Feeling Hot?Cool Off in an Off-The-Beaten-Path Place

June 23, 2007

Things are heating up now and you may be thinking about where to go for a little relief. There’s the beach, of course – it’s always temperate over in Santa Cruz on the water (and a nice breeze usually blows too).  There are all the usual air conditioned places (stores, malls, theaters). But there’s also a little place in Los Gatos, hidden from the view of most folks, where you can get a surprising amount of relief from the heat.

And amazingly, it’s right in the middle of town!

The Dam at Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos, CA The secret location is along the Los Gatos Creek Trail under the Vasona Dam spillway. The rush of water through the gates creates a cool, light mist that floats down like some of the “misters” that you may have encountered at Disneyland, Paramount’s Great America in very nearby Santa Clara, or in waterparks like Raging Waters in San Jose. 

Sign for the Los Gatos Creek TrailTo get there, the easiest approach is via Garden Hill Drive, which is off of Lark Avenue in Los Gatos. Follow the road almost to the very end, when it takes a sharp bend to the left. Park your bike or car and enter the park/trail and follow the path northwest (away from the freeway) and you will find the misty spot not too far up.

There are no benches or tables, so this is a spot not intended for picnicing – but I think it’s a great place to do it nonetheless. (In fact, there’s a warning sign to not go too close to the spillway.)  It is not secluded (so ixnay on the romantic spot, this did not qualify as one of my “Best Places to Kiss” in Los Gatos) but it is cool and comfortable and refreshing.

Would you like to see some photos from the dam area? I have compiled a Vasona dam area 60-second slideshow (plus extra photos if you want to see them). Take a look!

Do you have a favorite place to cool off? I’d love to have you share it here!