Bonny Doon Spring, Felton, California, 95018  5/5 (3)

11 people follow this spring.

The spring water from here is amazing, it tasted better than any bottled water around. The spring is on the right side of the road if you are going from Santa Cruz, it is about 50 ft. from the quarry. There is parking on both sides of the road. The TDS is consistently about 35.

Public access
Continuous flow
24/7 access


  1. Beautiful spring! I had it tested for bacteria, and there were none! See the official paperwork in the test results section below.

    If you go to this spring, be very careful, as people FLY around the corners on the road, and there’s not much room between the spring and the street. Otherwise, enjoy!

  2. Best spring ever. Come here weekly. I had it tested for bacteria and there is none. Love this water! The only thing is sometimes the flow is very slow and very low and it takes forever to fill up a jug. Since a year ago, it’s been fine though.



  4. A friend turned me onto this as I am frequenting Bonny Doon much more regularly. I have heard that the flow has been quite slow over the last few drought-impacted years, but after all the rain we’ve had this winter, the spring seems to be flowing quite nicely. Didn’t have any large containers to fill, but a 21 Oz water bottle filled up in about a minute- very similar to a filtered water system in my house. The water tastes delicious, although not as cold as I expected, and the white pipe make it very easy to find. Folks have left mementos and decorations in the little basin that forms beneath the flow of the spring. I’ve seen mountain bikers stop here for a refill and although I can’t be sure, the water is clear… and at the speed it is flowing currently, it seems likely that it is not unhealthy.

  5. I just followed the directions link for this spring. Got freaked out at what seemed to be a dead end at the Felton Quarry.
    Decided to follow directions given in posts. On my way, I found a piped spring spilling into a concrete trough at mile marker 3.30 on Hwy 9, Santa Cruz.
    On the left side of the road

  6. I checked out this spring a couple weeks ago. I had to look around for the pipe where the water is coming out of the hillside, and was disappointed to discover hardly a trickle coming out. I don’t know if this is something that happens to the spring once in a while, but for now, this spring is not viable.

  7. coming into town…would LOVE to fill up several liters of Blue Bottle Love here as I am driving up from Pacific Grove. Wondering if the flow is stronger. Also is the pin now correct on this page? if not, I will go up to Stinson…any advice would be helpful .. i have a limited time frame for my trip…so the more info, the better

  8. Collected water from this spring on 1/15/2016. When I looked at the water a few days later I noticed tiny brownish strings floating around in the glass bottle. Does anyone know what this could be? Thanks

  9. I have gone up to the spring the past 2 weekends here in January 2016 and water drops out, one drop at a time. Would take 2 hours + to fill a 3 gallon jug. Hopefully the spring will start to flow again.

    The pin dropped on the map is shown accurately locationwise. As Mary Anne said in the comments above, it’s not hard to find. Just look for the rock wall. “For those of you still trying to find it, once you pass by the entrance to the quarry on the right (when coming up Empire Grade from Santa Cruz) keep your eyes peeled for a small white pipe coming out of the rock wall. It is not far, about 75 feet or so, as Robert mentioned. There are the shell and rock momentos around the pipe and two bricks to place your water bottle on as it is getting filled.”

  10. Visited this spring for the first time last night. Took a few minutes to find the spring, but glad I found it. It’s one of those “hiding in plain sight” situations.

    took about 24 minutes to fill one gallon, and about 2 hours to fill a 5 gallon tank. TDS PPM ~46, pH ~5.6 though the reader used hasn’t been calibrated in quite some time. Tastes amazing! Will definitely be coming back.

  11. If someone can explain if I can post a photo or even a video of the location I will gladly stop by and take some photos of the position of the spring and how to find it. I can even shoot a video if people would like. I grew up in this area at the old Pine Cabins property off hwy 9 with my uncle Loui and Jenny Ramos so I know the area well.

  12. I just stopped at the spring for the first time after usually just speeding past and it really is just the tiniest of trickles. Are there any other easily accessible springs in the area?

  13. Hi, thanks for the decent directions, drove past it a few times until I *happened* to see it. I moved to SC from Vegas about 11 yrs ago and this was my first time ever drinking straight spring water: I was pretty excited!

