Spring Time Hiking at Basin Falls ~ Uvas Canyon County Park

Uvas Canyon County Park is a very small but beautiful park in the South Bay.  Located south of San Jose in Morgan Hill, this park contains about 6 miles of hiking, four waterfalls and creeks for everyone to enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams.
On this occasion, I had a arranged a #HIRL (Hangout In Real Life) with a Google+ friend +Paul McWilliams and his family, and invited friends of mine.  Three - 2 year olds, one - 4 year old and five parents!! I was the only solo parent hiking with two kids, since my husband was riding the Tierra Bella Century that day! What a better way to spend the day hiking to waterfalls and meeting up with new and old friends.  It may have been the first +Google+ Toddler #HIRL history!

As hiking parents of little ones we knew that our mileage was not going to be long, so we aimed for the Waterfall Loop and if still felt energetic we were going to head to Triple Falls. Granted the latter never happened!

Waterfall Loop along Swanson Creek
Most of the hike was an uphill towards the waterfalls but it was not a difficult uphill since my two year old daughter hiked most of the way up. Still for toddler-carrying parents any uphill is a sweaty trek! We hiked counter-clockwise on Waterfall Loop, one side follows along the creek closely and the other side is a plain fire road trail. The creek-side trail, had actual creek crossings and bridges to walk across.  Two great features to keep kids hiking - water and bridges!

Creek Crossing!! ~ Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams 

Bridges Make a Hike Fun ~ Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams 
During a little carrier break, my daughter and I walked over to look at the flowers and she screamed, "Snake!!" and jumped backwards on the trail.  I only saw branches until a heard something rustle by my feet and saw something slither!! Of course I screamed and jumped back to where my daughter was standing but as I took a closer look it was a lizard carrying another lizard by the neck, I thought maybe they were mating but the lizard was definitely biting the other lizards neck.

After our lizard encounter, we continued on the spur and in a few minutes we were at Basin Falls which brought excitement to everyone, especially the little ones. There were lots of smiles from all the kids and parents when we saw the falls.  We tried to "relax" during our break at Basin Falls, but as always with kids, they are always trying to "not" fall into the water.

Chasqui Mom and niƱos!! Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams 

Splashing at Basin Falls!! 
Basin Falls Spur - Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams 
There was lots of splashing with sticks, rock throwing, investigating the water basin at Basin Falls and earthworms that came out out from under the leaves.  Lunch was eaten and after my daughter decided to not "accidentally" fall into the water, we packed up and headed back to Waterfall Loop (Fire road trail side).

Heading back! Photo Courtesy of +Paul McWilliams 

We took another spur to Black Rock Falls, which wasn't as impressive as Basin Falls but the rocks were black!


Most of the kids were done hiking by then so we hurried back to the parking lot.  Thankfully the rest of the trail was downhill so everyone was able to hike fast to the cars.


Trip Report Details

Who: Three families - Five Adults, Four Toddlers
Family Friendly: Moderate
Mileage: 2.8 miles roundtrip



Elevation Change: 586 ft
Trails: Counter Clockwise Waterfall Loop, Basin Fall & Black Rock Falls Spurs



Time: Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes (moving time)
Method: Toddlers Partial Hiking/Carriers



There aren't too many waterfalls in the San Francisco Bay Area, but cheers to family hiking and waterfalls that we do have!!


Waterfalls are great for family hikes! What is your favorite waterfall hike?

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Related Posts and Links:

  1. Santa Clara County Parks - Uvas Canyon
  2. Chasqui Mom: South Bay Hiking