Route: Umunhum and El Sombroso (CA)

Submitted by BuckCrockett on Sun, 12/04/2022 - 12:27pm
California, US
50 km
Vertical Gain
5,938 ft


This is a fun 50k trail run that combines both peaks in the Serria Auzaul Open Space preserve. 

Almaden Quicksilver County Park with its 4,152 acres. The roadbed is reinforced with angular mine tailing from the last 150 years. Start with a moderate space and as you pas old mines along the way to Sierra Azul. Before the mines were created, the land in this park was a Mexican land grant given in 1842 by a Governor named Juan B. Alvarado. When the privately operated quicksilver mines started to be developed, litigation over private versus public ownership went all the way to the Supreme Court in December 1862 with United States v. Andres Castillero. In the end, the Court decided that the mine on the hillside you will run on belonged to the government and the furnace on the valley floor used to cook the mercury out of the oar was the mining companies. Fast forward 160 years and the lands have passed back into government ownership. The mining roads are now closed to motor vehicles. These are now trails for the public to walk and ride on. The history here is deep. 

Sierra Azul Preserve. It is 19,300 acres in the Santa Cruz mountains. The best of the Guadalupe headwaters drainage then start climbing northward. Your legs will burn hot like steam engines as you climb a steep gravel road with 18% gradient on the approach to the summit of El Sombroso, Elevation 2,999 ft!

I filtered water from the creek on the road up to El Sombroso. Carried all my food. Picked up some trash along the way to help leave the place a little better than I found it. 

Link to my Strava data

A public link to the map on Gaia is below:


Have fun!


~ B