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. Sponsored

    Outdoor Zen in Sonoma County

    Sonoma County’s abundant natural beauty is good for your mind, body, and spirit. From redwoods and rhododendron walks, to yoga in a vineyard, here are five ways to soothe your soul in Sonoma County.

  2. Feather Fanfare

    Feathery birds swing and swoop on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, surrounded by the Diablo Range and Santa Cruz Mountains. See it all from a levee in serene Ravenswood Preserve.

  3. Mellow in the Marsh

    Beach, birds, ice plant popping purple flowers: That’s a hiking slam dunk! Hike about 2 miles at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve using their fully reopened and well-signed Sequoia Audubon Trail.

  4. Watershed Moment

    The Presidio in San Francisco offers some of the best urban hiking in the country! And the new marsh bridges under Presidio Parkway offer more habitat for plants, fish, and bird life... and trails for us!


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

  2. Putnam Pedal and Poppies!

    Helen Putnam Regional Park punches above her weight. The compact yet bountiful park near Petaluma explodes with wildflowers every spring, in particular the state’s signature California poppy.

  3. Take the Musical Road

    Drive the Musical Road—one of only a handful in the world—to connect two of Antelope Valley’s best parks, Prime Desert Woodland Preserve with its Joshua Trees and Apollo Community Regional Park.

  4. Barrel of Fun

    Put a spring in your step and a barrel in your belly in Antelope Valley's Palmdale. Do a 2.75-mile hike on Barrel Springs Trail and enjoy a local winery that shares part of the nomenclature.