Montalvo Story - LCPhoto

Here's the Story...

One day in 2003 I set off to explore one of the trails mentioned in an article in the April 2003 issue of Sunset Magazine entitled “35 Hikes off State 35”. Surprisingly enough, even though I have been a Bay Area hiker since the mid 70's, I had only been on 2 or 3 of these trails. I guess having discovered Castle Rock fairly early in my tenure here I’ve just had a tendency to go back there when the urge to hike came over me. Anyway, I set out to explore Skyline and Sanborn trails (#35 on Sunsets list).

Now I hate to admit this after living in this area for so many years, but for some reason I’ve always gotten confused about exactly how to get to this particular section of the Santa Cruz Mountains. True to form, I ended up heading to the wrong area. After completing a very pretty loop on Summit and Bear Creek Roads (OK, all you Bay Area people can stop laughing now) I proceeded to the correct area. As I was cruising down Highway 9 headed toward my destination, I realized that I had killed over an hour on the aforementioned detour, which was going to make things a bit tight for exploring someplace new. Fortunately, I realized this right about the time I was passing Villa Montalvo.

Most of my familiarity with Montalvo was as a concert venue though I have also frequently walked briefly around the grounds, which are quite interesting. I have often noted various trails on the fringes of the grounds that head into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I decided to take the opportunity to hone my architectural photography skills on the grounds and to explore some of the trails.As it turns out the time I had that day (about 2 hours) was only enough to explore the grounds and the beginnings of several trails. Needless to say a return visit is necessary.