    Yes going up Empire Grade, you are getting close once you pass Smith Grade, which is way past the Waldorf school. And then once you see the Granite Co. quarry on the right, stay on Empire Grade, do not leave the road, & slow down….just past that you will notice a pull out on the left, which you should notice is across from a very green lush section emanating from the cliff side. Park in that pull out and you will walk across to the cliff side, watch for cars- it’s on a bend- to spy a little PVC pipe, about an inch in diameter, leaking the cool cool water. I didn’t bring a large jug on this initial trip, but it took about 2 minutes to fill my 16 oz drinking bottle.

    I was so impressed with it and just delighted to find spring water, I will be going back with my big square 3 gallon in-fridge container, because I noticed it sure tastes better COLD.

    I hope to find more springs here in SC county. Thanks and bless you for sharing this information xoxo

  14. My wife and I went up on Friday, June 26th 2015. This was our first time actually collecting water from a Spring! The flow was about a gallon per 20 minutes. The TDS measured at 55. Does anyone know if there is more testing done on this water, and where we can view the results? It seems that lots of people drink from this Spring,so I guess it must be safe and free of bacteria or other nasty things.

  15. Status update: look through comments to find the real location off of high street past UCSC. Visited yesterday and it took 30 minutes yo fill half a gallon. The water is vibrant. The feeling it left in my mouth leads me to believe it is slightly alkaline. I had the same experience I do eating leafy greens. I recommend leaving a gallon or more container and going for a hike.

  16. Just so you know Robert, that Artist Conch you found was harvested in Delaveaga Park and may have been several hundred years old. If you feel like it, make a huge pot of tea with it and bless all your friends.

  17. It looks like someone tried to fix the broken pipe by inserting a smaller one. Alas, I think it needs to be re-piped entirely , as it took 3 hours to drop fill a quarter of a jug. Most of the water now runs down the wall. Big bummer.

  18. I went to the spring today to find that someone broke the pipe and now the water just slides down the mud! Nooooo! Who would do such a thing? Does anyone have the know-how to fix it? Would it be better to pull out the remainder of the broken pipe and put a new one in or fit a smaller pipe inside?

    1. I also noticed the broken pipe last night and was SO disappointed. I still managed to collect water by stacking the bricks and setting my bottle at an angle, but it took twice as long as normal, and my water had dirt in it which I had to strain out when I got home.

      Now that I know this happened at least 10 days ago, I’m guessing the person who broke it has no intention of fixing it. So why they took the piece of the pipe that broke off is beyond me! If anyone knows how to fix it, it would be HUGELY appreciated by all of us who frequent this spring! My friends and I don’t really have the know-how, but we’re going to attempt to fix it by attaching a larger pipe around the current broken one. I’ll let you know if it works out.

  19. I found this right away thanks to Robert’s and Mary Anne’s helpful directions! It is just past the quarry entrance across from a pretty big turn out. It took about an hour to fill up two 3 gallon jugs. I definitely recommend passing the time exploring the trail next to the turn out! Enjoy!

  20. Thanks, Robert, for the great directions. I found it right away. For those of you still trying to find it, once you pass by the entrance to the quarry on the right (when coming up Empire Grade from Santa Cruz) keep your eyes peeled for a small white pipe coming out of the rock wall. It is not far, about 75 feet or so, as Robert mentioned. There are the shell and rock momentos around the pipe and two bricks to place your water bottle on as it is getting filled. It took 15 minutes to fill up a 1-gallon bottle so it gives you plenty of time to walk around and check out the plant life while waiting! To your good health!

  21. A big thanks to Robert for locating this spring. I just went there last week for the first time. The water is fantastic. It took 40 minutes to fill up a 5 gallon jug. I live in Campbell and Google maps took me down Hwy 17 South to Hwy 1 North past UCSC, but this is the long way around. I took the shorter route home via Felton Empire Road to Mt. Hermon Road.
    I had the water tested and the TDS was 55. My tap water in Campbell is 388 and my “filtered” water is 440. Does anyone know what type of spring this is? It is my understanding that flow rate can be seasonal or consistent depending on the type of spring.
    If anyone recommends a well water testing kit or other means to test what is actually in the water, I would like to know.
    If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me 408-472-1201.

