Silicon Valley environs between Felton & Santa Cruz, about 45" from Los Altos/San Jose
● Eagle, Rengstorff
● YMCA (El Camino)
Info below excerpted from various websites:
"SAN LORENZO RIVER...Garden of Eden...one of three inland "sun spots" on the San Lorenzo River, in Henry Cowell state Park between Santa Cruz and Felton...To find these easy-to-miss swimming holes, look for cars pulled over on Highway 9, next to the state park...[one]…about 50 yards upstream from the main [Garden of Eden] beach at the foot of the trail...there are many more…
Improved directions: From Santa Cruz, drive north on Highway 9 and look for turnouts on the right side of the road.
· (1) The first, a wide turnout with a tree in the middle, is just north of Santa Cruz. Rincon Fire Trail starts about where the tree is, according to reader Robert Carlsen. The many forks in the trail all lead to the river, down toward Big Rock Hole and Frisbee Beach; Carlsen says the nest area off this turnout can be reached by bearing left until the end of the trail.
· (2) Farther up the highway, 1.3 miles south of the park entrance, is the second and biggest turnout, leading to Garden of Eden Beach. Park and follow the dirt fire road across the railroad tracks. Look for a sign with park rules and hours and, to the left, a trash can. Ox Trail, which can be slippery, then winds down steeply to the creek. "At the stream, the path continues to the left, where there are several spots for wading and sunbathing," Carlsen says. The main beach is only 75 feet long and 30 feet wide but fairly sandy.
· (3) Carlsen's favorite hole is accessible from a trail that starts at the third turnout, a small one on the right side of the road, about 4.5 miles from Highway 1 and just before Felton. A gate marks the start of the path. The trail bends left. When you come to the road again, go right. At the railroad tracks, go right. From here, look for the river down the hill on your left; many paths lead to it." OR BETTER, Cliff's "checked-it-out" instructions for this swimming hole, renamed "Huck Finn's Hollow". If you're coming from Felton going South on Hwy 9, you'll pass thru town, the last business on the left is Toll House Resort, just past it, then around the bend is the trailhead parking area. There are 2 gates, pass thru the one with small park signs, then walk down to, & make a right at, the railroad tracks, walk along them until on your left are several small park signs (one reads "No Diving"), take that trail to the riverbank beach swim hole(s), there's 3, center one (with fallen log "diving board"), is surrounded on either side, & separated by tiny rapids, with an additional upper & lower swimming hole.
(3) "Huck Finn's Hollow", just past Toll House Resort
(map red pin) on San Lorenzo River
(lat: 37.03539 lon: -122.06458)
(2) (map label, center: "Garden of Eden")
(1) (map label, bottom right: "Big Rock Hole")
NASA World Wind Satellite 3D Perspective
From Los Altos/San Jose To Felton Toll House Resort (4700 Hwy. 9, Felton, CA 95018)
Total Time/Distance: ~ 45 minutes/35 miles
(Abbr.: S. (South) X. (Exit) R./L. (Right/Left turn))
S.280 > S.CA-85 > S.CA-17 > X.R. Mt Hermon Road > R.Graham Hill Rd. > L.CA-9 > 4700 Highway 9 Toll House > Huck Finn's Hollow trailhead