Maps can be so intriguing, and they can be a dangerous rabbit hole into which my time somehow disappears if I’m not careful. Today I was viewing a topographical map of Los Gatos when I stumbled upon a place in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Los Gatos (aka the Los Gatos Mountains) with the curious name of Hooker Gulch. That same site is an interactive map with many place names that I never heard of in the coastal range, all of them begging for research. (Click at your own risk.)
Here are a few of odd and fascinating place names in the hills:
- Hooker Gulch (also Hooker Gulch Creek, which feeds into the Los Gatos Creek)
- Nibbs Knob
- Rattlesnake Gulch
- Buzzard Lagoon
- Priest Rock
- Bull Run
- Badger Spring
- And many other “gulch” names: Moody Gulch, Austrian Gulch, Jacques Gulch, etc.
Where is Hooker Gulch?
The steep valley is located near the end of Aldercroft Heights Road (public section of the road), close to Aldercroft Heights, Lexington Hills, and Holy City in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is just south of Old Gold Mine Road.