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WildFlowers! Forests of Nisene Marks SP Moderate 8.7 Miles

Please use the Google Maps link above to familiarize yourself with the trip and explore various route options from your home.
GPS in Degrees Decimal format:[masked],[masked]

GPS in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds format: 37°00'05.2"N 121°54'22.3"W

Distance: 8.7 miles, Clockwise Loop

Hiking Time: 3 to 5 hours

Elevation Gain/ Loss: ± 1407 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Best Times: Summer, Shaded

Trail Use: Bikes, No Dogs

Agency: California State Parks

Recommended Map: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/666/files/TheForestNiseneMarksWebBroch2012.pdf

HIGHLIGHTS:

In the cool and quiet semi-wilderness of the park, tall trees shelter creeks and canyons. Park elevation ranges from sea level to more than 2,600 feet. The park contains grassland, scrub, chaparral, woodland and forest riparian communities.


This is not especially tough but it's a steady climb up to the West Ridge of Nisene Marks. Lots of banana slugs and millipedes along the trails and still plenty of wildflowers in mid July and of course nice redwoods to enjoy. The watershed on the way out is quite breathtaking as well.

Hoffman's Historic Site

Porter House Site 

Maple Falls

DIRECTIONS TO TRAIL HEAD:

When reaching Aptos from the North on Hwy 1 take the State Park Dr exit to the North to Soquel dr.  Turn right on Soquel and then left on Aptos Creek Road.   Take the slight left turn onto Aptos Creek Fire Road into the park.

MEETING PLACE:  Winter Gate by the steel bridge and parking area/George's Picnic Area.

FACILITIES/ TRAILHEAD:

Restrooms: YES

DIRECTIONS:

Start at the Winter Gate on Aptos Creek Fire Road and head north past the Parking Area for Registered Campers, where on the left will be the West Ridge Trail head.  Take West Ridge Trail to the ridge.  Just after the trail turns to the right, will be Ridge Connection Trail on the right.  Ridge Connection Trail takes you to Loma Prieta Grade Trail to the left.  Proceed along Loma Prieta Grade Trail until arriving at Bridge Creek Trail.  Take Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls.  On way back stay on Bridge Creek Trail on the left, staying on the left side of the creek.  When arriving at Loma Prieta Grade Trail turn to the left.  Stay on Loma Prieta Grade Trail passing the gate.  Just past the gate is Porter Trail on the left.



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  • Kal A.

    Great job everyone !!! Come back this Saturday for Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos. :)

    July 28, 2014

  • Kal A.

    Your accomplishment for the day: Distance: 11.7 mi; Elapsed Time: 4:54:53, Moving Time 4:35:54, Stopped Time: 0:18:59;Speed Avg: 2.4 mph, Avg Moving: 2.5 mph; Elevation min: 149 ft, Elevation max: 1141 ft, Total Ascent 1814 ft

    2 · July 28, 2014

  • Emily K

    Sorry I had to leave early! Would have loved to finish the hike :)

    July 27, 2014

  • Zoey

    I've always wanted to hike here and finally got to do it today! Loved the hike to the waterfall and back and met some really awesome people! Thanks for driving us, Sach, and thanks for a memorable hike, Kal! You sure know how to get 100% out of us! Only one more mile to the waterfall! :-)

    2 · July 27, 2014

  • Zoey

    I've always wanted to hike here and finally got to do it today! Loved the hike to the waterfall and back and met some really awesome people! Thanks for driving us, Sach, and thanks for a memorable hike, Kal! You sure know how to get 100% out of us! Only one more mile to the waterfall! :-)

    2 · July 27, 2014

  • Gina S.

    It was very traffic in hwy 17..hardly moved at all...me n my friend decided to turn back...we were in the traffic for over an hr...we left Walnut Creek area around 10am...we hardly moved as soon as we hit 17....looking forward to join you all next time ;))

    July 26, 2014

    • Kal A.

      If it's that busy take 101 to 156 next time

      July 26, 2014

    • Suzanna

      156 is a good tip to know. It took us three hours to get over 17 to the coast. No parking at Nisene Marks, no parking at retreat center. We ended up hiking the bluff trail at Wilder ranch.

