Hike to Nisene Marks' Maple Falls

Aptos Creek Fire Road

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

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots
  • Towel if you choose to cool off in the falls
  • $8 for parking (bring exact change)
Show More
RT Distance 8.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 900 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Worth it

Bridge Creek trail has a beautiful view all along the way. The last mile is the most technical and challenging to get to the falls as you have to cross the creek several times, walk on logs and get through some steep sections but well worth it!

New Year's Day Trek Was Amazing!

Family and friends picked this day hike as a way to kick off the new year. It was a great stroll/hike.

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Land of Medicine Buddha Loop

583 Saves

New Brighton Campground

31 Saves

Camp at Manresa Beach

290 Saves