Mount Umunhum National Recreation Trail, California

The Mount Umunhum Trail passes through chaparral, under pine and oak woodlands, and over the headwaters of Guadalupe Creek. The trail emerges near the rocky summit revealing 360-degree vistas of the valley below, ridgelines, and nearby peaks.

The mountain is sacred to local Native American people and is central to their creation story. “Umunhum” is an Ohlone word meaning, “resting place of the hummingbird.” The new 3.7-mile trail opened in September 2017, hosting over 1,00 people with guided tours of the trail and summit during the opening celebration.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, or Midpen, manages the mountaintop as part of the 18,000-acre Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. In 2009, the federal government funded the cleanup of contaminants and approximately 80 deteriorating buildings that were once part of the Almaden Air Force Station, which operated between 1958 and 1980. During the Cold War, service members and their families lived atop the mountain keeping watch over the Pacific Ocean for Soviet attacks. A concrete radar tower from this period remains, and is visible throughout the region as a reminder of the mountain’s history.

At the summit area, accessible pathways highlight views and feature a shade shelter, a cantilevered deck extending over the hillside and a stone ceremonial circle to honor the site’s Native American history. The Summit parking area provides accessible restrooms and a trailhead shelter with accessible picnic tables. Interpretive panels connect visitors with history, rare plants and resident wildlife. These include hummingbirds, golden eagles, butterflies, lizards, mountain lions, and rare purple martins.

Learn more here…


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