Skip to main content

California State Route 35; The Goat Trail

While on a recent Bay Area trip I was able to take a segment of one-lane state highway on California State Route 35 known as "The Goat Trail."


The Goat Trail segment of CA 35 is located between CA 9 at Saratoga Gap on Skyline Boulevard southeast to CA 17 at Patchen Pass via Bear Creek Road and Summit Road.  The Goat Trail largely straddles the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County line on the ridge of the Santa Cruz Range.  In 2017 I was unable to visit the Goat Trail due to a washout during the winter at Las Cumbres Road.  That said, I did drive CA 35 north from CA 9 at Saratoga Gap to Great Highway in San Francisco.  The previous blog entry on CA 35 north to Great Highway contained much of the historical information regarding the highway and can be seen here:

CA 35 from CA 9 north to Great Highway

The started the morning with a drive up from CA 9 southwest to CA 35/Skyline Boulevard at Saratoga Gap.  Saratoga Gap is located at an elevation of approximately 2,600 feet above sea level.


I turned southwest on CA 35/Skyline Boulevard from CA 9/Saratoga Gap which is generally considered to be the beginning of The Goat Trail.


There are a couple vista points from Saratoga Gap.  This one is almost directly looking southward into Castle Rock State Park.


CA 35 immediately south of Saratoga Gap on Skyline Boulevard is largely two-lanes.  Despite the excellent cellular service there are various call boxes in place.


The entrance to Castle Rock State Park is a couple miles south of Saratoga Gap on CA 35.


Castle Rock State Park was created in 1968 is named after a rock formation near CA 35 at the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Castle Rock State Park is a frequent starting point on the 30 Sky-to-sea-Trail which traverses Saratoga Gap northward to Waddell Beach near the San Mateo County Line.  In 2019 I hiked through Castle Rock State Park from the Castle Rock formation to Castle Rock Falls and out to the Saratoga Gap.




At Black Road traffic for Los Gatos is directed away from CA 35 which Boulder Creek Traffic is directed to continue southwest on the highway.


CA 35/Skyline Boulevard drops to a single lane at Black Road.  The highway is signed as narrow and curvy the final 8 miles to the southern terminus at CA 17.



The one-lane Goat Trail section of CA 35 is extremely narrow and has rough pavement.  The terrain despite being on top of the Santa Cruz Range is fairly gentle and CA 35 is rarely on a cliff-face.






Gist Road also directs traffic back to Black Road and Los Gatos.


CA 35/Skyline Boulevard continues a single lane road to Bear Creek Road as a one-lane highway.  There is actually Christmas Tree Farm located on the one-lane segment of CA 35 on Skyline Boulevard.









CA 35 turns on Bear Creek Road and becomes a two-lane highway briefly until it cuts away on Summit Road.



Surprisingly all of the CA 35 Goat Trail is well signed as evidenced by this "CA 35 South" assembly on Summit Road.


The Summit Road one-lane section is much more generous than Skyline Boulevard.  The one-lane segment splits back out to two-lanes near CA 17.






CA 35 traffic on Summit Road is directed to CA 17 but there is no end signage.  CA 35 is not signed at all from CA 17 which I suspect is due to the route not being a solid alternate to busy Bay Area rush-hours.





In regards to one-lane state highways the only segments I haven't driven are on CA 36 and CA 168.  CA 35 is probably in the roughest shape with the narrowest lanes of all the one-lane state highway segments I've encountered.  Supposedly there is a lot of signage theft on the Goat Trail segment of CA 35 which is why I suspect there is an absurdly high number of Post Mile paddles. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paper Highways; California State Route 1 through the Lost Coast

For all the accolades and praise that California State Route 1 gets for being a top notch coastal highway one fact tends to get overlooked; the highway was never finished!  In this edition of Paper Highways we look at the failed path of California State Route 1 through the Lost Coast.



Part 1; the history of Legislative Route 56 and California Route 1 through the Lost Coast

The Lost Coast region consists of the undeveloped coastal areas of Humboldt County, Mendocino County, and the King Range.  The Lost Coast region roughly spans from near Rockport in Mendocino County north to Ferndale of Humboldt County.  The Lost Coast region is known for having rugged terrain which rivals what is seen in Big Sur.  The Lost Coast has several small communities such as; Shelter Cove, Whitehorn, and Petrolia.

In 1933 Legislative Route 56 was extended south to LRN 2 (US 101) near Las Cruces and north to Ferndale to LRN 1 (also US 101).  Prior to 1933 the legislative description of LRN 56 had it's nort…

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395.


The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s.

Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog?  US 39…

US Route 99 to Visalia?...

Something that I noticed awhile back while doing map research regarding US Route 99 in Fresno was that the highway intended to be originally routed through the City of Visalia.



The early originally planned alignment of US Route 99 in Visalia

To be clear US 99 was never actually routed through Visalia and ended up bypassing the City in favor of a direct route from Goshen southeast to Tulare.  US 99 within San Joaquin Valley was aligned over Legislative Route 4 which in turn was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.  LRN 4 for a time was aligned through Visalia via; Mineral King Avenue, Main Street, and Mooney Boulevard.  This early alignment of LRN 4 through Visalia can be seen on the 1924 Division of Highways State Map.


The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System with in California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended…