Santa Cruz-Los Gatos (San Jose) CA

bikefrom: Santa Cruz
bikefromstreet: Water & Front (town clock)

biketo: Los Gatos (way to San Jose)
biketostreet: Main St @ Hwy 17

mileage: 35+
Type of ride: Connection
difficulty: 8
explain: Lots of climbing. Slight obstacle course at Lexington Reservoir Dam

cityroute: Santa Cruz, Capitola, Soquel, Los Gatos
roadroute: Water St south, right Ocean St., left where it dead ends at the San Lorenzo River dike. At the top becomes Murray St. Cross over the Small Craft Harbor bridge (becomes Eaton St after it crosses the bridge). Left on 7th Ave, right on Brommer St. Turn left on 42nd, right on Capitola Rd, left on 49th which merges with Wharf Rd. Right at Soquel Drive. left on Soquel/San Jose Rd (on the right it is known as Porter Rd). Left on Summit, right on Old Santa Cruz Highway. Right on Aldercroft Heights around reservoir to cross over huge earthen dam. Lift you bike over the short metal bar, down the backside of the dam to jogging trail to gate that lets you out onto Main Street.

hillprof: Difficult
Notable Hill Work: Old San Jose Rd, Old Santa Cruz Highway
consider-excess: Excess Traffic
road-excess: Old San Jose Road if done late in day near the top
consider-road: Poor Road Surface
road-road: the dirt trail at the end of your ride
consider-shoulder: No Shoulder
road-shoulder: Old San Jose Road at the top
Best times: 6am-9am

sights: Capitola VA & see comments
camping: see comments
lodging: see comments
water: see comments
food: Casalegno General Store
food-visible: Bike Visible
food-grocery: Grocery
food-snack: Snack Food

food: see comments

name: Martin Krieg
biketype: Recumbent
lastridden: 7/95

comments: From the town clock to the town of Soquel is pretty much how the locals make the Los Gatos connection. There are sights to see along any variation of this route in the Santa Cruz to Monterey Ride. As I stated this is more of a locals connection. And even then, it is only one of several ways to get to San Jose. Does anybody care to add the Hwy 9 way or the way to reach Summit Rd and Old Santa Cruz Hwy from the Scotts Valley side?

Does anyone care to add the way from Los Gatos to San Jose?

In general that connection can be achieved from the south side of the freeway using Los Gatos Blvd, Bascom and Shasta Ave.


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 14:29:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bill Altmann
Reply-to: Bill Altmann Subject: CommentForm reply

Name: Bill Altmann

On Santa Cruz to Los Gatos ride:
Using the Old Santa Cruz Road route and its access road next to Hwy 17, which is recently completed, will get you as far as Montevina Road. Unfortunately, you are now on the West side of Hwy 17, which is opposite the dam road (Alma Bridge). You can (a) race across traffic on Hwy 17 to get back to the Alma Bridge side, or (b) continue on the shoulder of Hwy 17 from the Bear Creek bridge before crossing to the West side of Hwy 17 (about 0.25 mile), or (c) go around the backside of the Reservoir as in the "old days", which is a tiring ride at the end of a long trip!

I recommend (b), which I have done twice. The shoulder is quite wide, and should once again be swept clean now that the construction is done. (I ride a hybrid, so can tolerate some junk on the pavement.) Of course, I don't vouch for the safety of this route, but the shoulder is certainly as good as that on Lawrence or Central, and with low traffic volume (not on Sunday afternoons!), this should be okay.

Note also that there is significant work underway to reinforce the earth dam at Lexington Reservoir. I'm curious to see whether the town (state?) builds an alternate route up the face of the dam, instead of the ridiculously steep trail of old. A trail crossing the entire face of the dam to the East end would be a lot better for bikes and runners. Anyone with any knowledge of this, please append here and e-mail me.