“A very difficult fire road ascent or a white-knuckle descent.”
— Craig Gleason
For the most difficult climb in the Los Gatos area, follow Alma Bridge Road along the east side of the reservoir. Skip the first trailhead which is the Limekiln Trail
, and take the second one to Priest Rock. The ascent has two parts: A steep, non-technical fire road to the Limekiln junction, and an even steeper, loose, rocky and rutted fire road ascent along a ridge to the Kennedy Trail
Lower Priest Rock begins as a steep climb, lets up for a while, and then presents a 22-25% grade for a hundred yards or so. Above this it lets up a bit but continues to climb steeply. Finally cresting this hill, you have views of the upper part of the trail as you descend to the junction with the Limekiln Trail
The upper part of the trail is known as Dogmeat which is equally apt riding up or down. Few riders attempt to climb this trail and very few can climb it without putting a foot down. It includes several loose and rutted sections with grades over 25%, and a brutal last half mile to the top.
Dogmeat is most often used as a downhill segment for riders climbing the Kennedy Trail
. Lower Priest Rock is often looped with the Overgrown trail (the local name for lower Limekiln Trail