Saturday Morning Hidden Waterfall Hike

Yessss! The short-term forecast for the Long Ridge area is for sunny weather in the 65-70 degree F range. So make plans to see the hidden waterfall (Peters Creek waterfall) in high flow. Hopefully! We've led summer hikes over the last three years, but the flow has been understandably low. Now that it has rained seriously, the Peters Creek basin at the top of the north Santa Cruz mountains is full and flowing over the impressive Peters Creek waterfall. We're intending to take photos. Come have fun. Bring your camera, and some food, and water to stay hydrated. 

The hike is not strenuous. It is a three mile round trip (1.5 miles in and 1.5 miles out), and only 300 feet of elevation change. With advance notice, we can drop you off at Portola Heights Road, which will halve the length of the hike. But the hike will likely be soggy and muddy. Wet feet, muddy shoes and pants, slipping and falling on your butt, will be recreational hazards. Don't RSVP if you are not willing to do a load of laundry afterwards.

The final stretch is an unmaintained trail. There are three small side creeks that will need to be crossed. No footbridges.

This event will be moved to the next day, or the next week, if it is raining. Even if it does not rain, the tree canopy of fir, madrone and oak may be dripping for the last half of the trek. So a waterproof outer layer is recommended, and an umbrella or hat.

Be sure to RSVP yes and no. If you can't make the Saturday but can make the Sunday, RSVP no so that you will hear if the Saturday event is moved to Sunday. Date-change notices will be sent to both the yes RSVPs and the no RSVPs. The date will change if rain is forecast.

NEW currently scheduled dates:  
Saturday morning, February 6th, 11:00 AM.
Sunday afternoon, February 7th, 1:30 PM.

The trailhead is the Grizzly Flat parking lot (on the northeast side of Skyline Blvd) or the Peters Creek parking lot (on the southwest side of Skyline Blvd).

If you click on the map link, or look it up on an online map program, make sure you see the parking lots and trail names. The trails are not “in” La Honda, despite the mailing address of the location on Skyline Blvd.  The trails are part of the Long Ridge Open Space Preserve, which is just south of the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve.

It'll take roughly 30-60 minutes to get to the trailhead from the flatlands of the peninsula and south bay, and up to 2 hours if you are coming from the north and east bay areas. Map it out so that you won't be late. If you are late, you can hike fast to catch up. The first half of the hike is on well maintained trails that are marked with good signs.

If you want extra security in finding the location, consider carpooling or caravanning up the hill from my house in Cupertino, 21821 Monte Court. We'll be going up Redwood Gulch Road, which is a little-known route to Highway 9.

One-page hiking directions and a map are also provided in the “Photo” section of this Meetup group.

Hiking Directions:  Go west from the Grizzly Flat parking lot or the Peter's Creek / Long Ridge trailhead. The trail used to be named the Grizzly Flat Trail (not the North or South Grizzly Flat Trails, which are on the wrong side of the highway), but according to Google Maps it now appears to be called the Peters Creek Trail. At the bottom of the hill, turn right (north) onto the Ridge Trail. 30 feet after crossing Portola Heights Road (gated), turn left onto the Peters Creek Trail (formerly called the Not-a-Trail Trail). [Honestly! There was a sign and everything.] This trail will take you back down into the Peters Creek Canyon, to an overgrown driveway. Turn sharp right onto the driveway and continue west to a former homestead site, where there is a small, square, exposed concrete foundation (which is clearly visible on satellite images [[masked], [masked]]). Continue straight through the clearing to re-find the Peters Creek Trail, which follows Peters Creek on the north side of the creek. The trail peters out at the waterfall.

OK.  Sorry.

If you are late and trying to catch up, turn left onto Portola Heights Road and take the next right (sharp right) onto the overgrown driveway. It's faster.

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