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Mount Hamilton

Challenging climb to highest peak overlooking Silicon Valley

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Difficulty: Unknown
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  Mount Hamilton is a perfect escape from the sprawl of Silicon Valley. The view on the way up is out of this world, which is fitting,... more »

Tips:  The route to the summit is narrow, twisty, full of blind turns and precipitous drop-offs, and a favorite of bicyclists. It's no place ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Lick Observatory

The white domes of Lick Observatory, visible from throughout the South Bay, are a tribute to James Lick, a wealthy 19th century San Franciscan who funded a project to mount a telescope atop Mount Hamilton. Building SR 130 was a prerequisite for the project.

Lick died 11 years before the first telescope -- a 36-inch refractor -- was installed.... More

2. State Route 130

One of the top scenic drives in the region, this one is known for its harrowing hairpins and seemingly endless switchbacks to reach the Mount Hamilton summit (passengers get to enjoy awesome views; drivers had best keep their eyes on the road).

The country gets wilder the farther you travel: It's not unusual to see a deer, wild pig, coyote or... More

3. Mount Hamilton Challenge

Pro and amateur road bikers alike come to Silicon Valley to pedal 63 miles from San Jose to Livermore on Memorial Day Weekend (see this link for 2009 results). While the race itself is a big deal, just about every day will find at least a few cyclists with legs of steel mounting their own personal challenges: riding between 100 and 120 miles in a ... More

4. Music of the Spheres

Tickets for these summer concerts at Lick Observatory -- followed by talks by top astronomers -- are highly prized and sell out quickly (only 160 seats are available). After that, folks get to peer into the telescopes and see the stars for themselves. Note you have to drive back down Mount Hamilton Road in the dark afterwards. More on the concert ... More