Find Your Flow

Hike the Waterfall Loop at Uvas Canyon County Park

So you really want to see some winter waterfalls but don’t want to work too hard to do it? Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Morgan Hill, is Uvas Canyon County Park—a compact, tree-filled delight with picnic tables, hiking trails, and several waterfalls bunched into a 1-mile loop along Swanson Creek.

Extend the hike going upstream: The 2.7-mile Uvas Waterfall and Contour Trail Loop follows Swanson Creek to Granuja Falls, Black Rock Falls, Upper Falls, and Basin Falls. Lichen-covered trees and rocks make a lush backdrop, and wooden bridges add some old-fashioned whimsy. Coastal redwoods add yet another layer of beauty.

Viewpoint overlooking the Santa Cruz Mountains in Uvas Canyon County Park

Continuing on Contour Trail, extend the loop to a 3.6-mile hike (total round-trip) by turning right onto Alec Canyon Trail to see Triple Falls. Take a breather at Viewpoint Bench and enjoy the expansive views of the Santa Cruz Mountains before heading to Triple Falls at the end of the trail. Return on Alec Canyon Trail to finish the loop. Waterfall way to spend the day.

Parking reservations ($6) are required ahead of your visit. From US-101 in Morgan Hill, exit Bailey Ave. and go west 3 miles to McKean Rd. Go left on McKean and drive 6 miles (McKean turns into Uvas Rd.). Turn right onto Croy Rd. and go 4.5 miles to the park. The Waterfall Loop Trail starts at Black Oak Group Area. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

    View
  2. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

    View
  3. Strolling With Sam

    Most people come to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for the beautiful creekside campground and picnic areas. But the hiking here can be pleasantly peaceful on a short trail featuring old-growth redwood trees.

    View
  4. Sponsored

    Four Ways to Fall for North Lake Tahoe

    As vivid autumn colors start to line the sky and crowds begin to dwindle, North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking secret season takes over and is a favorite among locals. With turning leaves, crisp air, and 12 towns to explore, North Lake Tahoe is the place to disconnect.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Apple of Your Eye

    That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Apple orchards and colorful leaves are a bonus, as are the apple cider donuts and slushies you can enjoy post-hike.

    View
  2. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

    View
  3. Rock Star Hike

    The sandstone giants of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park might be the coolest damn formations in SoCal. Explore the craggy slabs on a 2.5-mile hike.

    View
  4. Clarity in Claremont

    The majority of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is inaccessible, rugged terrain but there’s a 4.9-mile moderate loop that’s well-maintained and feels gloriously far away, despite being close to the city.

    View