“Fire road trail through beautiful, little used mixed redwood forest deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains”
— Joan Pendleton
River/Creek · Views
This is just a trail through a beautiful forest. There are no dramatic peaks or cliffs or waterfalls, BUT tall, Tall, TALL trees, including redwoods, and lush vegetation with sunlight streaming through. The East Fork of Soquel Creek is to the right (north) of the trail. Deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the terrain is rugged and solitude can be found, all within an hour's drive of urban San Jose/Silicon Valley.
Hihn's Mill Road goes from a parking area on Highland Way to an area closed to the public. Several trails branch off of Hihn's Mill Road to make all sorts of loop runs through this beautiful forest.
From the parking area, Hihn's Mill Road runs along the side of a forested ridge with the East Branch of Soquel Creek far below on the right (north). To the left (south), the ridge rises. Glimpses of the ridge across the creek valley can be seen occasionally. The trail slowly descends through the forest to reach the creek at about mile 4.3. From here, the trail follows close to the creek until about mile 5.6 where it crosses the creek.
After crossing the creek, Hihn's Mill Road climbs steeply for about 0.4 miles to the area closed to the public. Hihn's Mill Road continues here, BUT runners must not go any further on it at this point. However, this is also the start of Amaya Creek Road
, which can be traveled for another two miles.
Flora & Fauna
Redwoods, firs, oaks, a few manzanita, ferns, moss, and other vegetation can be found here.