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

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

Old US Route 40 on Donner Pass Road

While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road. Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration.  The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844.  The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived.  Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass. The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road.  The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass.  The websit

California State Route 159 (former California State Route 11 and US Route 66)

California State Route 159 was a post 1964-Renumbering State Route which was designated over former segments of California State Route 11 and US Route 66.  As originally defined California State Route 159 began at Interstate 5/US Route 99 at the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles.  California State Route 159 followed Figueroa Street, Colorado Boulevard and Linda Vista Avenue to the planned Foothill Freeway.  California State Route 159 was truncated during 1965 to existing solely on Linda Vista Avenue where it remained until being relinquished during 1989.  California State Route 159 was formally deleted from the State Highway System during 1992.   The history of California State Route 159 Prior to 1933 the Division of Highways was not actively involved in maintaining urban highways outside of occasional cooperative projects.  The responsibility for signage of US Routes in cities was thusly given to the Automobile Club of Southern California in the Southern California region.  This bei