Peak 1,750ft P500
Peak 1,810ft P300
Casserly Ridge

Sat, Jan 27, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile

I happen to be poking around on and noticed that David Sanger and Andrew Kirmse had recently visited a couple of unnamed peaks that I'd had my eye on for a couple of years now. Located in the Santa Cruz Mtns in the southernmost part of Santa Clara County near Hecker Pass (where SR152 crosses the range between Gilroy and Watsonville), I was happy to see that they had done the homework (finding roads that lead to them) I had yet to do. There are ample places to park along the highway and I simply used the ones indicated on their GPS tracks that I downloaded from the website. It made for a very enjoyable day, covering about 11mi over the course of 4hrs.

Peak 1,750ft

The summit is found about 2mi up an old logging road that sees very little traffic. There were tread marks from a bulldozer, but no tire tracks that I could discern. The signs just past the locked gate at the highway suggest that the property is owned by a logging concern. There are the obvious cuts of the old growth redwoods from a century ago, but no sign of any recent logging in the past few decades. Most of the road follows through shady forest understory, occasionally breaking out in open meadow areas but no real distance views. There are a couple of large, plastic water tanks at the 2/3 point with an abandoned cabin nearby. The highpoint is located within the forest thicket, adjacent to an open meadow with a partial view looking to the southeast.

Peak 1,810ft / Casserly Ridge

This one is about 3.5mi each way on another old logging road that seems to have the same owner, judging by the No Trespassing signs found along it. The unused road continues for three miles along the east side of the crest under heavy forest coverage, parts of it overgrown but still useable on foot. Shortly before the topo map shows the road ending, it is necessary to head uphill cross-country for a few hundred yards to the crest. A property boundary is reached here, with signs of heavy cattle grazing though I saw none for the short time I was there. There is a little-used ranch road running along it with some signs of usage. The ridge is more open with some nice views to Watsonville and Monterey Bay in places. The summit of Peak 1,810ft is another disappointment, found just off the road where it tops out. Less than a quarter mile away is the LoJ summit of Casserly Ridge, so I paid that one a visit as well, no bushwhacking needed thanks to good cow and deer trails off the roadway. Also no views here. I returned via the same route which seemed fairly safe from observation. Chilly out, but otherwise beautiful weather.

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