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Soquel Demonstration State Forest

  • Jun 21, 2014 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

The Soquel Demonstration State Forest was dedicated in 1990, and is the first state forest to be added to the system since 1949. The forest is located along the east branch of Soquel Creek and includes portions of Amaya Creek and Fern Gulch Creek. It contains nearly 2,700 acres of redwood, mixed hardwoods, riparian, and chaparral ecosystems. The State forest is geologically active. The San Andreas and Zayante Faults pass through the property. Associated with the forests geologic activity are several natural springs and small marshes found in closed depressions, known as sag ponds.

About the hike: This Hike is intended to be approx. 10 1/4 miles with substantial elevation gain over mostly dirt and graveled logging roads and some single track trails shared by mountain bikes. For those not up to the full, moderately strenous hike, we will be passing a picnic area with picnic benches at the 2.6 mile marker that adjoins a large open meadow. You could read a book and enjoy the solitude while we complete the loop and pick you up on our way back to the cars. From this point we head up the Sulpher Springs Trail to the Ridge Trail, turn left and follow it to the Corral Trail, which will take us back down to the Sulpher Spring Trail and the picnic area where we can eat lunch. Please allow 5-6 hours if you sign up for this hike, it's a beautiful area with lots of interesting wild life, mushrooms and forest delights if you take the time to enjoy them.

Facilities: There is no water in the park so you need to bring your own. There is an out house 1/2 mile up the trail from where we park, and we will come back by on the way out.

Directions: From CA 17 at the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, exit Summit Road. Drive south on Summit Road about 4 miles, at which point Soquel-San Jose Road departs to the right, and Summit turns into Highland Way. Continue straight on Highland Way (there's no stop sign heading south or north). At the junction with Mount Bache, about 1 mile further south, turn right and then quickly left at Spanish Ranch Road to remain on Highland. Continue on Highland about another 4.3 miles, then park on the right side of the road near the signed entrance.

Another way to put on your GPS is use 26050 Highland Way, Los Gatos, 95033. That will take you to around the intersection of Canyon Vista and Highland Way. Continue for 2.8 miles on Highland Way will get you to the entrance.

Here is more info, including two maps: http://calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_stateforests_soquel.php

Carpool Directions: Meet at the Los Gatos Park and Ride off of Hwy 9 at 8:15, for a departure time of 8:30. From Highway 17, exit on Saratoga/Los Gatos Road. It's located between University Ave & Santa Cruz Ave. It's the Northeast lot. It's hard to miss. You should see other people and cars.

Note: DO NOT USE THE POSTED ADDRESS! It is the Office buildings, not the forest entrance. (Glenn: I fixed the location link, it shows you the actual trailhead, but it does not change the written address. Most vexing).

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  • becky

    Beautiful forest and definitely much easier hike without the snow. Thank you Kitty and Jeff.

    June 23, 2014

  • MARCIA

    perfect for a warm summer morning and much better with no snow! Thanks, Kitty and Jeff!

    June 23, 2014

  • Chau

    The trails are wide and shady and the trees are so tall. Only the steep descents at a few places were challenging. Thanks to Jeff and Kitty; I don't know how you guys kept track of all the lops !

    June 22, 2014

  • Dawn

    What a treat! Thanks kitty and Jeff for organizing this beautiful hike.

    June 22, 2014

  • Lori T

    Thanks Jeff and Kitty, I was glad to finally get to go this hike. I liked the loop part the best, great trees and cathedral like spaces.

    June 22, 2014

  • Glenn N

    I enjoyed this much more than the adjacent Nisene Marks. Appreciate the wide trails.

    June 22, 2014

  • Jeanne S.

    And Jeff too... :-)

    June 22, 2014

  • Jeanne S.

    My feet are ravaged but my spirit is fed! Excellent hike...thank you Kitty!

    June 21, 2014

    • Kitty

      And Jeff too!

      June 22, 2014

  • Chau

    Love the book reading option also ! "Substantial elevation gain " is for the very brave among us, but hiking some of the way in the forests is tempting. Thanks Kitty ! I will join carpool if there is one.

    June 15, 2014

    • Kitty

      The risk of copying the description is I didn't know what I wrote. Book reading option....that for sure doesn't sound like a Kitty's hike!

      June 18, 2014

    • Anne N

      I would like to join carpool as well.

      June 20, 2014

  • Femy

    I plan on being at the Los Gatos Park & Ride by 8:15 am for anyone interested in carpooling.

    June 20, 2014

  • Sadie

    Hi- Will anyone be stopping at the carpooling spot in Los Gatos so I could meet you there?

    June 20, 2014

  • Monica

    Unexpected guests are coming tomorrow. Sorry to miss this great hike!!!!!

    June 20, 2014

  • Das (Narendra D.

    Sorry to miss tomorrows hike. I hurt my back !...:(
    Hope to be in next weeks hike !...:)

    June 20, 2014

  • Glenn N

    Kitty, nice updates you made, esp. the driving and GPS directions. Also note that "sag ponds" are places where a fault spreads apart a small amount, allowing the ground to sag downward. The swampy area at Monte Bello is a sag pond.

    1 · June 18, 2014

  • Jeanne S.

    Does anyone have directions from the San Jose area? I don't trust Google Maps!

    June 18, 2014

    • Kitty

      The direction is updated.

      June 18, 2014

  • Dawn

    What a great sounding hike. I like the book reading option!

    December 3, 2013

  • Jeff

    Kitty, where's the picture?

    December 3, 2013

    • Kitty

      there was no picture, I thought I took that sentence out.

      December 3, 2013

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