The Big Short

Bald Mountain Peak Hike in San Jose South Bay

Size matters. So if you’re looking for a short and sweet hike that has the payoff of climbing a tall peak, head to San Jose’s Bald Mountain summit, located in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. From Mount Umunhum Road’s paved parking lot, follow the gently sloping Bald Mountain Trail for 0.7 mile to the summit and sweeping views of the peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountains, including three notables: Mount Umunhum, Loma Prieta, and El Sombroso. On clear days you can see views stretching from San Jose and Morgan Hill all the way to Oakland and San Francisco.

TIP: For a more challenging, much steeper hike (6 miles, round-trip), park in the first lot at the intersection of Mount Umunhum Road and Hicks Road. Follow Woods Trail to Barlow Road, which connects to Mount Umunhum Road. Pass through the second parking lot, connecting to Bald Mountain Trail. Return the way you came, or just walk back down Mount Umunhum Road to the lot.

Starting at the intersection of CA-17 and CA-85, go south on 85 for about 2.5 miles and exit onto Camden Ave. and turn south (towards the mountains). Go down Camden for about 2 miles and then turn right on Hicks Rd. Follow Hicks Rd. for about 7 miles, passing Guadalupe Reservoir, and up a large hill until you reach the intersection of Hicks and Mount Umunhum Rd. (you’ll pass a parking lot here). Continue to drive up Mount Umunhum Rd. after the intersection with Hicks, and park in the second lot for a short walk to the summit. No dogs.

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