Date: February 19, 2018
Place: Mount Umunhum, San Jose, California
Coordinates: 37.160017, -121.900401
Length: 3.5 miles one way
Level: strenuous (but we cheated)
Some time ago I joined the mailing list of the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District. Then, I received a message that the Mount Umunhum trail is now open to the public. The chance to hike there came on Presidents Day after other plans we had for that day got cancelled.
It stands out, that mountain with the large cube-like structure at its top. Every time I drove down to San Jose I wondered what that place was. Each time I came to hike at Almaden Quick Silver I thought I'd check out the place.
It was very cold on the day of our hike. We took out time and when we finally got out of the house it was already noon. I wanted to go u and down but the chikas resisted and Pappa Quail observed that we might not have the time to walk in both directions. Reluctantly I agreed to go in two cars. We parked one at the last parking space we found in the Bald Mountain lot, gathered in the other car and drove up to the top parking area. From there it is a short walk up a flight of stairs to the actual summit.
Down below spread the entire Silicon Valley, framed by the East Bay hills topped by Mount Diablo.
|View Northeast. The big peak is Mount Diablo|
|View East. The big peak is Mount Hamilton|
|The old radar building|
|Our hike down mount Umunhum as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS|
|Ceanothus cuneatus var. cuneatus|
|Madrone, Arbutus menziesii|
|Loma Prieta Peak|
Under the trees however, I did find another blooming plant - the California man-root vine with its white, delicate flowers.
|California Man-root, Marah fabacea|
|Baby Blue Eyes, Nemoophilia menziesii|
Pappa Quail suggested that I would walk back up to the summit and get the car we've left there while he drive away with the chikas. That was a sound suggestion but I passed on it. Instead I wanted to go on and hike the trail to Bald Mountain too.
|New growth of California Laurel, Umbellularia californica|
... and the new spring growth of the lovely and dreaded Poison Oak.
|Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum|