Five Finger Falls - Route I
11.8 miles     1100 ft
14 Nov 2009
Summary

Gorgeous hike in Forest of Nisene Marks to a small, seasonal waterfall.

Location: Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Brochure: Official Trail Map with details of both Forest of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest. The area close to Entrance Station in Forest of Nisene Marks is shown enlarged. Trail lengths are missing in this map.

» PeasePress Map: Trails of Santa Cruz: Excellent quality map showing various parks in the Santa Cruz area.

Route

To Five Finger Falls (5.9 miles): From George's Picnic Area, follow Aptos Creek Fire Road (0.6 miles) → right on Porter Trail (0.7 miles) which joins with the fire road. Turn right on Aptos Creek Fire Road (0.2 miles) to reach a junction with Loma Prieta Trail. Continue along Aptos Creek Fire Road (1.0 miles) to reach the point marked 'Bottom of the Incline' on the trail map. Turn right on Aptos Creek Trail (2.5 miles), which meanders next to Aptos Creek to reach a junction with Big Slide Trail. Continue along Aptos Creek Trail (0.9 miles) to reach Five Finger Falls.

To George's Picnic Area (5.9 miles): From Five Finger Falls, retrace your steps all the way to the trailhead at George's Picnic Area.

Photos

Full photo album — 14 November 2009

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Five Finger Falls - Route II.
Trailhead

Location: Along Aptos Creek Road, about one mile north of intersection of Aptos Creek Road and Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA. Near 'Steel Bridge' and 'Winter Gate' in the official map. . No street address. Parking area is not visible in Google Maps.

Directions: From Highway 17 going south, go along CA-1 South. After about six miles, take Exit 435 for State Park Drive towards Aptos. Soon after the exit, turn left onto State Park Drive. After 0.3 miles, take the second right onto Soquel Drive. In half a mile, you will reach the intersection of Soquel Drive and Aptos Creek Road in Aptos, CA. Turn left onto Aptos Creek Road and drive about a mile to reach the Park Entrance kiosk where you would have to pay entrance fees. Drive another mile to reach George's Picnic Area, which is near 'Steel Bridge' and 'Winter Gate' in the official map.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: $8 per vehicle (last visited: March 2014)

Capacity: About 15 cars

Latitude: 36.997309     Longitude: -121.906507

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