Back to all Hikes



  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming

Uvas Canyon County Park Information

This loop hike leads you to Black Rock Falls, Basin Falls and Upper Falls. Swanson Creek flows through the dry season most years, but visiting in the spring when the creek's at high flow is the best time to experience each of these falls.

Watch for:

Along the way, look for quail, deer, vultures, woodpeckers, hawks and wild turkeys.

Hiking Details for Uvas Canyon Waterfall Hike

Distance: 3.5 miles

Elevation change: 800 feet

Hiking time: 2-3 hours

Trail surface: Packed dirt

Best Season: All year, but winter and spring are best for the falls

Managing agency: Santa Clara County Parks

Parking lot location: Click here to open on Google Maps

Overview: From the day use area, head to the Waterfall Loop Trail, Contour Trail, and then veer left on the Alec Canyon Trail to finish the loop. You’ll pass three falls along the way — Black Rock Falls, Basin Falls and Upper Falls — before returning to the visitor’s center.

For a shorter hike and to still see all the waterfalls, stick to the Waterfall Loop Trail. It meanders along Swanson Creek for a mile and through the most heavily trafficked and scenic section of this park.

Advanced reservations and $6 day-use vehicle passes are required seven days a week (including weekends and holidays). Your reservation confirmation must be printed and placed on your vehicle’s dashboard while parked inside the park. To make a reservation during normal business hours, call Santa Clara County Parks at (408) 355-2201. You can also visit their online reservation system and select Day Passes:

Directions to Uvas Canyon County Park

From Highway 101, take Bernal Road west. Turn left on Santa Teresa Boulevard. Travel south 3 miles and turn right onto Bailey Avenue. Follow Bailey Road 2.3 miles to McKean Road. Turn left onto McKean Road (McKean Road becomes Uvas Road 2.2 miles south of Bailey Road). From Bailey Road travel 6 miles south on McKean/Uvas Road and turn right onto Croy Road. Continue 4.4 miles on Croy Road, through Sveadal, to reach the Park entrance.

More About Uvas Canyon Park

Uvas Canyon Park contains 7.2 miles of hiking trails among its 1,147 acres, located on the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is an integral part of our regional wildlife habitat, something we are actively working to protect more of in the South Bay.


Get our free hiking guide to explore beautiful POST-protected lands.

Download Now
Scroll to top