      July 27, 2014

  • Sissy

    Amazing job from Martin leading the second group! Awesome hike and group!! Loved the new people I met today hope to see them again in one of the next hikes ;)

    July 26, 2014

  • Sissy

    Amazing job from Martin leading the second group! Awesome hike and group!! Loved the new people I met today hope to see them again in one of the next hikes ;)

    July 26, 2014

  • Justine

    I loved that hike even if it was a tad long. Beautiful scenery and great company. Thanks for stopping for lunch when I was melting down :)

    3 · July 26, 2014

  • Ravi V.

    Thanks Marty for leading the way. We had a great time. Looking forward to more such hikes.

    3 · July 26, 2014

  • Suzanna

    Al, Eric, we are waiting for you in front of Santa Clara Home Goods at the Mercado. We will wait until noon and then will leave without you if you are not here.

    July 26, 2014

    • Eric E

      Al and I were from there from at least 11:25 to 12:00+. In the back of the lot with trunk open. I went to the front twice to see if you doing something strange like hanging around where it is busy but I never saw you. I gave up.

      July 26, 2014

    • Sunitha

      Hi Eric and Al - sorry somehow we missed each other. We 3 started at 12:00 but stuck in heavy traffic. See you next time :)

      July 26, 2014

  • Eric E

    Carpool bust. Too late and too much traffic for a solo run.

    July 26, 2014

  • Emily K

    The traffic on 17 is barely moving...

    July 26, 2014

  • Justine

    I'm looking for a ride from Campbell/Los Gatos. Of course, I'll help pay for gas. I only have an electric car this weekend so I can't drive myself!

    July 25, 2014

    • Justine

      Hi Min! I'm going to text you but I think we should leave a little bit earlier than 12:15 because I don't think we'll make it on time if there is any beach traffic at all.

      July 26, 2014

    • Sri

      Ok

      July 26, 2014

  • Elaine S.

    looking forward to exploring nisene marks state park!

    July 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will have to cancel. I was not able to find carpool and/or directions are too confusing for me...sorry...may be next time.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thinh P.

    My friend who's supposed to drive is MIA. If anyone is driving from Dublin, I'll be happy to split on gas. If not, see you guys at the next one :)

    July 26, 2014

  • Suzanna

    One person has canceled so I now have a seat available in the carpool from Santa Clara for tomorrow's hike. We are leaving at 11:30 from the Mercado center off 101. Please message me by 10 am if anyone would like to ride with me. BTW, we'll be staying for dinner in Aptos before heading back so plan some extra time.

    July 25, 2014

    • Suzanna

      Shirley, please meet us in front of Home Goods in the Mercado shopping center at 11:30. Thanks

      July 26, 2014

    • Xuan

      Great ! See you soon !

      July 26, 2014

  • sabryna

    Yes I would like to carpool. I live in Sunnyvale near Bernardo and El Camino.

    July 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Sabryna, I also live on Bernardo. Could I carpool with you?

      July 22, 2014

    • Meeta

      I'm in the same area. Can I car pool with you? I can drive or be the passenger. Please let me know thanks.

      July 26, 2014

  • Meeta

    It would be fun to car pool with some one! My car can accommodate 3 adults. I'm at 280 & 85 intersection, Sunnyvale - Cupertino border.

    July 25, 2014

    • Audrey S.

      Sorry Meeta

      July 25, 2014

    • Meeta

      Hi Audrey, I'm going to try to car pool with others who already have a carpool going.

      July 26, 2014

  • Tanya

    I am in Cupertino near 85 or 280, would like to carpool.

    July 20, 2014

    • Meeta

      Hi Tanya, do you have room for one more? I'm in the same area and can meet you somewhere for today's hike.

      July 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I be driving from the Menlo Park area,then 280 S to 17. Glad to provide a ride for anyone.

    July 25, 2014

    • April

      What time are you leaving and is there a Starbucks nearby?[masked] that might work to carpool

      July 26, 2014

    • April

      couldn't connect, so I'll just cancel

      July 26, 2014

  • Hunny B.

    anyone coming from sj?

