Vista points

The ride I’d originally planned for this weekend didn’t pan out for various reasons, mostly that pesky thing we call “rain”, which means winter is on its way here in the Bay Area.

I found myself with a free hour this afternoon, though, which coincided with some nice weather, so I took the Ninja out for about 20 miles.

My first stop was the Officer Ralph D. Percival Memorial Vista Point, off of Highway 280 in San Carlos.

Officer Ralph D. Percival had just completed writing a citation to a traffic violator and was returning to his motorcycle when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The 44-year-old patrol officer was a 17-year CHP veteran and had worked most of his career out of the Redwood City Area office.

(photo and text from

According to the Interwebs, the elevation at this vista point is just shy of 800′.  The view is of the northern Santa Cruz Mountains — the ridgeline there is essentially the San Andreas faultine — and of Crystal Springs Reservoir.  Most of the water in the reservoir is piped in from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.

Fun with HDR: here’s Crystal Springs Reservoir.

The other side of the parking area has a nice panoramic view of the Bay, but there’s really nowhere to take a photo.

There used to be three vista points, one right after the previous, along this stretch of 280; the middle one is now closed, apparently due to people cruising for drugs, sex, and other sundries that are popular at relatively remote vista points.  A shooting in 1994 was apparently the last straw, and the vista point was closed for good in 1996.

The northernmost vista point, though, is still open, so I headed there next. This one is just south of the Hwy 92 interchange.

The vista at this one just isn’t as nice as the first, and as I had no real interest in nefarious vista point activities, I didn’t hang around for long.  The best photo I took there was actually on the ride back to 280:

Here’s your gratuitous Ninja shot of the day, with what passes for fall color here in the Bay Area:

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3 Responses to Vista points

  1. Pingback: Ride to Pulgas Water Temple | Bluepoof's Adventures

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