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Contour Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (5)

This is a trail through sunlit woods that crosses creeks, deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


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Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.4

KM

Point to Point

1,795' 547 m

High

1,509' 460 m

Low

308' 94 m

Up

317' 97 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

28%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek

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.

Description

To find Contour Trail from the parking area, take the road towards the campground, and turn left off the road onto the Waterfall Loop Road trail. After about 0.1 mile on Waterfall Loop Road, go left onto Alec Canyon Trail. Contour Trail is on the right, 0.5 miles from the turnoff onto Alec Canyon Trail.

Contour Trail is a wooded, hillside trail that winds in and out of creek valleys for about 1.5 miles. The hillside drops off steeply to the right (north), and rises to the left (south). Short ups and downs add to the fun of this trail as it climbs gradually. Four seasonal creeks are crossed in the first 0.6 miles. In most places the woods are rather dense so views are limited. However, where the trees do thin, one can see across the Swanson Creek Valley to the high ridge on the other side of Swanson Creek.

At the 1.1 mile mark, Contour Trail crosses the fifth and final creek—Swanson Creek—that flows year round. After crossing Swanson Creek, the trail descends as it follows the creek downstream to Upper Falls. Here at Upper Falls, Contour Trail ends at Waterfall Loop Road.

Flora & Fauna

The woods are primarily manzanita and oak, with a few large Douglas firs, other trees, and brush.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#10472

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,011

in California

#10,472

Overall
3 Views Last Month
362 Since Oct 29, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Upper Falls.
Apr 18, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
Knibbs Knob, a high point along a ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is seen through the trees along Contour Trail.
Oct 29, 2018 near Day Valley, CA
The sunlit woods with manzanita and other trees along the hillsides of Contour Trail.
Oct 29, 2018 near Day Valley, CA

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Check-Ins

Sep 14, 2019
vic mik
Feb 17, 2019
Susan Suesser
Dec 30, 2018
Bill Lynch
Dec 2, 2018
Lisa Incata
easier because we went downhill from the waterfall loop trail
Nov 7, 2018
Joshua Lanam
5mi
Oct 26, 2018
Joan Pendleton