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Plan Your Own
There are two accessible areas within Sierra Azul, Kennedy Limekiln and Mt. Umunhum. The Mt. Umunhum Area has a 3,486 foot mountain. This review covers the Woods Trail that has a slow incline for about three miles before climbing the 3000 foot Mt. El Sombroso for a total of 6 miles (roundtrip is about 12 miles). The wide dirt trail starts at about 1000 feet and is mainly exposed to the sun so please bring plenty of water. This review covers only the 2.7 miles to where the Woods Trail intersects with Barlow Road for a total of 1000 foot elevation change. This trail is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and is accessible to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.
Sierra Azul sign Parking & entrance
As you drive up Hicks Road, bear right onto Mt. Umunhum Road at the stop sign. Immediately on your right, you will see a sign for Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. There you will find the paved Jacques Ridge parking area, a restroom and the trailhead.
The views along the trail are of forested mountainside, and yellow, white, red and blue wildflowers. There are some shady parts of the trail and views of Silicon Valley.
Shady part of trail Views of Silicon Valley
Further along, there are more wildflowers and views of the valley, hillside and Guadalupe Reservoir and some shady parts of the trail. Some of the rocks you pass are covered with wildflowers and moss, and you can hear the sound of the creek running along the rocks creating a waterfall behind the trees.
Red wildflower Hillside
Guadalupe Reservoir Power lines on hillside
If you are lucky, you will see a real cowboy riding on his horse.