For those who really want to see winter waterfalls but don’t want to work too hard to do it, you’re in luck. Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Morgan Hill, is Uvas Canyon County Park—a compact, tree-filled delight with picnic tables, hiking trails, and a three-fold waterfall bonanza bunched into a 1-mile loop along Swanson Creek. The Waterfall Loop Trail is a short, sweet stroll that takes hikers past three signature attractions: Upper Falls, Basin Falls, and Black Rock Falls. Lichen-covered trees and rocks form a lush backdrop, and wooden bridges add some fine old-fashioned whimsy. Park yourself under the cliff at Basin Falls, break out your picnic, and make an afternoon of it. Three’s a charm.
From Hwy 101 in Morgan Hill, exit Bailey Ave. and go west 3 miles to McKean Rd. Go left on McKean and drive 6 miles (McKean turns into Uvas Rd.). Turn right onto Croy Rd. and go 4.5 miles to the park. The Waterfall Loop Trail starts at the Black Oak Group Area. Dog-friendly!