
Honoring the site’s Native American history and the local tribes' return to the mountain, this is a place to reflect on and renew connections with nature.
Summit Shelter and Viewpoint
A shaded area for visitors to rest. A cantilevered deck extends over the hillside, providing an amazing vantage point of the Santa Clara Valley. Inside, interpretive panels highlight the site’s unique cultural, military and natural histories.
The radar tower was one of a system of 23 similar radar stations in California and one of hundreds across the country that fed radar signals into the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) defense system. This tower was in operation as part of the Almaden Air Force Station from 1957 to 1980.