Epicenter to Five Finger Falls is a 14.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aptos, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 14.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2,290 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

muddy

over grown

no dogs

UPDATE (May 1, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this park is open to local residents, they must abide by the following guidelines: Stay Local: Walk or bike into the park. Do not drive to the park. Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails. Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance. Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Statewide, many parks and beaches are temporarily closed or have very limited access to ensure Californians are abiding and practicing physical distancing. The goals are to make sure people are safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To view the list of closures and what they mean to the public, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. There are views of waterfalls along Aptos Creek.

hiking
closed
off trail
over grown
scramble
washed out
11 hours ago

hiking
closed
scramble
3 days ago

Fun hike! The slide that took out and closed the trail is a bit of a scramble to get across, but definitely doable, especially using the installed ropes. The waterfall at the end is a great spot to take a dip on a warm day. On a Wednesday afternoon, the trail was pretty much empty as soon as we left the fire road. All in all a cool hike.

hiking
closed
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
5 months ago

Yes, I was a lone,(12/29/2019). I took 15 miles hike to see Fiver Fingers Falls. ( The Forest of Nisene Marks). But the trail was closed because of mud slides and trees falling down. I got lost 3 times,( on the way out). First time it took me about an hour to found the rope to get back to the right trail. ( cried). Second time it took me about half an hour and the last time just few minutes, ( it wasn’t scared me any more). I didn't make to the falls.( need 1 more hour). The rain came down so fast. (trail getting so wet and slippery). I loved this hike a lot. I was singing out loud so many many times. Since I had this trail just for Tina and me. I had so much fun. it was challenging me. ( got hurt many many times). So much for me to learning while I’m hiking a lone in the mountain and a long with the creek.( switch back and forth very adventure). I will come back for this falls and spectacular view very soon. Super super soon.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
closed
scramble
washed out
7 months ago

Yes, the trail is closed. However, if you are up for a challenge, it is an epic hike. A GPS is strongly recommended since landslides and washed out parts make it easy to get lost. Ropes have replaced a bridge and this is where you need to be careful. The price is the hike more than the waterfall. If you park at the last parking, it is only a 10 mile hike.

hiking
off trail
10 months ago

the trails are not marked. But, overall nice trail

hiking
10 months ago

This hike turned out to be 20 miles of amazing beauty! The trail is currently close because of the damages from the heavy rains so you have to do a few other trails in order to get there! Amazing things to see and enjoy! Would definitely go back!

hiking
washed out
11 months ago

FYI this trail is marked impassable past the Epicenter ..The trail is beautiful... a few creek crossings , redwood logs that you have to climb over....... a section of trail that slid with a rope to assist you . At the Slide area of the trail there is a rope you had to use to descend into a large slide area .... from there there the trail went down the slide... you have to take the single track straight down to the river.... at the river I crossed and traveled 20 yards down and crossed back..... once back on the trail side of creek ascend the sandy dry creek bed up there is a small single track that will take you up to the trail .... And that is the connection!!!!!!!! Follow trail to falls !!!

hiking
Fri Jun 22 2018

6/22/18: Aptos Creek Trail remains impassable—If you are up for the 15-16 mile round trip detour (my track said 17.9, but I parked as far as the main entrance station), the falls is absolutely beautiful and secluded right now. I stayed for a couple of hours, laying on the smooth rocks and swimming beneath the cascade, which was a nice reward for the grueling trek up. Surprisingly not very buggy, but as always, check yourself and furry friends for ticks! I might do this again soon and make it an overnight by camping at the West Ridge Trail camp. There are a few large downed trees to scramble over and some overgrowth as you get closer to the falls, but my dog and I handled it with no problems. I took Donut Trail to Big Slide to get off the main road on the way up, but I wouldn’t recommend it in the uphill direction, it was killer, narrow ankle twisting single track up a really steep grade. Lots of mountain bikers as usual, but all very friendly and courteous of my off leash dog.

hiking
Mon May 14 2018

Trail is still very much impassable - the bridge work-around is no longer there so there isn’t a way to continue on the trail. If you want to see Five Finger Falls you’ll have to take the long way up and around - you can access the trail and falls further up from Aptos Creek Fire Road to White’s Lagoon Road to Big Slide Trail, but it’s steep and much longer. Note: when they get this trail fixed up you can hike it from Porter Family picnic area in summer which will cut out about 4 miles of what AllTrails says the round trip is.

hiking
Sat Feb 17 2018

The bridge was watched out but someone screwed on some boards so it was possible to climb up the fallen bridge ( a little shady but fun if you don’t fall) the rest of the hike was challenging but some really unique scenery. Worth it but not for rookies.

hiking
Mon Aug 21 2017

This trail is not dog friendly. We were turned away at the entrance. They have maybe 2 miles of "trails" that are dog friendly. They also said that we couldn't hike up this trail because it was "closed" despite individuals recording their hikes on all trails. The park ranger even hesitated in giving us our money back even though we had just given it to him. State parks are terrible if you have fur children. And this is just a fire road anyway... would not recommend.

hiking
Fri Aug 18 2017

The longest hike I've done yet, it was a little tough but I LOVED EVERY MOMENT of it!!! If you're bringing rookies, maybe rent bikes so it doesn't take as long. Other than that, it's pretty awesome!

hiking
Sat Apr 22 2017

The log bridge with cable was washed out (as of 4/16/17), so the only way to get to the falls was to stay on the fire road going north west, and going east towards the falls (and back the same way) . The trail was overgrown in several places and quite slushy since it was raining at the time. The waterfall was gushing, and as was the creek (I had to cross in knee deep water in some parts) . If you've parked on the other side of Aptos creek, west of 'Marcel's Forest', there are a few unmarked trails around there as well, so you could lose more time around there. Overall, still a very fun hike.

hiking
Sun Jan 22 2017

Dogs cannot use all the trails. Only a selected few like the fire road.

hiking
Sun Jan 01 2017

Great hike. It ended up being 14.5miles round trip. There are two trails that are washed out one of them being on a side of a cliff (sketchy but we made it).

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