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.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Three Beaches to the Wind

    This beautiful 7-mile (round-trip) coastal hike in the Marin Headlands connects three beaches: Muir Beach, Pirates Cove, and Tennessee Cove.

    View
  2. Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

    View
  3. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

    View
  4. Yosemite Magic Trick

    Yosemite’s High Country is magical and without crowds. At a lofty 8,700 feet, Tuolumne Meadows is one of the best trailheads for hiking or backpacking a land of smooth granite domes, high alpine meadows, jagged peaks, and sapphire lakes. Here's a 3-night backpacking itinerary...

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Sea Change

    Right in time for the balmy fall days, the crowds have left and Monterey Bay Aquarium is at its shoulder season best. Fewer people means relaxing with more room to roam and enjoy the animals, exhibits, and nearby outdoors for biking, hiking, and beaches.

    View
  2. High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

    View
  3. Thanks, Annie!

    Annie’s Canyon Trail in the 1,000-acre San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Solana Beach includes the most unique quarter-mile you’ve ever maneuvered—through a sandstone slot canyon!

    View
  4. Glam Paddling in Long Beach

    Sea kayaking doesn’t get any more glamorous than paddling the storybook canals around Long Beach’s Naples Island! You thread your way through calm waterways surrounded by luxury ho

    View