For the first time in 37 years, the summit of Mount Umunhum is open to visitors. The new public park—formerly the site of a Cold War era radar tower—offers stunning views of Santa Clara Valley and the San Francisco and Monterey bays.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District bought the 3,486-foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains for $261,566 and spent $25 million over the past several years preparing the site for public access.
Though the five-story radar tower is a distinguishing landmark at the new park, the open space district originally planned to demolish it. Ohlone tribes consider Mount Umunhum sacred, the site of creation in indigenous lore.
But military veterans and preservationists convinced Santa Clara County to keep “The Cube.” To honor the summit’s Native American heritage, the district then built a ceremonial ring.
The summit, which links to the 550-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail, will open to the public at dawn Monday. The mountaintop park includes a 53-car parking lot, doesn’t allow dogs and will open from sunrise to sunset.
For more information, visit www.openspace.org.
This article has been updated.