Lick Observatory Atop Mount Hamilton Sees A Blanket Of Snow

HAMILTON (KPIX 5) — This latest storm was cold enough to leave a blanket of snow on Mount Hamilton.

Lick Observatory is at 4,200 feet and the roads leading up to the observatory are dangerous, but KPIX 5 reporter Kiet Do managed to make it to the top of the mountain.

On Mount Hamilton Road you don’t need to drive all the way to the Sierra to get snow.

Johnson John heard about possible snow in the Bay Area and came up here to see for himself.

John said, “This is the first time I’m seeing snow in the Bay Area, in Santa Clara County…it’s amazing, it’s really amazing.”

The 30-mile trek up to the peak is already treacherous enough, but throw in slush and fog and this is white-knuckle South Bay driving at its worst.

At the summit, a light flurry was falling at lunchtime and the 4 inches of snow that fell overnight had partly melted for postmaster Kathy Holmes.

Postmaster Holmes said, “Rain, sleet or snow, the mail must go. That’s my motto.”

Caltrans had the roads plowed from the valley to the summit by early afternoon.

The CHP says the concern now is to try and get all that off the road before it snows again Thursday night and sub-freezing temperatures turn it all to black ice.

Elinor Gates, a researcher at Lick Observatory, has lived up there for the past two decades, researching black holes in distant galaxies.

Gates said, “As pretty and wonderful as the snow is up here on Mt. Hamilton, the road isn’t safe and the observatory doesn’t have facilities for people to come up and play in the snow. So if you want to come up and play in the snow, this is not the best place for it.”

It looks like a lot of fun and it is beautiful, but if you’re thinking about coming all the way to the observatory, do not, they say it’s private property, it’s closed right now and if you do come onto their property, you will be asked to leave.

More from Kiet Do
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