In continuing my off the beaten path of Silicon Valley series, I recently made the trek to Mt. Hamilton and Lick Observatory. My article written in 2008 on Suite101.com is not visible now. I am grateful and happy to share a PDF copy.
I have been saying I wanted to make this drive for about 20 years – I decided to go last week. On a February day, clear and sunny, the hillsides a very lush green, this was an excellent day to make this drive. This is a spectacular drive and the finale of seeing Lick Observatory is a first-rate experience.
While I drove my car, I did pass many bicyclists on the way. I have read that there are 365 curves on the way – this should give you a “sense” of the drive. Elevation of Mt. Hamilton is 4,360 ft (1,330 m) – the tallest peak above Silicon Valley (and in Bay Area). Only 20 miles from San Jose, one would think it is a ½ hour drive. Be sure to allow about an hour and a half one way – remember to take your time and enjoy the drive on the way up/down.
The significant item is Lick Observatory on top of Mt Hamilton. This is where important research is being done by astronomers everyday. Lick Observatory was created by a donation from James Lick, a very prominent gentleman of San Francisco bay area.
Yes, my regular story of this drive will be coming soon – I wanted to share photos and information with everyone now.
The trip was complete when I viewed the dawn of this year's California Poppies on the drive down the other side of the mountain!
Sightseeing tours of Mt. Hamilton? Only with private incentive trips and small groups (10 participants) and in vans.
This is one of those trips that provides us an inspiring experience and, best of all, is local to Silicon Valley residents.
Always, travel that unbeaten path and discover new things!