Mount Umunhum

Bay Area Challenge Overview > The Peaks > Mount Umunhum

Mount Umunhum the site of a former Air Force base that was off limits until 2017. The trail to the 3,486′ peak travels through beautiful forests in the Sierra Azul Open Space.

One of the tallest peaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum derives its name from the Native Americans, who called it the “resting place of the humming bird.”

Did you know?

The six-story tall concrete “cube” at the top of Mount Umunhum isn't a relic from space travelers, but the base of the former radar tower and nearly all the remains of the original Air Force base. The iconic form is visible from many parts of the South Bay.

Mount Umunhum Basics

  • Summit elevation: 3,486′ (1,062.5 m)
  • Vertical gain: 1,141′
  • Hiking mileage: 7.7 miles
  • Location: Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve

Hiking Mount Umunhum

This trail opened up in the fall of 2017, and has been very well engineered and built. It's a pleasure to hike up. Go early to beat the crowds and get the best chance of spotting wildlife along the way.

Trail Guides

Here are detailed trail guides to give you the information you need about each route:

Travel Time

  • Drive time from San Francisco: 1 hour, 20 minutes (65 miles)
  • Drive time from Oakland: 1 hour, 30 minutes (60 miles)
  • Drive time from San Jose: 38 minutes (20 miles)
  • Get turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps

Local Tips

  • No fees for entrance, parking or permits required.
  • The parking lot fills up on the weekends.
  • You can also bag nearby Bald Mountain from the opposite end of the trailhead parking lot. It's a short hike.

Latest Mount Umunhum Trip Reports

These hike logs will give you a feel for what the current conditions are, and the experience from other Six-Pack of Peaks challengers.

View all Mount Umunhum trip reports.

The Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

This hike is part of the San Francisco Bay Area California Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge, a series of challenging hikes up six, diverse and scenic Bay Area mountains. Sign-up to take the challenge today! 

Got a link, tip or favorite aprés-hike restaurant we should add to this page? Let us know!

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