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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. 

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