Five Fingers Loop

The striking markings of the bufflehead are a common sight on Five Fingers Loop. Photo by Bill Bouton via Wikimedia.

1.5 miles; 1 hour; easy
An easy foray into a corner of the park favored by avian life.

First Day Fun Photo Contest

Hello, 2014! Photo by Eric Miraglia.

This New Year's Day, eat a good breakfast, take some aspirin and document your First Day fun on Hilltromper.

Berry Creek Falls from Waddell Beach

The lower half of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail—basically a fire road between Waddell Beach and Berry Creek Falls — follows West Waddell Creek. Hilltromper photo.

12 miles RT; 600 ft elevation gain; 4-5 hours; moderate to strenuous
Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail from Waddell Beach to Berry Creek Falls Trail in Big Basin

Loch Lomond: Five Reasons to Go Now

Paddleboats are available at Loch Lomond for $5 an hour (two-hour minimum). Hilltromper photo.

It's the perfect time to acquaint yourself with this gem.

Emma McCrary Trail

2.2 miles; starting elevation 100 ft; max elevation 460 ft.

Quail Hollow Ranch

Quail Hollow hikers entering a 'forbidden area' zone. Photo by Hilltromper.

This hidden gem is a hotbed of biodiversity.

Arana Gulch

A remnant of coastal prairie, Arana Gulch has wild grasses galore. Photo by Garrett McAuliffe.

Remnant of an ancient ecosystem in the middle of town.

Big Basin State Park

Cali's first state park is still one of the best.

Hot Day Cures

Tom 'n' Jerry and Esther Williams keep their cool in 'Dangerous When Wet,' a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film from 1953.

Five ways to stay cool in a Santa Cruz heat wave.

The Emma McCrary Trail Rocks

Mountain biker on Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip in Santa Cruz, California. Hilltromper photo.

It sweeps and swoops along the hillside above Highway 9 and the river for 1.5 miles, and it's probably going to make you feel happy when you go there.