Mount Umunhum

NorCal Challenge Overview > Mount Umunhum

Deer in the woods on Mount Umunhum

2020 Mount Umunhum BadgeMount Umunhum is 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 it's 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.

Mt Um

By Charity Winsor | September 25, 2021

#2 Mount Umunhum

By Prajakta Belavade | September 4, 2021

Mt Um

By Kim | August 29, 2021

Eat, Love and Hike

By Shivani Bhogra | August 15, 2021

Eat, Love and Hike

By Shivani Bhogra | August 15, 2021

Eat, Love and Hike

By Shivani Bhogra | August 15, 2021

Mount Umunhum

By Kyle Gilbreath | August 13, 2021

Mount Um

By Ginger | August 8, 2021

Friends on Mt Umunhum

By Robin Reese | July 25, 2021

Out and back to the Space Cube

By Jamie Aipperspach | July 21, 2021

View all Mount Umunhum trip reports.

2020 NorCal Six-Pack of Peaks ChallengeThe Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

This hike is part of the Northern 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!