Mt. Umunhum Road paving the way to summit

Mt. Umunhum Road at Hicks Road shows signs of paving for the grand opening in September.

After a 37-year wait, it looks like I’ll live to experience the ride to the Mt. Umunhum summit, legally.

NOTE: The grand opening event is not open for bicycles. Access to the mountain is restricted to buses, orchestrated by MROSD. Bicycle access begins on Sept. 18.

Mark your calendars for Sept. 16-17. Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District plans a grand opening event, reservations required.

Today I rode by and it’s a good sign to see the road closed for repaving. It was badly broken up in some sections and not at all fun where the potholes were hidden in the tree shade higher up.

From what I’ve seen in recent photos, the view will be nothing like what I encountered back in the 1980s when the air base occupied the summit, looking like a ghost town. Buildings have been razed, the land returned to nature, with the exception of the concrete obelisk.

There’s a lot more that could be done up there to improve access and connect roads, but this is a start. I don’t expect to be around to see those connections blessed by the MROSD, but at least future generations can enjoy the rides to more distant roads.

Jobst Brandt, who grew up in Palo Alto, began riding up here in 1957 and never stopped until poor health got in the way. He welcomed dozens of riders to start the journey from his house to see the mountain, myself included, and now having seen it up close we are all appreciative that the mountain is finally open for public use.

5 Responses to “Mt. Umunhum Road paving the way to summit”

  1. Jon Blum Says:

    What’s with all those locks? Do they all have to be removed to open the gate?

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Jon: MROSD doesn’t own the entire mountain. That’s a fact. I’m guessing: each landowner gets his own lock, as well as transmission tower maintenance. There aren’t too many private parcels left. I did some research in county records and located some of the owners, most of whom live in the Bay Area.That’s a system. Only need to remove your own lock to release the latch.

  3. Jon Blum Says:

    I had no idea such a device existed. Very clever. Thanks for the explanation.

  4. Jay Newman Says:

    One thing I loved about riding Mt. Umunhum Road before it was closed was the lack of traffic. Even with not being able to go all the way to the top it was a lovely climb with no cars at all for the final 1 1/2 mile. Wish they had opened it to cyclists and hikers only. Look forward to finally cycling to the summit and the fabulous views but hope I don’t have to deal with thousands of cars.

  5. Jon Spangler Says:

    Ray – You have blogged about Mount Umunhum many times but not all of your Umunhum posts show up as related links. Do you have a complete list of your posts on Mount Umunhum handy?

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