    1. It IS available! You need to access it from Empire Grade Rd (just to the left in this satellite photo) I have seen cars pulled over there, filling jugs, and I heard that the quarry ran a line out to the road. I will get more precise details on the mile marker, etc, the next time I head through there, but it is on the quarry side of Empire Grade Rd. If you really need to find it now, you might be able to if you load a satellite photo before driving up there (Bad cell reception) and look for it when you know you are next to the quarry.

    1. HI TT
      I’m in LG too. I’ve hiked around the spot off of the road, not in the quarry. I can’t find it. If it is in the quarry, it will have to be accessed during operating hours. I drove in and talked to the guy in the office, he had no idea what I was talking about, but he didn’t seem to care that I came out or that I was on the property. I think it would be cool to check it out. I’m down to carpool.
      text me at 408-646-5244

  22. I couldn’t find it. Is it exactly where the pin is dropped? I drove through the quarry, they didn’t know about it. Do you have to go into the quarry or do you just pass it?


      I go to this spring on a weekly basis. I see that people are having trouble finding it (I’m looking at you Marla:)

      THE PIN IS IN THE WRONG SPOT (currently)! It is not hard to find, but can be a little tricky…

      Driving north, away from Santa Cruz/UCSC, High Street becomes Empire Grade, just keep going. Pass the Waldorf School, and you will eventually see the Quarry on your right (fenced off, illegal to trespass).

      THE SPRING IS RIGHT AFTER THE QUARRY PULLOUT (maybe 75-100 feet) right on the RIGHT side of the road (if you are headed north, away from UCSC. It’s literally piped right next to the road, NOT way back in the Quarry as the pin here suggests (props to anyone that attempted the difficult task of sneaking into Granite Rock land 🙂

      If Surthrival team could fix it, or let me fix it, that would be great. Someone was dunk off some Daniel Vitalis mead when they posted that pin 😉

      It is piped right from the huge rock wall, next to the road, so I understand why it is easy to miss.

      Please be cautious walking to the spring along the road and as you are filling, cars fly by here…but I always feel safe, especially if I cross the street and let the bottles fill on their own.

      The water is insane here. My tests showed 55 PPM consistently, and relatively low temp, but others say it is lower. Either way, it is delicious, and even though it is somewhat slow flow, you can easily fill all your bottles for the week/month. Plus, you can relax and take a hike right around here 🙂

      I’m surprised this spring doesn’t have more attention on here — it’s hugely popular with the locals. People have been coming here for DECADES, me just a year (as long as I’ve been drinking spring water). I’ve been told that it is consistently lab tested, and often repiped. There are several shrines/crystals/mandalas left here to bless the water. I just found a huge artist conk mushroom with the Flower of Life etched on the surface!

      This whole mountain is a huge network of springwater… on the other side, driving away from Felton on Felton Empire Grade Road, there is one parking pullout and on the left is a substantial underground river that is fed from the same networ. Don’t drink this however, it is dirty from the ground sediment.

      Good luck, thanks Surthrival/FindASpring, and all the H20 Hunters

        1. I haven’t been there yet, but doing a satellite map recon with google maps and street view (you can see the trickle of water running down the side of the road in the street view), I’d say it’s closer to 37.031121,-122.104288. If you move the pin there, it will probably get people close enough to find it.

  23. We tried going to this spring today. Felton Quarry Rd is a restricted usage road. The quarry has a locked gate across it at Empire Grade. It is not 24/7 access and public access is definitely limited.

How to Collect Spring Water

Drinking pure spring water is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Our bodies are over 99% water at the molecular level, so water affects every aspect of our biology. Yet, not all water is created equal. Almost all the bottled spring water available is pasteurized for shelf stability, which neutralizes many of the powerful health benefits such as increased hydrogen, healthy probiotics, and crystalline structure. For more about why unprocessed spring water is the best water to drink, read this.

