Mummy Mountain, "Coyote Lake Peak," "Otis Hill"

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March 20, 2016
Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch is a county park located in the Diablo Range just east of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Its eastern side contains the 3-mile long Coyote Lake, which serves as a reservoir for several parts of the Santa Clara Valley. Its western side is bordered by a broad ridge containing a series of rolling hills, three of which contained over 300 ft of prominence. Due to the time of year, these hills were greening vividly, giving us an incentive to check them out.

PeakElevationTopographic ProminenceSummit Coordinates (lat/lon)
Mummy Mountain1,374 ft404 ft37.0744, -121.5334
"Coyote Lake Peak"1,390 ft320 ft37.1092, -121.5571
"Otis Hill"1,502 ft572 ft37.1285, -121.5674

Getting to the trailhead: From Gilroy, head east on Roop Rd towards Coyote Lake. Shortly before the turnoff for Coyote Lake is a left turnoff labeled "Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park." Travel a few hundred feet up this road to a designated dirt parking area.

Trailhead coordinates (lat/lon): 37.0705, -121.5227

Sean, Mason, and I began hiking from the trailhead shortly before 11am, taking the Mummy Mountain trail a few miles west and north towards Mummy Mountain. Even though it was almost noon, the temperature was still quite pleasant (high 60s). As expected, everything around us was in several shades of vibrant green.

The highpoint of Mummy Mountain was roughly 100 ft south of the trail, under some trees.

After Mummy, we continued several miles north on the Coyote Ridge Trail, which paralleled the western side of Coyote Lake. Initially, Coyote Lake Peak looked not so far away to the north, but the distance was deceiving as it took almost an hour to reach it. I wasn't at all complaining, as the views were surprisingly magnificent for a county park so close to the urban sprawl of San Jose.

The trail did not go over the summit of Coyote Lake Peak, but wrapped around its southern and western sides. As soon as we were just south of the peak, we left the trail and cross countryed up its broad grassy south ridge.

The summit itself was covered in trees and did not contain too much in terms of views, but everything around it was nice and open. We descended straight off the west side of Coyote Lake Peak right back to the Coyote Lake Trail, and followed it north for a little bit, eventually taking the Ed Willson Trail which branched off further north.

The highpoint of Otis Hill lay a few hundred feet north from the northernmost point on the Ed Willson Trail, just outside the park boundary. In between lay a barbed wire fence which we easily slipped under. From Otis Hill, we were able to see several well known landmarks to the north, including Anderson Lake and Mt. Misery.

summit of Otis Hill

Having reached the northernmost point on our route, it was time to head back south. We took a different route back, staying closer to Coyote Lake, east of the trails we took to get to Otis Hill. Here we were mostly in the trees as opposed to open hills, which provided some very different scenery compared to what we saw on the way over. The lake would make itself visible every so often, but other than that it was a constant canopy of green, green oaks.

By 4:30pm, we arrived back at the trailhead, thinking that this had been a pretty good way to spend most of a Sunday.

Final Stats
15 miles
2,700 ft gain/loss

Weather Forecasts
entire route

Peakbagger Pages
Mummy Mountain
Coyote Lake Peak
Otis Hill

Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch Park

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