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
Best Times: Summer, Shaded
Trail Use: Bikes, No Dogs
Agency: California State Parks
Recommended Map: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
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
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.
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.