Lodato Peak
Peak 980ft

Tue, Feb 27, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPXs: 1 2 3

This was an easy half day outing to some minor peaks in the Scott Valley area of the Santa Cruz Mtns. I grabbed a few GPX tracks off PB from Colin Gregory and another user and headed to Scotts Valley along SR17 between Santa Cruz and San Jose. Hiking and driving combined came to about 4hrs. All the hikes were fairly short, scenic (what's not to like about redwoods?) and on trails. No real bushwhacking. I drove the Miata today instead of the van, making for a more sporting drive than it would have been otherwise. I even had the top down for the drive back after the day had warmed up a bit.

Mt. Hermon

This is a PB-only summit, not officially named and only about 240ft of prominence. The peak is located between a juvey center and an evironmental science park for youngsters called Sand Parkland - quite the juxtaposition. I parked at the entrance to the juvenile center and hiked up to the summit from there, a nice walk through unsigned trails that criss-cross through the area. On one side can be heard the older voices of the juveys recreating in the compound, on the other side can be heard the higher-pitched voices of the youngsters on the science park side. I found my way to the large cross that occupies the summit along with a few park benches. There is a moderately interesting view overlooking Scotts Valley to the northeast. I went back down through the science park on the way back, finding a ropes course, skate park and other youth-oriented adventure activities. Three or four classes of middle-schoolers were sharing the woods with their guides and teachers, mostly making noise and having fun but I suppose learning a few science-y things as well. Good fun.

Lodato Peak

An unofficially named summit that sounds better than "Peak 1,100ft." This interesting little park is found behind a business park, of all places, with a trailhead sign and a fantastic, but much too short trail going off into the woods behind it. The place seems moderately popular with trail runners and dog owners, particularly the 1.5mi Loop Trail which winds through a scenic forest of second-growth redwoods. The Loop Trail doesn't actually go to the summit, nor is it clear that the summit is within the park boundary, but there aren't any No Trespassing signs above the Loop Trail where other trails and roads branch off, mostly unsigned. With the help of the GPS I found my way to the highpoint, tucked away in the trees just off one of the little-used roads. There appears to have been some sort of a corral structure here, but long ago having fallen into disrepair. There are plenty of signs of the logging efforts that swept through here more than 100yrs ago, in the way of giant, old stumps and numerous logging roads, heavily overgrown. On my way back I started down one of the other unmarked trails that descend off the summit, eventually finding my way back to the Loop Trail and down to the TH. This was the nicest of the three hikes despite having no views at the top.

Peak 980ft

This lowly summit is found a few miles east of Scotts Valley, just off Rodeo Gulch Rd. There are several places to park along the west side of the road. The land appears to have an absentee owner - no signs of any sort other than No Dumping, and there is a crappy use trail that leads the short distance to the summit. There is plenty of poison oak along the trail to watch out for and plenty of crumpled beer cans indicating it as a choice party location. The summit is surprisingly open, a little grassy area with 180 degree views overlooking the forest to the south. Despite the views, this was the least interesting of the three summits.

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This page last updated: Wed Feb 28 15:44:02 2018
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