Santa Cruz Mountain Ghosts

The santa Cruz mountains have a rich history, starting mainly in the gold rush of the 1850s. Almost all signs of the original towns are totally wiped out, but there are still some pieces of history left.

Mountain Charlie Road

The first road to connect Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, this was a tollroad built by Mountain Charlie McKeirnan in the 1850s. The road still exists (paved). To follow this very windy and narrow road (1 lane), exit Hwy 17 at Summit Road. You can go west on Summit and then drive Mountain Charlie road south (to Glenwood), or go east on Summit and drive Mountain Charlie road north (to Patchen).

Along the road, you will find markers for Mountain Charlie's cabin, where he fought the grizzly bear and the road itself. Also, there is a very architecturally interesting home on the road that is hard to miss. The home itself is mostly underground, with a large castle turrent made out of an agricultural tank.

Santz Cruz Train Tunnels

The train tunnels were abandoned in 1940 and sealed with explosives in 1942. I believe all of the entrances are still there, although I haven't found them all (cf Ray Hosler's Site).

Wright's Station

The most interesting tunnel site is Wright's Station. The entrace looks like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie, at the forgotten temple entrance of an underground empire. There are some railroad ties visible in the mud. The bridge is old and appears to be in the same site as the original bridge, but comparing photos show that it is not the original bridge. The original had simple railings with a steel superstructure, while the current bridge has fancy railings over a concrete bridge. Click here to bring up photo.

Google Map of train tunnel entrances, and other points of interest

Click on the markers to view photos of the locations.
Map Image