River crossing hikes are so enjoyable! At first, it may sound odd that we have to wade through a river during a hike. Once we get our feet wet, we feel like doing it again!
A few routes in Henry Cowell Redwoods involve river crossings without bridges. The water level recedes sufficiently by late summer (July — August) that San Lorenzo River may be crossed on foot. Another hike with over 30 river crossings is in Tumey Hills. It is listed under "Cross-Country Hikes".
A fantastic hike through cool shaded redwoods that requires four river crossings through knee-deep water. Also goes through Observation Deck, a high point in Henry Cowell. Surprisingly, trails near Observation Deck are sandy!
An alternative route that goes through the same crossings as Route I above.
Panoche, Griswold and Tumey Hills are BLM owned lands that allow cross-country hiking, which means that we may legally go off trails to explore. These lands are located about 2.5 hours east of San Jose. The landscape is unlike any other park in the bay area. Cross-country hiking is harder than regular hiking because the terrain is uneven. Plus good navigational skills in wilderness are important.
In April 2011, I joined a meetup group for an enjoyable 12-mile cross-country hike. The last few miles of the hike involved over 30 creek crossings, making it a unique and memorably experience. This hike can be done only in the month of April. Prior to April, water level is too high. May onwards, the temperature is too high.