Finding our Frequency: Loma Prieta via Uvas Canyon County Park

california; loma prieta; san francisco bay area; santa cruz mountains; uvas canyon county park The hike up to Loma Prieta starts with a rather steep hike up Knibbs Knob Trail, but the view down canyon is fairly rewarding.

The hike up to Loma Prieta starts with a rather steep hike up Knibbs Knob Trail, but the view down canyon is fairly rewarding.

Most people venture to Uvas Canyon County Park to enjoy a nice picnic and explore the waterfalls. A short drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, the park is very popular with locals. However, Knibbs Knob Trail is steep, exposed, and only lightly used. While we had trouble finding an open parking spot, we did not see another hiker on the length of this trail. Here is our trip report on the 13-mile trek.

california; loma prieta; san francisco bay area; santa cruz mountains; uvas canyon county park You are looking at the whole of the park.

You are looking at the whole of the park.

For Peak Baggers, this is the trail you will need to take on your first leg of your Loma Prieta summit bid. The trail dead ends at Summit Road, the park’s boundary. Summit Road is private but residents do not mind kind, respectful hikers; so mind your manners. Eventually, you’ll turn right (about 2 miles up the road) and follow the road through the “Area Closed” sign. Keep going until you see more “Area Closed” signs (see photo album), take a left, and continue to hike past all the “Keep Out” signs. The hill with all the radio equipment is your destination. The summit area is privately owned but the maintainers typically don’t mind hikers. Again, be respectful.

Your reward for braving the climb and trespassing will be grand vistas of the Bay as well as Mount Umunhum, another peak for another day.

california; loma prieta; san francisco bay area; santa cruz mountains Isn

Isn’t this the best view from the summit of any mountain?

On your way back down Knibbs Knob Trail, follow signs to Knibbs Knob for a very short side trip terminating in a picnic table. Knibbs Knob is nothing special but go anyway, there is really no reason not to go. The hike down will be hard on the knees but very quick going.

Once you reach the parking lot, pat yourself on the back for completing the somewhat grueling 13-mile out-and-back to the top of the highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Check out our previous blog about the Canyon of Grapes.

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