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Woods Trail

 4.0 (4)

A scenic, wooded trail into the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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Point to Point

2,946' 898 m


1,293' 394 m


1,839' 560 m


404' 123 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (12°)

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Features Views


The Woods Trail starts at a small parking area at the Mt. Umunhum Road turnoff from Hicks Road.

Woods Trail is a continual climb on wooded hillsides for the first 5.2 miles. For about the first 4 miles, this wooded hillside is the east shoulder of Mt. Umunhum. The hillside drops off steeply to the right of the trail. To the left of the trail, the hillside rises steeply to a ridge that forms the east shoulder of Mt. Umunhum. Although the woods are thick, due to the rugged terrain and steep hillsides, there are great views of other ridges and summits, including the summit of Mt. Umunhum. Seasonal streams and a few permanent streams cascade down the hillsides. In the winter, after drenching winter rains, the Woods Trail crosses many streams and waterfalls along the way. Coastal fog is frequent in these mountains and keeps them moist year round. In shaded areas, the trees and rocks are covered with thick bright green moss.

After the first 4 miles, Woods Trail turns north (right), to continue on hillsides of a ridge that connects Mt. El Sombroso to the ridge of Mt. Umunhum and Mt. Thayer. Again, the hillside drops off steeply to the right of the trail, and climbs steeply to the left of the trail. As the trail continues to climb, the woods become somewhat thinner in places, with shorter trees. Great views of Mt. Umunhum, the Quicksilver Park Hills (Capitancillos Ridge), and the East Bay Hills can be seen.

After a little over a mile (about 5.2 miles from the start of the trail), Woods Trail veers left to climb to the top of this ridge that connects Mt. El Sombroso to the Mt. Umunhum/Mt. Thayer ridge. The woods give way to brush and grass, as the Woods Trail reaches the top of this ridge after climbing the ridge for about .7 miles. A short spur trail leads to the summit of Mt. El Sombroso - 2,999 ft., shortly after Woods Trail reaches this ridge top. Woods Trail then runs along this ridge top for its last . 6 miles where it ends at its trail junction with Kennedy Trail and Limekiln Trail. Views are awesome along this ridge top. To the right, one can see all of San Jose, East Bay Hills, and Mt. Diablo - 3,848 ft. To the left one can see Mt. Umunhum - 3,488 ft., Mt, Thayer - 3,478 ft., and several ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Flora & Fauna

Wooded. Deer.


Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes


  4.0 from 4 votes
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in California


7 Views Last Month
2,381 Since Feb 11, 2017



Moss-covered trees are abundant in the woods along the Woods Trail. Coastal fog keeps everything moist.
Feb 12, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
A waterfall cascades down mossy rocks along the Woods Trail after winter rains.
Feb 12, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA
Enjoy the first views of Mt. Umunhum right near the Woods Trail trailhead.
Feb 12, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
A creek along the Woods Trail cascades vigorously after winter rains.
Feb 12, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA
Enjoy phenomenal views looking east from high on the Woods Trail. Quicksilver Hills stand on the left in the distance; East Bay Hills in the far distance (left); and the east shoulder of Mt. Umunhum stands on the right.
Feb 12, 2017 near Almaden…, CA
Mt. Umunhum stands prominently in the distance from high on the Woods Trail.
Feb 12, 2017 near Almaden…, CA



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May 23, 2020
Erica Y
Flat. Shady. 8mi — 2h 57m
May 23, 2020
Jean R
Jul 15, 2018
Ash Razdan
First time.
Oct 30, 2017
Mike Radka
Sep 10, 2017
not link
May 7, 2017
Eric Macauley
Apr 30, 2017
Octavian Moraru
Feb 11, 2017
Joan Pendleton