After two years of being denied the use of the paved Los Gatos Creek Trail up the face of Lexington Reservoir (14 percent), it is now open! I can’t tell you what a pain it was having to ride up (and down) the trail alongside the Lenihan Dam spillway. The gravel road has a steady grade of at least 20 percent. That test of lungs and legs is no fun, even for the young and strong.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District, whose website is seemingly always down, explains why the trail had to be closed for construction of a water diversion tunnel. Let’s hope we’ve seen the end of Los Gatos Creek trail closures.
While I enjoy riding on the trail, there’s one nasty steep spot remaining. Clearly, the South Pacific Coast route followed a gentler grade as it climbed through the canyon. It crossed the creek on a trestle about where the steep spot is located.
Where was Rails to Trails when we needed them? If we had that route to Santa Cruz today, it would be one of the most spectacular trails in all of California. I mapped the route and have photos of the tunnel entrances, blasted shut by the U.S. Army in 1942.