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Alec Canyon Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.7 (3)

This trail climbs out of Swanson Creek Valley to visit view points, other creek valleys, a waterfall, and redwoods.


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Map Key

1.4

Miles

2.3

KM

Point to Point

1,568' 478 m

High

1,176' 358 m

Low

476' 145 m

Up

220' 67 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open 8 a.m. to sunset.

Reservations are required on the weekend due to limited parking and traffic on a one lane road. See the park website for up to date information on how to get a reservation. sccgov.org/sites/parks/park…

Description

Alec Canyon Trail starts from Waterfall Loop Road which is really a trail. From the parking area, take the park road towards the campground. Watch carefully for a sign for Waterfall Loop Trail on the left, indicating the Waterfall Loop Road trailhead. If while you are on the park road, you go over Swanson Creek on a bridge, you went too far. Going left at the Waterfall Loop Trail sign from the park road, take Waterfall Loop Road for less than a tenth of a mile, to the Alec Canyon Trail junction marked by a signpost. Turn left onto Alec Canyon Trail.

Alec Canyon Trail begins in the densely wooded Swanson Creek Valley and begins climbing. In places this climb is steep and there are several switchbacks. A wooded ridge rises to the right of the trail, and the forested hillside drops off on the left. As altitude is gained, views of the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains can be seen through breaks in the trees. Around the 0.4 mile mark, the first distant views of the Diablo Range emerge. The Diablo Range is across the Santa Clara Valley that is beyond the eastern Santa Cruz Mountains. The Contour Trail junction is reached at the 0.5 mile mark.

After passing Contour Trail, the climb eases. Alec Canyon Trail continues to wind through the woods and low brush, with great views to the left. The eastern Santa Cruz Mountains with the Diablo Range in the far distance can be seen. The trail's high point is reached at the 0.85 mile mark and there is a viewing bench here making for a great place to take a break. The trail then veers right and begins to gradually descend a wooded ridge side that rises to the right of the trail. Here the trail is heading down into a creek valley. At the 1.05 mile mark, a spur trail—Triple Falls Trail—is reached. Triple Falls Trail continues upstream into this creek valley to find Triple Falls.

Passing Triple Falls Trail, Alec Canyon Trail veers left, crosses the creek, and heads downstream along the creek that is to the left, below the trail. After about a tenth of a mile, the trail heads away from the creek to go around another wooded ridge and head into another creek valley. The woods here are dominated by tall, stately redwoods. These creek valleys are deep and steep. After rounding the end of this ridge at about the 1.2 mile mark, the trail begins to climb gently as it heads upstream into this creek valley.

Alec Canyon Trail ends after 1.4 miles at a picnic table deep in the redwoods of Uvas Canyon County Park.

Flora & Fauna

Some wild turkeys. There is a variety of vegetation along this trail as it goes through varied terrain: dense, moist creek side vegetation (ferns, mosses, etc), wooded ridge side vegetation (mazanita and other trees and bushes), and creek valley vegetation that includes redwoods and douglas firs.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#22878

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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4 Star
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3 Star
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Trail Rankings

#2,338

in California

#22,878

Overall
5 Views Last Month
266 Since Apr 17, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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33%
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67%
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Photos

Granuja Falls along Swanson Creek.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains to the east, with the the Diablo Range across Santa Clara Valley in the far distance, seen from high on Alec Canyon Trail.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Alec Canyon Trail heads into a deep creek valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Uvas Canyon County Park.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Nearby Santa Cruz Mountains to the northwest, seen from Alec Canyon Trail as it climbs steep switchbacks at the beginning.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Stately redwoods along the upper reaches of Alec Canyon Trail.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Sunlit woods along Alec Canyon Trail.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA

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Check-Ins

May 10, 2019
Michelle Kiang
Nov 7, 2018
Joshua Lanam
5mi
Apr 17, 2018
Joan Pendleton