Mt. Misery P750 CC

Tue, Feb 3, 2009

With: Steve Sywyk
Bruce Ramstad

Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile

Mt. Misery is on the Coastal Counties peak list, a relatively low peak in the Diablo Range near San Jose. The summit and most of the land around it is private property, so it seemed prudent to do this one as a night hike. We chose a night not long after the waxing moon had passed through the half, leaving the moon high in the sky when we started around 9pm. With a careful study on both TOPO! and Google Maps, I found what looked like the shortest route via dirt roads, starting off San Felipe Rd. It was just under two miles, one way, with about 1,400ft of gain.

The hike went off without a hitch. There were no homes around the starting point (2.6mi south on San Felipe from the junction with Silver Creek Rd), and none anywhere near the route from what we could see. We had to hop one fence immediately upon leaving the car, but then followed up the dirt roads through ranch lands. Within about fifteen minutes we had climbed out of the canyon and onto the ridge above, with open views of the stars above and the city lights of the San Jose area to the west. The views only improved the higher we went, eventually looking down a long stretch of US101 as far south as Gilroy and north towards San Francisco.

There were cattle active in the hills. We could hear them lowing in the distance and see their silhouettes on the adjacent ridgelines. A lone steer (at least we hoped it was a steer, because a bull would have meant trouble) was nearby about halfway up. Steve made an effort to get close enough to get a picture with his flash, but the steer would wander away before letting him get near. Bruce and I hung back behind him near a fence in case we had to quickly jump over it - we weren't completely convinced it wasn't a bull at this point.

There were no other fences to hop, and the meandering ridgelines connected to the summit of Mt. Misery with only minor losses in elevation. It was a very pleasant hike under the stars with pleasant temperatures, taking us just about an hour to reach the top. The summit was almost perfectly rounded on all sides, not a rock to be found on the grassy knoll anywhere. We spent a few minutes atop, taking pictures of each other and the city lights before heading back down. It was such a nice night that it was really too bad we didn't choose a longer hike. There's always next time...


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Anonymous comments on 02/27/10:
Not only were you trespassing you were also putting yourselves at risk. The cattle on Mt Misery are range cattle, not used to people and very protective of their calves. It is calving season now. The bulls are out with the cows and the cows are just as aggressive if not more so than the bulls. It would be much more prudent to stay in the public parks and off of private property.


Anonymous comments on 01/12/11:
Prudent?? Where's the fun in that?
ncwaldo comments on 03/18/11:
I agree prudent ?? Range cattle ? Theres a lot of uptight people I m seeing here lately. The author has my respect and works his rear off to see just about every mountaintop in the west. Get over it, laws are made to be broken...
Anonymous comments on 03/15/14:
Great night shot of the City. I certainly see a risk in stepping in one of those paddies. Enjoy your trip reports!
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