Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,700.00 ft (518.16 m)
Trail type
4.40 mi (7.08 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you are looking for a short hike that will get your blood pumping, the hike to Knibbs Knob may be the perfect choice. Climbing 1,700 feet in just 2 miles, the ascent to the summit of Mount Madonna is a non-stop uphill battle to the top. This there-and-back trail has two access points, the most popular of which starts from the campground in Uvas Canyon County Park. If you wish to hike from the top down, you can access the trail from Summit Road; just before reaching the "Private Road"signs, park near the intersection of Summit and Maymans Flat Road. 

The trailhead from the County Park entrance can be found near campsite #27 in the Upper Bench Youth Group Area of the Uvas Canyon Campgrounds. The campsites have potable water, so there are plenty of opportunities to fill your water bottle before you set out. If you start from the top down, there is no access to water until you reach the bottom. 

The trail starts off with an incline and rarely levels out until you reach the top. You can expect a series of switchbacks for the first third of the hike, which is mostly under shade. Once you break out of the lower canopy of the canyon, shade is fairly sporadic until you pass the cut-off to Knibbs Knob. While the exposed portion of the trail may be hot, you will be rewarded with some amazing panoramic views of the Santa Cruz and Diablo Mountains. 

Once you reach Knibbs Knob, a single picnic table with plenty of shade awaits. This is a good spot to rehydrate and cool down before you finish the trek to Summit Road. The 0.4-mile remainder of this hike is under shade with a few spots that break out for some of the better views on this hike. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Amazing panoramic views. Low congestion.



Trailhead Elevation

1,100.00 ft (335.28 m)


Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Big Game Watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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