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Aptos Creek Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

1.0 mile 1.6 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 149' 46 m
Descent: -174' -53 m
High: 856' 261 m
Low: 738' 225 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

Fun trail in thick forest along Aptos Creek, sometimes high above it, sometimes next to it, and sometimes through it.

Joan Pendleton

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Aptos Creek Trail officially begins at the 1.55 mile mark along Aptos Creek Fire Road. HOWEVER, it is closed from this beginning to its junction with Big Slide Trail due to storm damage in the winter of 2016/2017. Therefore, this description shows its trail start at the end of Big Slide Trail. From here it is open to its normal endpoint at Five Finger Falls.

Need to Know

Bring water shoes or be ready to get your feet wet to reach Five Finger Falls when it's cascading vigorously.

Description

The current (February 2019) open section of Aptos Creek Trail begins at the end of Big Slide Trail. Here Aptos Creek Trail is on a forested bluff with the creek below, down a steep hillside. From here, the trail follows Aptos Creek upstream through the dense, lush forest. The creek is in a steep sided valley with the trail clinging to the hillside except for two places where the trail veers away from Aptos Creek to follow side creeks upstream a short ways, cross them, and return to Aptos Creek.

About 0.65 miles after leaving Big Slide Trail behind, Aptos Creek Trail crosses (no bridge) Aptos Creek. If you end up wading through it, Five Finger Falls has a nice vigorous cascade, worthy of getting your feet wet to see it. After some more small ups and downs, and climbing over logs, the faint roar of the falls can be heard. Continuing on, one gets to what looks like a side creek to cross, AND looking up the vertical gorge of the side creek, there they are - Five Finger Falls! (and the end of Aptos Creek Trail.)

Flora & Fauna

Mixed redwood forest. Ferns and other lush creekside vegetation.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#21896

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Trail Rankings

#2,555

in California

#21,896

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10 Views Last Month
93 Since Feb 22, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Five Finger Falls at the end of Aptos Creek Trail.
Feb 22, 2019 near Day Valley, CA
Aptos Creek at the end of Aptos Creek Trail. Five Finger Falls is on the side creek to the left that joins Aptos Creek here.
Feb 22, 2019 near Day Valley, CA

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