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Barlow Road

Average Rating:    (3 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 1

Steep fire road. STEEP! Did I say steep? Starting at the intersection of Woods Road and Barlow, climb Barlow. My conservative estimate based on the topo maps, is that you will gain 400 feet in the first 1/2 mile. Put away the calculator, that is a 15% grade....sustained. Make sure you pick the right line, there is some loose rock, dirt, gravel and the trail appears to be seldom used. Once you climb that first 1/2 mile the rest of Barlow is relatively easy. The fire road pitches up and down (mostly up) for the remaining 1 mile to Mt Umunhum Road.

This fire road is in Sierra Azul and is part of the network that includes Woods Road, Limekiln, Kennedy, and Priest Rock.

Once you get to Mt Umunhum Road, you can drop down the paved road a half mile or so to Bald Mtn Trail and there are good views of the Bay Area there.

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Trail Length
Trail Level
Trail Type
Fire Roads
San Jose
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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

Review Date
August 7, 2010

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: pliebenberg ,  Cross Country Rider

Like the original post accurately reports, the section of Barlow Road nearest its connection with Woods "Trail" is fairly steep---a good workout if that's what you're into. I prefer riding it the other way, doing my climb on the more gradual paved Mt.Umunhum Rd. Doing this increases the distance (and altitude climbed) of the popular route up Woods to Mt.El Sombroso and beyond.

Of note, Barlow Rd. has been the launching point of hikers wishing to illicitly make the summit of Mt. Umunhum. Also, this area was a hot bed of marijuana farming operations in the past, if one looks carefully irrigation pipes can still be seen in places.

Recommended Route:
Get the MROSD "Sierra Azul" Open Space Preserve map, it's usually available at the parking area just west of the intersection of Mt. Umunhum Rd. and Hicks Rd. If that lot is full, more parking is available just across Hicks in the Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Parking is free at both locations.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
The rest of the trails in Sierra Azul OSP
The trails in Almaden Quicksilver County Park that permit bikes
ditto Santa Teresa County Park
Rancho Canada de Oro OSP

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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)