The best way to guarantee you are getting real unprocessed spring water is to collect it yourself. This is a short and simple guide filled with information about how to gather spring water. We will cover how to find a spring, how to collect the water, how to honor the spring, how to store the water properly and other tips. is the best resource for locating a spring near you. However, not all springs are on the map. First, check the map to see if there is a spring in your local area. If there is, look at the reviews and comments. Has anyone shared helpful information about flow rate or posted a water test result? Is the spring in a pristine area? Do a bit of research and make sure the spring is safe to drink from. If you have any doubt about the purity, don’t risk it and get a water test, HERE. If you don’t see a spring on the map in your area, there still might be some that aren’t listed yet. First, ask the older generation who have lived in your area a long time if they know. You can also ask people in your community who might already get spring water such as people at a health food store or at a farmers market. Another great option is to view A US forest service map, where many springs have been marked. You can view these maps through the Gaia GPS or All Trails hiking apps on your phone. The map overlay you want is USGS Topo. Not all are easily accessible or ideal for drinking, but some are and it can be a fun adventure to find them. We have found over half a dozen great springs this way.

Once you’ve found your spring, figure out how you are going to gather the water. Is it right on the side of the road and easy to access or do you have to hike to it? We recommend storing spring water in glass instead of plastic to preserve the purity of the water. It is better for the environment, your body, and the water. Even BPA free plastic has toxic chemicals that can leach into water and cause health issues. If you do want to use plastic for safety reasons when filling at the spring, we recommend transferring the water to glass as soon as possible. FindASpring is sponsored by Alive Waters, which offers beautiful reusable glass. They have a 2.5 gallon option, which is a convenient size for carrying that isn’t too heavy. They also sell handles that you can use to transport the jugs even more easily. If you have to hike to access the spring, we recommend putting the water jugs into an extra large backpack to hike the water out with ease. We use Osprey packs that hold 2 jugs each. You can also use a wheelbarrow or even a stroller depending on how easy a walk it is.

Filling 2.5 Gallon Alive Waters Jug

When you get to the spring, remember to first give back before you take. Springs are considered sacred in indigenous cultures around the world for their life giving water and also as a connection to the inner earth. A powerful and simple way to give back is to clean up. Is there any trash that needs to be collected? Could you move any dead leaves or sticks to improve the flow rate? Show up in service. Some other wonderful ways to give is with a moment of expressing verbal gratitude, singing songs to the water, offering the water an ethically sourced crystal, a feather, or some other physical gift. Flowers are a popular and beautiful thing to offer, but please be careful to source organic ones as most flowers from the store are sprayed with pesticides and can be toxic to put near a spring. Also, flowers can attract bugs as they decay, so it can be best to offer them to the flowing water directly or a little downstream from the spring head.

When gathering the water, fill the jug as close to the spring head as possible, never gather downstream. Be very careful as wet glass is extremely slippery. Make sure the lid is securely fastened. When transporting the spring water home, the jugs can sometimes slide around the car. Secure them in place or wrap them with towels or something so they don’t crash into each other.

How you store your spring water is essential. It is not pasteurized like spring water from the store, so it will start growing algae if left in direct sunlight. This is good because it means it’s alive! If the water you drink can’t even support the most basic life forms, how do you think it will support your body? Store your water in a cool, dark place such as a dark corner, pantry or closet. The fridge is ideal if you have room. Some people prefer to filter their water through a Berkey filter before drinking, but if the spring is pure, it’s not necessary. We drink our spring water completely unfiltered.

How long the water stays good for depends on how cold a temperature it’s stored at. Spring water is best fresh. We personally do not prefer to drink spring water past 2 weeks old. However, we know other people that will drink it at a month old. It’s great to get in a rhythm where you know how long the water lasts you and put your collection day on the calendar in advance.

I believe that water is calling us to reconnect with her in the deepest way, to gather our own water. Just like our ancestors did. Our ancestors didn’t have fancy water machines. They also didn’t create villages or settle where there was no water. Water was revered as the center of the community and the nodal point around which life could spiral out and take root.

Here’s to restoring the sacred connection with the waters of life.

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  • Water Test Result uploaded by Natalie Profile Photo Natalie on September 13th, 2019
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