Hike to Nisene Marks' Maple Falls
San Francisco › Aptos Creek Fire Road
Added by Joshua Scruggs
This hike in Nisene Marks leads through a scenic forest views ending at the falls. Be prepared for several creek crossings.
As you enter the park, you'll need to pay $8 for parking via a self-pay envelope, so it's recommended that you bring exact change. At the park booth, be sure to grab a map. The hike can be a little tricky with no cell service and limited trail signage. Once you've grabbed your map, keep driving past the booth, there are parking areas available further up the road.
During the winter, you'll have to park near the first bridge, but for all other parts of the year, you'll want to park at the George's Picnic Area (36.997309 -121.906507). If you're planning to hike during winter months, be prepared to add a few miles to your hike depending on the parking situation. Add a little extra water and snacks to the pack and make sure you get on the trail a couple hours earlier.
Starting this hike from George's Picnic Area, head out on the Aptos Creek Fire Road for about 1.25 miles until you reach Loma Prieta. Take Loma Preita for 0.7 miles until you reach the Bridge Creek Trail. This trail will take you to the falls in approximately 2 miles.
Make sure you watch your time when starting the hike. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time before sunset - also, it never hurts to throw a flashlight or headlamp in your backpack just in case.
Here's a brochure of the state park: The Forest of Nisene Marks Brochure
- 10 Essentials
- Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
- Towel if you choose to cool off in the falls
- $8 for parking (bring exact change)
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Such a blast!
Amazing hike through Redwoods, several small waterfalls, creek & tree crossings, leading up to the main beauty - Maple Falls! Definitely recommend wearing waterproof shoes with a ton of grip and even ankle support as some parts can be slippery, sandy, and muddy. It took around 4 hours round trip at a mellow pace and so many photo opportunities! Can't wait to go back!
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.