Trail route with plenty of climbing from the heart of Los Gatos


4 - 5









FATMAP difficulty grade



SUMMARY: This is a long trail route starting a few hundred feet from Los Gatos downtown, along W Main St.

Roll down the Los Gatos creek trail, ~1mi of light uphill that becomes steeper as you approach the dam.

After the dam, you run on the road for less than one mile and then enter Priest Rock Trail, where the fun (i.e., the climbing) starts.

The terrain is not too technical, but it can be steep and slippery if very dry (or very wet), so be careful.

It's pretty much all uphill all the way to the top of El Sombroso in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. Unfortunately, I did not run the Limekiln Trail (the upper section, after it intersect with Priest Rock Trail), because when I ran this route it was closed.

So I cannot comment on that. PARKING: The closest free unlimited parking on Park Ave, across the bridge from the start. WEATHER: The trail can be run year-round, but a lot of the it is exposed with no shade, so watch out for hot days. In the winter or shoulder season, the top of El Sombroso can be chilly, so I'd recommend a wind breaker or outer layer to keep in your vest ready to put on. SHOES: Trail shoes highly recommended for this route.

Steep climbs can be slippery even when dry, because the terrain can be compact.