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. Ridgetop Rolling

    Tilden Regional Park is the flagship of the East Bay Regional Parks system. And its best views? Find them along Nimitz Way, a paved, multi-use ridgetop trail. We recommend biking this trail for about 4 miles.

  2. Wide-Open Wildcat

    Sure, peak-bagging hikes are great, but ridge trails? Well, those might be the best. The East Bay’s Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is home to a fantastic ridgetop rolling trail.

  3. Bird Rock

    Other than the Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud, birds aren’t typically the first thing you think of with Alcatraz. When it was a working prison there wasn’t much bird life. But now? Well, the birds are back!

  4. Forest Bathe Under the Redwoods

    Giant Douglas firs and a peaceful madrone- and tanoak-studded forest make the hiking at Sanborn County Park sublime, but there’s an added majesty here thanks to the Todd Creek Redwoods Grove.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Monterey Bay Aquarium Reopens!

    The wildlife has been waiting patiently … and now, at long last, they’re ready for their close-ups! As California reopens make new memories at the reopened Monterey Bay Aquarium!

  2. Beach Walk + Cambodia Town

    A trip to Long Beach is not complete without a … long walk on the beach. But add a little extra with a walk through Cambodia Town, featuring local murals and delicious food.

  3. Hodges and Hodgee Monster

    Escondido’s Lake Hodges is one of the most beautiful lake settings in San Diego, with Kumeyaay history, phenomenal birdwatching, a world-record-holding bridge, and a resident lake monster!  Do a 5.5-mile shoreline hike here ...  

  4. Go For Guajome

    Head to Guajome County Park in Oceanside for a hidden lake twofer hike via a 4-mile loop trail traversing most of the 394-acre haven.