The waterflow during summer

Five Finger Falls is one of the two prominent waterfalls located in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and it can be reached by walking on Aptos Creek Fire Road to the Aptos Creek Trail, and then following that all the way to the falls. It is a 9 to 10 mile round trip hike when Nisene's winter gate is open and an 11 to 12 mile hike when the gate is closed. It has also been known as Aptos Creek Falls and Monte Vista Falls.

The Aptos Creek Trail begins at the bottom of the incline just after you cross Aptos Creek and follows the abandoned Southern Pacific railroad right of way, terminating at what was once the second town of Monte Vista. See map on page 38 of California Central Coast Railways, Rick Hamman for the back in time map and some nice photos. After passing the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, you will climb a bit and then cross a large hand made log bridge traversing a large slide that for a time made the trail difficult to run. From there, you will climb a long series of switchbacks after which the grade is moderate.

Less than a mile from the falls, there is the aptly named Big Slide Trail that takes you back to the Aptos Creek Fire Road and optionally up to the Sand Point overlook. Returning from the falls and taking the fire road is very hard on the knees especially the drop down from the Top of the Incline.

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