Priest Rock Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,938' 591 m
Descent: -100' -31 m
High: 2,605' 794 m
Low: 768' 234 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A fire road trail that climbs into the Santa Cruz Mountains from Lexington Reservoir.”— Joan Pendleton
The Priest Rock Trail starts at Alma Bridge Road on the east side of Lexington Reservoir. The east side shore of Lexington Reservoir is a steep, wooded hillside. Priest Rock Trail begins by climbing this steep hillside. Although the trail is wooded, Lexington Reservoir can be seen below, through the trees. After a couple of swichbacks, the trail levels out for a short stretch.
Priest Rock Trail then veers away from Lexington Reservoir, and heads straight into the Santa Cruz Mountains. As the trail veers away from Lexington Reservoir, it starts climbing again to get to a ridge top. The trail emerges from the woods into dense brush. Once on the ridge, the climb lessens and then there is a short, slight descent to where it crosses the Limekiln Trail about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. From the ridge, there are views in all directions. Another ridge across a creek valley can be seen to the left. Several ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains can be seen to the right.
After crossing Limekiln Trail, Priest Rock Trail starts climbing again through the brush, along the ridge top. Eventually, the Priest Rock Trail ridge joins its neighboring ridges, at a higher ridge that they all intersect. Specifically, Priest Rock Trail makes a final steeper climb to a spot that looks directly down the valley that had been to its left up until now. Here, four miles from its trailhead, Priest Rock Trail ends at Kennedy Trail.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know
Land Manager: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space