(This page originated from Spring Weekend's excellent page of directions, but we have added various "secret routes" to avoid traffic. A tip of the hat to our fellow BACDS camp!) Monte Toyon is an idyllic camp set in the lovely Santa Cruz mountains. Though it feels like it's far from everything, Monte Toyon is actually very close to the town of Aptos and only 15 minutes from the beach. It's located at: 220 Cloister Lane, Aptos, CA 95003-2910
Back to top
From San Jose
The main idea is to get yourself to Hwy.17...
Back to top
From the Peninsula
Back to top
From San Francisco/Marin
If you are near US-101, use the directions from the Peninsula above.
From the West side of San Francisco:
Back to topAlternative routes from Highway 17
After about 3:00 pm Friday there's generally a snarl at the Highway 17/ Highway 1 interchange, and the directions above, while easy to follow, will cost you 20 minutes to half an hour at the interchange. Here are some alternate routes to use once you're on 17 to avoid that interchange. (Note that Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz turns into Soquel Drive south of Santa Cruz.)
Exit from 17 at Highway 9 in Saratoga; take 9 through Boulder Creek to Santa Cruz - it becomes River Street - left on Soquel Avenue to Trout Gulch. [May be windy; may be slow if stuck behind slow car.]
Exit from the right lane off 17 onto Summit, around the very sharp, steep exit ramp. Right at the stop sign to cross the freeway, then jog left a bit to go east (if feels like south, but I know it isn't) on Summit for several miles (longer than you think is correct); pass the Old School Winery and the Summit Store on the left. Right on Old San Jose-Soquel road, follow to the Soquel Drive signal, turn left, and take Soquel Drive to Trout Gulch road.
Mary writes: This route is beautiful, peaceful, and I believe quite a bit faster, even if the speed limit is a little slower. You can still spend 5-10 minutes getting through the left turn from Old Soquel onto Soquel Drive in Soquel, but it will still beat 17 to 1 (20, minutes the last time I took it, some 5 or 6 years ago, and the crawl down 1 after that - ycch!).
(Susie only really endorses this for going to Santa Cruz itself, preferring to take the Summit-Old San Jose - Soquel approach for Aptos.)
But, if you find yourselves stuck in nasty traffic as 17 approaches Santa Cruz, you can get off at Pasatiempo (the exit BEFORE the hwy 1 South offramp), turn left onto the overpass to cross over 17 and turn right onto the frontage road that parallels 17. I've forgotten the name of the road - oops! - but it's the only possible right-hand turn you can make there. [Might be El Rancho Dr - ed.]
That road will turn into N. Plymouth St, which will make a sharp turn to the left at the bottom, at which point it becomes Lee St. Turn right onto Emeline at the first stop sign, go under hwy 1, left onto Fernside St (your first possible right turn), which will take you straight to the hwy 1 South onramp. (Look to your right.) This trick avoids most of the snarl as hwy 17 approaches Santa Cruz, although it requires more navigation through the side streets. Of course, if you prefer to avoid hwy 1 altogether, you can jog over to Soquel Avenue instead.
If traffic is backed up on the overpass leading to Highway 1 (which is a right exit), take the left exit to Ocean Street instead. Follow Ocean Street a few blocks, pass Water Street, and make a left onto Soquel. [Water Street merges onto Soquel but this gets backed up sometimes.]
Since the right and left exit are very close, stay in the center lane until you can decide which to take (there are 3 lanes at that point due to the 2 exits).
If you're taking Soquel, continue on Soquel, and where it crosses Hwy 1, instead of crossing, turn right as if you're following the signs to get onto Hwy 1 South (compass pointing East) at this point, and just continue on the ocean side frontage road if Hwy 1 is clogged, and get onto the freeway at 41st Street instead. Things clear up considerably after Porter/Bay, the next exit after that. Staying on Soquel after it crosses to the mountain side of Hwy 1 is a losing proposition: there are so many stops and folks getting to and from mountain feeder roads that it's actually slower and messier than the Hwy 1 crawl.
Back to top