Lexington Reservoir

Los Gatos, California

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Cradled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Santa Clara Valley, Lexington Reservoir displays an interesting tapestry of habitats. The lake’s steep shores sport a fascinating blend of “ecotones”—areas of overlapping habitat, rich in diversity and sharing the flora and fauna of each other. The coastal-scrub chaparral, which dominates the drier, south-facing slopes, blends into areas of oak woodland and mixed-evergreen and riparian forests laced with strands of redwood groves in shady canyons and on north-facing slopes. No swimming or gas motors are allowed at this popular fishing lake, so it’s a peaceful place to paddle. The most interesting paddling is found in the narrows where Los Gatos Creek drains into the lake on the southern end, with greater access earlier in the season when water levels are higher. Unfortunately the put in is at the lake’s northern end, meaning that the 2.5-mile return to the launch site will be into the wind most afternoons. Paddle early to avoid wind or pick a day when the weather forecast is for winds below 15 knots.
Sea Kayaking in Central & Northern California

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Sea Kayaking in Central & Northern California

by Roger Schumann (Falcon Guides)

Cradled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Santa Clara Valley, Lexington Reservoir displays an interesting tapestry of habitats. The lake’s steep shores
sport a fascinating blend of “ecotones”—areas of overlapping habitat, rich in diversity and sharing the flora and fauna of each other. The coastal-scrub chaparral, which dominates
the drier, south-facing slopes, blends into areas of oak woodland and mixed-evergreen and riparian forests laced with strands of redwood groves in shady canyons and on north-facing slopes.

No swimming or gas motors are allowed at this popular fishing lake, so it’s a peaceful place to paddle. The most interesting paddling is found in the narrows where Los Gatos Creek drains into the lake on the southern end, with greater access earlier in the season when water levels are higher. Unfortunately the put in is at the lake’s northern end, meaning that the 2.5-mile return to the launch site will be into the wind most afternoons. Paddle early to avoid wind or pick a day when the weather forecast is for winds below 15 knots.

© 2013 Roger Schumann /Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Los Gatos
Distance: 5
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Season: Year-round, weather permitting.
Local Maps: Park map, info, and current hours of operation (sccgov.org/sites/parks/Maps%20Here/Pages/default.aspx)
Driving Directions: Directions to Lexington Reservoir

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May 2018