618. Five Finger Falls (05/17/08)
Hikers (19): Arlene, David, Diane, Eric F, George, Gerry G, Janice, Kim M, Kristen, Nani, Paul, Peter M, Ross, Sabine, Stacy, Steve, Tempe, Tiffany D, Walter
Distance: 19 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in Aptos
Write-up by Steve
This write-up comes in the form of highlights. . .1-2-3 INCH!
- A section of the Aptos Creek Trail was closed due to a landslide. This was OK, since it added an extra uphill section. Fun!
- The trail down from Loma Prieta Grade Trail to Aptos Creek Road is unmarked. In fact, a sign suggests it's not the trail. I was pretty sure it was right, so waited and directed people down the trail. Since no one came back, I figured it was right or there was a really deep hole along the way. Kristen and Tempe were lagging, but assured me they were not the last, because Kim Ma and Diane M were behind them. I waited quite a while. . .but never saw them.
- Caught up to Kim and Diane later. They had skipped the entire uphill Loma Prieta Grade trail "accidentally".
- Caught up to the third-quartile group near the turn-off to the Big Slide Trail. We successfully made all the right turns (the key one being to go right where the sign-post has been shorn off), and were the first group to Five Finger Falls. I had an idea this was going to be the case based on the number of spider homes that were wrecked en-route.
- We rescued two distressed damsels, who were lost and calling for help, on the way there. (No kidding)
- Peter M showed up just as we were leaving, and we later ran into George (and then many others) on the way back out. They had stories of wrong turns and extra mileage.
- We learned later that George and some others found Middle Finger Falls, a nearby, unremarkable trickle that apparently has a trail going to it. Unfortunately, they missed the actual falls.
- Found David, Kristen, and Tempe sitting down in front of the area on the trail where the route disappears for a while (the area where the previously mentioned damsels likely got lost). Once David and crew had an inkling of the right way to go, they were off to find the fabulous falls.
- Since many people had gotten lost and done extra mileage, the hike felt more difficult than a three to most. . .but the official route was pretty easy. It will be even easier when the Aptos Creek trail opens again.
Kim M's 10th leaf
Stacy's 30th leaf
Steve's 480th leaf
Tempe's 1st leaf
Tiffany D's 1st leaf
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