A Hike to the Summit of Mount El Sombroso (elv. 2,999 feet): 4 May 2005

A hike of 12.24 miles in distance; 3,337 feet of climbing

Latitude: North 37° 11.739’

Longitude: West 121° 59.138’

Where is Mount El Sombroso LOCATED?

Photos by Neil Mishalov

"When I was growing up in Berkeley, I used to think of East Bay wild places as wilderness with training wheels...

Experience elsewhere has taught me that those wheels were only in my mind. Trails where I once held my father's hand are no less worthy destinations today, especially as they are being connected to form the 400 mile Bay Area Ridge Trail."

Wilderness Photographer and Author



Gene, Betsy and I did a 12 mile hike to the top of Mount El Sombroso in the SIERRA AZUL OPEN SPACE PRESERVE. The route we took, the Priest Rock Trail, Limekiln Trail, Woods Trail, Kennedy Trail and back down the Priest Rock Trail, is but a small part of the BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL network of trails that will eventually circle the San Francisco Bay Area with more than 400 miles of trails.

We started this hike at 10:10 a.m., and finished at 3:30 p.m. The weather was overcast and humid; there was a rain drizzle during the final hour of the hike.

Click HERE to view a map showing the current, up-to-date, configuration of the Bay Area Ridge Trail network.

All photographs were taken with a Canon S50 camera

All Images and Text Copyright © Neil Mishalov


Topographic Map of the Area with a GPS Tracked Route Superimposed

Hike data gathered with a Garmin 60C GPS RECEIVER

Topographic mapping program for Macintosh OSX by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Satellite Photo Map of the Area with a GPS Tracked Route Superimposed

TerraBrowser satellite mapping program for Macintosh OSX by CHIMOOSOFT

GPS track converter by GPSBABEL

Click on an image to see the full size picture

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We started the hike at the Priest Rock Trailhead (760 feet), near the Lexington Reservoir. The reservoir is located near the city limits of Los Gatos. The reservoir is contiguous with CA Hwy 17, just as the road begins its climb west, up the Santa Cruz Mountains An excellent display of flowers and greenery greeted us throughout the hike In the distance is the Priest Rock Trail as it descends the Kennedy-Limekiln area of Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. We will descend that trail upon our return
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Betsy striding along, as we climb to Mount El Sombroso
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The majority of the hike was done in Sierra Azul OSP. The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District manages many acres of recreational land in the southern portion of the peninsula On the Limekiln Trail
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A quick drop into a creek drainage
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Gene Betsy
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In the distance, on the top of Mount Unumhum, surrounded by rain clouds, is the site of the former Almaden Air Force Station. This radar site was in operation from 1958-1980; there was a huge 85-ton AN/FPS-24 radar installation located at the radar site. The building remains still standing at the 3,486 foot summit of Mt. Umunhum are a relic of the Cold War. In 2001 the land formerly ocupied by the Air Force Station, was acquired from the Federal Government, and added to the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. Umunhum is an Ohlone Indian word for hummingbird. Looking down into the San Jose urban area Heading back to the start of the hike. We are descending the Kennedy Trail
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This mushroom was 4" in diameter Looking back on our descent of the Priest Rock Trail
Located in the center of the photo is Lexington Reservoir, the start of this hike. Just beyond the reservoir is Hwy 17, which crosses the Santa Cruz Mountains, and connects Santa Cruz with the southern portion of the Bay Area

Prints Available For Sale

Photographic enlargements of the photos in this gallery of images are available for sale

The photographic enlargements are not made with an ink-jet printer. Rather, all prints are professionally processed using photographic paper and chemicals. 12x18 prints are $10 each. 8x10 prints are $7 each. Each digital image is individually adjusted for the best exposure and highest quality using Adobe Photoshop, prior to being printed. In general, the print's quality is superior to the quality of the images displayed in this gallery of photos. The prints can have either a glossy or matt finish, and can be border or borderless. Shipping and handling is $4 per order within the United States, regardless of the number of prints purchased. Shipping charges will be more for photographs sent via international mail. Contact Neil Mishalov for more information.

Index page of additional digital photos GO HERE

Index page of Korean-Japanese photos GO HERE

Home Page GO HERE

This page created on 5 May 2005, and all photographs copyright 2005, by NEIL MISHALOV

Modified and corrected: 10 October 2008