From high on Mt. Hamilton Road, past Copernicus Peak, following the mule trail to Pyramid Rock, then back along ranch roads to the east face of Mt. Isabel, then cross country up the grassy slope to the summit. Back via shortcut along grassy ridge, down across creek, and up to mule trail for return.
Mt. Isabel first, then drove up to Mt. Hamilton, then short hop over to Copernicus Peak followed by Pyramid Rock.
Needed a quick alternate hike for the weekend, and noticed this peak while zooming around Google Earth for ideas. I'd considered it before, so completed my Google-Earth reconning and plotted out a course. Never occurred to me to check here for information--would have made me feel more certain of success--but that just proves how easy this hike is to navigate. Actually, it's not *that* easy, but if you lay down some waypoints based on the fire roads you can see on the maps (which are not on the Topo maps for some reason), you'll be fine.
There is a little section well into the hike where you go along a ridge to pick up a different fire road (and climb over a fence). That was the only significantly overgrown area, and it wasn't too long. Was disappointed by the lack of USGS marker--thought there would be one for sure.
Will definitely come back here again--it's a great hike. Maybe have a picnic at that astro-turfed picnic table.
Evening hike began at the Mule Trail 5:45PM to avoid the heat. Bagged Pyramid Rocks then Mount Isabel via East Slope. It was about 8:20 when I reached the summit. Climbed up summit rocks but did not find the register nor where it is shown in the photo section. Gorgeous sunset that left deep crimson layers in the sky. Was pitch black final couple miles back to San Antonio Road. Fantastic views of Isabel Valley, Mt. Stakes and of Isabel and Pyramid Rocks from the summit of each. Finished the evening at Copernicus Peak. Satisfying day in the Diablo Range.
I first tried to climb Mt. Isabel several months ago, but lost my way on the way up and had to abort due to time constraints. This time I was successful. The sun was shining bright, the ticks were out in force, the terrain was brutally steep in spots, and the chaparral was thick and thorny. All in all, it was a good climb.
I recommend wearing pants because you'll need to cross through spots of chaparral on the west ridge route. The fireroad up the west ridge is also overgrown with dry annual grasses and there are a whole lot of ticks out this time of year. I wore shorts and gaiters on top of my trail shoes and scratched my legs and arms up extensively from the bushwacking. I also attracted more ticks then I'm used to.
I don't know what would happen if someone at the Smith Creek CDF station saw you pass, since the gate here is locked, but I chose to be discreet and come up on the West Ridge fireroad out of sight of the CDF station.
Finally, it seems that the summit register might have been tampered with. The metal can is in a different spot than it is in the photo section, and the sign-in log is no longer there. Instead, there's a note informing us that Mt. Isabel is on private property and the fine for trespassing is at least $200. There's also a coin in the register along with what I left.
Biked to the top with david and then off-road part way over to Pyramid Rock. The parts that were not too steep to bike up and the downhill were good but there was a lot of really steep stuff that we couldn't bike up that sucked. Anyways, pretty fun.
What do you know? A second ascent inspired by David and his pals. I never knew there was a road going to the top - how convenient. And David's route description was excellent. A very enjoyable outing on an overcast and cool spring day. Very short Trip Report
it was a really good hike
Long anticipated hike I did with Rad and Al Pine. Had to a little bit of route finding and navigating, but nothing to the extreme. Very enjoyable hike with the second highest peak in Santa Clara County conquered. Let's see, Rad mentioned the boars...
Returned March 11, 2007 with Ben (iamthebest1122) with a mountain bike ascent of the peak. We had to walk quite a few of the steep sections of the fireroad. We saw the register we had placed a little over a year ago and there were only 7 sign ins since the last time we'd been there. From the summit of Isabel, we biked cross country down the east side, then hooked up with the ridge that led to Pyramid Rock, 2 miles southeast. Pyramid Rock wasn't really a rock at all, yet the views were very nice, not many people get to experience these views. We retraced our tracks, crested Isabel again, and tore down from the summit on our bikes in about 15 mins summit-trailhead time! That ended the fun, yet somewhat exhausting day.