Spring time is a great time to check out waterfalls. I have a soft spot for waterfalls, and took advantage of the lovely weather this spring to take the dogs for two hikes to see falls at their peak.
And therefore, F is for the Falls we saw. I’ll be writing about our experiences with these two hikes.
To be honest, California is going through a drought right now, and even though it’s spring now, we haven’t had a lot of rain. The falls weren’t as impressive as they should be, but the hikes were still very enjoyable. Both are leashed hikes.
The first hike we did was Fairway Falls in Novato, CA.
The entrance to the trail was a little hard to find as there isn’t any real signpost. You basically walk in passing by a set of closed gates that makes you think you are trespassing. But you really aren’t.
The information I read online warned of crossing bubbling creeks and getting wet. But because of the drought, the creek barely had any water in it. We did walk across on a plank, and that was exciting. But there was no danger in getting our shoes wet.
Once we crossed the creek, the trail path was clear. It’s basically one way up and one way down, so there isn’t much likelihood of getting lost.
The beginning part of the trail is unshaded, but midway through you enter the woods and it’s shaded all the way until you hit Fairway Falls. This part of the trail is really nice, and it would be even lovelier is the creek alongside had more water.
The falls is located in a little clearing and very accessible. You can walk across the rocky pool and go right up and touch the water, and even stand underneath it if you want.
This was the first waterfall QQ and Chyler encountered. And you can tell they didn’t like it. It’s probably the sound of the falling waters. QQ is usually very good about posing wherever we put him at, but he refused to stay still when we tried to put him on a rock near the waterfall. He kept jumping around the rocky pool and tasting the waters in the pool. Chyler refused to even go near the waterfall. We ended up having them pose on a rock that is outside of the pool.
I guess this was far away enough and both doggies were willing to sit and stay for some treats.
Fairway Falls is basically the end of the trail and we turned back after spending about 30 minutes taking photos. The trail used to continue up where there’s supposed to be more waterfalls above. There’s several signs saying that part of the trail has since closed as it’s not safe anymore. We did see several groups of people disregarding the signs and fencing and continuing up anyway but we decided not to chance it.
Overall, we were a little disappointed that Fairway Falls wasn’t as impressive as it should be due to the drought. The trail itself wasn’t very long either, it took us maybe 30 minutes plus to get to the waterfalls, so the whole trip was about 1.5 hours (because we spent so much time at the waterfalls). But it was a pretty hike and a good experience overall.
The second Falls Hike we did was Uvas Canyon.
Uvas Canyon County Park is located on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We did this hike when we were driving to Carmel for my birthday getaway. There is a $6 fee per car for park entry. There’s six to seven miles worth of a trail within Uvas Canyon, but we opted for the fairly easy and flat 1 mile Waterfall Loop trail because we were mainly there just to see the waterfalls.
There are multiple small waterfalls along the trail before you get to the more impressive Upper Falls and Basin Falls.
The trail itself is very lovely. We went in early spring and it’s mostly shaded all the way.
Part of the loop is a big flat trail that is extremely accessible. It leads all the way up to Upper Falls with a slight detour off to Basin Falls. You can choose to go up and down this way instead of taking the loop. To take the loop, you turn off near the beginning of the trail, and cross a creek. This part of the path is narrow and not as well maintained, but still very doable.
The trail is quite rustic, and we came across interesting bits of scenery, as well as this huge trunk that could fit QQ inside.
It brings you all the way almost to the Upper Falls.
This is QQ and Chyler’s second encounter with waterfalls. The falls here aren’t as accessible as Fairway Falls, and we couldn’t go all the way up and touch the waters. Perhaps it’s because of that, or perhaps because it’s their 2nd experience, QQ and Chyler weren’t as nervous as they were.
There’s another falls along the waterfall loop called the Black Rock Falls, we missed it because it required another detour that we didn’t see until we were back at the start of the loop. There’s also a possibility of hiking a more strenuous 5 miles hike to Triple Falls, but this requires a 1.4k elevation.
Overall, we very much enjoyed our fall hikes and look forward to next spring, where we can check out more Falls hiking trails in the area, or perhaps attempt the more strenuous hikes we skipped this year!