Exploring the “unrivaled jewel”of Loch Lomond Recreation Area

D and the Mag at Loch Lomond - 1

It was probably 25 years ago during the Cassie years that L hiked around Loch Lomond, a pretty-as-it-can-be lake in the Santa Cruz Mountains. So today’s hike, for all intents and purposes, was another new adventure.

D and the Mag at Loch Lomond_vert - 1It’s a bit of journey to get there but well worth it as it’s kind of tucked away. There’s fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking but no swimming as the lake supplies water to the city of Santa Cruz. The “can’t go in the water” rule vexed The Mag but along the almost 3 1/2 miles route, there were a number of feeder creeks that provide a splash and a cool off.

The trails are rolling, even along the shoreline where it would alternative between hugging the shore and then climbing inland through some canyons. The terrain is dominated by second growth coast redwoods along with Douglas fir, so you feel you are well away from civilization rather than the ever-growing San Lorenzo Valley.

There route started on the Loch Trail, which had some steep ups and down, along with some big steeps. The effort was harder than the mile plus route that got them to the Loch Sloy Trail, a broader fire road that also rolled. Then it was back to the waterfront along the Gilchrist Trail. Except for the people fishing along the shoreline they met no one on the trails. That provided Maggie with some off leash fun.

To get to Loch Lomond you drive through a town that neither Adventurer had ever heard off, strange given that they’ve spent lots of time in these nearby mountains over the years. It’s called Lompico, and the houses look like summer cabins, which they probably once were. But there’s evidently a year-round population now.

Proving that even the tiniest town has history: Jerry Garcia’s family had a country house in Lompico, which he visited while he was young. He lost his middle finger due to a wood-chopping accident there. Janis Joplin often jammed with her band Big Brother and the Holding Company there. Who da thunk…

Hike/moderate with a few steep stretches/3.4 miles

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