Degree Confluence 37N 122W

I hadn’t planned on visiting the Santa Cruz degree confluence today, so I hadn’t planned the best route either. This was a fun confluence to visit; one of the world’s most popular, I believe!

Photo © Richard D. LeCour

I wandered around the general area by car until I stumbled upon the main entrance to DeLaveaga Park. I parked and walked a trail east. At one point I was within 215 feet of the confluence, close enough within the boundaries of the 100-meter minimum disntance to register the visit, but I was not satisfied with that. Looking up at the 215 feet I’d have to traverse, I decided that it might be better to look for another trail that would take me closer, so I kept walking further away.

At about 450 feet from the confluence, I found something that looked like a very steep and slippery trail, but probably was started due to erosion more than by footsteps. At the top I found another trail heading back towards the confluence. Following that, I soon came within 90 feet of the point. Much better!

At that point, I left the trail and hiked straight upwards. Imagine my surprise when I came within 25 feet of the confluence point and realized that there was another trail above me! Once I stood on the trail, I was only 15 feet off, so I stepped off trail once again and stood right at the confluence point. It only took seven minutes for me to maneuver myself into a position that my Garmin 76S read exactly spot on and get a picture of it at the same time.


Enter DeLaveaga Park on Branciforte Drive and park near the restrooms at the Maple Grove or Twisted Tree picnic areas. Just a few feet SSW of the restrooms is a small flight of wooden stairs leading slightly up the hill. Beyond that are dirt trails. At this point, there are three choices — left, right, and an insignificant path straight ahead to the right. Rather than meander aimlessly as I did, as the saying goes, take the path less traveled. That leads you up a hundred feet or so to another dirt trail at which point you go left. You can follow your GPS along that trail until you are within only ten to fifteen feet of the confluence!

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