LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Moderate
LENGTH: 10-11 miles (approx. 4-5 hours with stops)
About Pogonip: Pogonip is a native american word believed to mean icy fog. How this name came to be used in Santa Cruz is unknown. Once occupied by Ohlone triblets for 5,000 years before the arrival of Europeans, few survived after the founding of the Santa Cruz Mission in 1791. Although the park is perceived to be undisturbed, logging production left only three virgin redwoods that remain in Pogonip today. Redwood logs were also used to fire the Lime Kilns for the conversion of Limestone into Lime. The Kilns are still in existence and will be part of our hike. Pogonip was once part of the extensive Cowell Ranch. In 1961 the western portion of the ranch was sold to the University of California and the remaining acreage eventually became known as Pogonip.
Hike Description: This hike will take us on parts of every trail in Pogonip. We will pass all the main attractions in the park including, the great meadow, the Clubhouse, the rock statues, the Lime Kilns, the fish filled spring box, with a side trip into Henry Cowell Redwoods and the San Lorenzo River. Lunch break at "Thong Beach". Total distance will be 10-11 miles with 2360 ft accumulated elevation of moderate difficulty to a regular hiker. We will pass through serene redwood groves, oak forests, and large meadows. One of meadows was once used as Polo Grounds and the Historic Club house is still standing. Some of the vantage points have fantastic views of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay on fog free days.
Carpool Info: Meet at 8:15 a.m. at the Los Gatos Park and Ride. 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 (as usual, I won't be there).
Directions to Trailhead: We will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the end of Harvey West Blvd in Santa Cruz. From Highway 17, take Hwy 1 North to Hwy 9 ( approx. 1/2 mile ) and turn right. Approximately 1 block up, turn left on Fern, left on Limekiln, and then right on Harvey West, just past Costco. There is plenty of on street parking along Harvey West Park. We'll meet up by the picnic tables where the trail head starts.