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Priest Rock Trail

Difficult
 3.4 (11)

A very difficult fire road ascent or a white-knuckle descent.


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Map Key

4.1

Miles

6.6

KM

Doubletrack

2,609' 795 m

High

746' 227 m

Low

1,962' 598 m

Up

99' 30 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (5°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Description

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).

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Craig Gleason

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 11 votes

#14933

Overall
  3.4 from 11 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
36%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1,122

in California

#14,933

Overall
117 Views Last Month
4,724 Since Jun 26, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
8%
0%
75%
17%

Photos

A downhill section on Priest Rock Trail.
Jan 1, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA
There's a pretty expansive view from near the top of the Priest Rock Trail.
Apr 24, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA
Looking back on the way up the Priest Rock Trail.
Apr 24, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA
It's steep going and you'll probably end up walking some. The way down can be tricky due to runoff drainage in the middle of the trail, as seen on the bottom right.
Apr 24, 2017 near Lexingt…, CA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Aug 17, 2018
Steve Dorsey
Why climb this when Limekiln (Overgrown) is there! I go up Overgrown or Kennedy and come down Priest Rock. Watch out - upper section is ROCKY!!!
Nov 12, 2016
ebtokyo mtb