    July 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone driving along 680 from the east bay? I'd like to get a ride or I can drive from Pleasanton.

    July 24, 2014

    • Patricia D.

      Ally, let's meet at the parking lot of Max's dinner, where See's Candies and Starbucks are on Crow Canyon Place right before the Crow Canyon entry to 680. Let's meet at 10:45. See you then.

      July 26, 2014

    • Ally D.

      Perfect! See you then!

      July 26, 2014

  • Alison

    I'm in Sunnyvale and would love to carpool

    July 13, 2014

    • TJ

      Hi Bianca/Matt, any space left in your carpool, i am fine driving or join and happy to share gas expenses, will come to mary/fremont starbucks at 11:30, my number is[masked]

      July 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes TJ. It will be Debbie, Matt and you. Car full. See you all tomorrow at 11:30am

      July 25, 2014

  • Audrey S.

    hi all and Ravi, i can carpool from milpitas. I have three spaces. Would be driver or passenger ? Very new to the group so carpooling would be a nice introduction. Let me know Audrey

    July 25, 2014

  • Susie

    What trail are we hiking?

    July 25, 2014

    • Kal A.

      Please read the entire description above before posting comments

      July 25, 2014

  • Kal A.

    If you plan to dine with us after the hike, please remember to go get your cash including some small bills today. We cannot all pay with our card.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sach

    I am driving from Fremont. I have space for 4 and possibly 5 (i have a 7 seater, third row seating is not that spacey-). I can pick up from fremont bart and can make one stop on the way, along 880/101. email me to carpool. and please don't flake at the last moment.

    1 · July 22, 2014

    • Sach

      Sanjay, Sona, David, Zoey and Lucinda, i have sent you a mail with the pickup times and my phone number.

      2 · July 24, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for letting me know. see you tomorrow!

      July 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are dogs allowed on these trails? I can't find any information.

    July 22, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry, no dogs.

      July 24, 2014

  • Tanya

    Do we have a chance to visit the Buddhist temple on the trails?

    July 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      As I understand, no. Because the temple area is private party, they only allow groups of 10 or less; they can not accommodate our group.

      July 24, 2014

  • Kenneth C.

    I am also driving down from Fremont. I have space for 3 people. I can pick up anyone in the South Bay who needs a ride.

    July 23, 2014

    • Bhanu

      Sounds good to me too.

      July 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Kenneth, I am interested in the carpooling. please let me know if you have cancellation. thank you.

      July 24, 2014

  • Kal A.

    There is no cell service at the trail head, so please do not post messages on Saturday about running late as we will not get them until after the hike.

    July 23, 2014

  • Kal A.

    On Saturdays there is always a traffic jam near Los Gatos where several lanes merge into one lane. This will cost you about 20 minutes. So plan to leave 20 minutes earlier than you were planning, if you are coming from north of Los Gatos such as San Jose/SF.

    July 23, 2014

  • lalita

    Is anyone carpooling or passing through Fremont? I'd like to join. Thanks!

    July 21, 2014

    • Sach

      I am leaving from Fremont.

      July 22, 2014

  • Sissy

    I will be driving from Oakland. I usually pick up people at MacArthur bart. I split gas and tolls (no tolls this time) shoot me an email if you want to carpool.

    July 22, 2014

  • April

    anyone driving by 101 or 280 and 92? there are lots of carpool lots off the freeway where I could meet you if you'd like a pleasant conversationalist who can share gas : ) or the Whole Foods/Peets off 101 and Hillsdale

    July 21, 2014

  • Michele

    Any commuters from Los Gatos?

    June 23, 2014

  • April

    this is a beautiful place....carpool anyone? I'm from Foster City/San Mateo/bridge...we can fine tune later

    June 20, 2014

  • sabryna

    I have done this hike once before looking forward to going again !

    June 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    if i am not working this day i would love to join. i will rsvp now but will let you know when time gets closer as i have no set schedule.

    June 10, 2014

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