Ascent of Loma Prieta on 2015-12-23

Climber: James Barlow

Others in Party:Keith Christensen
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Loma Prieta
    Elevation:3786 ft / 1153 m

Ascent Trip Report

This impromptu trip to the San Jose / Monterey area was brought about by an imminent change of property ownership for Mt Bielewski, the Santa Cruz CoHP/CoPP. We needed something else to pair it with that didn't involve much hiking, so... Loma Prieta!

I worked the morning of Dec 23rd at Camp Pendleton, met Keith in Long Beach just after lunch and we were on the way. First up was Loma Prieta. We took Summit Drive from Hwy 152. It is on the atlas and GPS, but the road is private. Screw that... We drove it anyway. Best bet is to come into Loma Prieta from the north though. Everybody else does that. This area is full of the usual rural "no trespassing" & "Keep out" signs. Really grumpy people out here I guess...

We parked at the intersection of Loma Prieta & Summit. You can drive up to the split where Loma Chiquita goes right, some other road goes left, and the summit road goes up the middle. I would advise against that due to the signage. You can park legally at Loma Prieta & Summit. By doing this at night, we avoided getting spotted by cars coming around a corner quickly. We would have ample warning from their headlights and plenty of time to duck into the bushes. We were lucky. No cars passed during our walk up to the intersection at BM 3363. Once here, we felt safer as we would be behind a locked gate only frequented by repair people, none of whom we expected to be working at 10pm on Dec 23rd...

The first gate is easily bypassed on foot. During our ascent from the first gate, we noted two vehicles coming up the road that we had just walked and turning on to both of the un-gated roads at 3363. At 3,560 ft, you reach an intersection. The road continuing straight up was avoided by previous trip reports, specifically Eric Kassan's report. Eric writes some of the better reports out there btw... We turned left an continued up to a second intersection at 3,640. Go either way here. We went right to avoid the cold wind. When the road switches back left again, we continued up straight to the highest ground. The highest ground is a boulder right next to a fence. Luckily for us, the fence has been clipped with a hole large enough for an arm to fit through and touch the highest rock. We both touched it. After the obligatory summit photos (flash in the dark), we were on our way down. Right at the 3363 intersection, we heard a truck coming up. We had ample time to duck into the bushes and hide as it turned right on to Loma Chiquita Rd. While we had already bagged our peak and were on the way down, we had no desire to meet any of the locals if we could help it.


3.8 miles
1 hr 25 min car-to-car
Summit - 11:26pm
Full moon!

The return to the Yaris went without incident. Onward to Mt Bielewski!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:706 ft / 215 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:706 ft / 215 m
    Start Trailhead:3080 ft / 938 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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