Hike Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

Distance

7 Miles

Activities

Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Ali Kim

Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

A good workout with great views of the California coastline. This should take 2-4 hours (depending on pace).

There are two places to park for this specific loop- the main parking area on Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) and a smaller parking lot on the western end of the park. I would recommend parking at whichever is closest. Find directions to both on Openspace.org.

From the main parking lot, the trail is easy to find. Take it down (there are technically two ways to go- one 0.3mi long and the other 0.5mi- but both lead to the same place). Once you get to the trail junction, turn left and follow signs to the Harkins Ridge Trail. The trail is flat for about half a mile and then begins to descend. This stretch also offers great views out toward the ocean! After descending about 1000ft, you'll enter a dense redwood forest and walk alongside a stream for a bit before arriving at the other parking lot (which has a restroom if needed). From here, take the Whittemore Gulch Trail back up the ridge. This part is relatively taxing as you climb up an incline for about 2 miles (ascending the 1000ft you lost coming down). If you want an even better workout, jog up! The incline is steep enough that you're working hard, but it's completely doable. After 2 miles, follow signs to the North Ridge Trail, and take that (enjoying the views along the way) until you reach the trail junction you started at. From there just climb back up to the parking lot!

If you park in the western most parking lot you can follow the same loop, just with the uphill portion first (take the Whittemore Gulch Trail to the North Ridge Trail then to the Harkins Ridge Trail and back)!

Additionally, there are a bunch of other trails in this preserve; feel free to explore a little! The trail map can be found on the website listed above, or at the main parking lot.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $120/night

Serene Redwood Retreat

Ben Lomond, California

From $100/night

Walkabout

Santa Cruz, California

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Stunning Beauty

Absolutely magnificent getaway from the city! A pristine, non-touristy place to refresh your body and spirit!

Maybe Not For Beginners

I wanted to get some friends into hiking, and so I picked out the spot thanks to it being so local and expansive. The trail itself is amazing with a great variety of slopes... but wow can it be quite grueling. Some challenging inclines can wear beginners out quick. I’ll be returning but probably solo for a while!

Great Workout

Did this loop in reverse from the skyline parking lot and the way back up really gives your legs (and lungs) a good workout. I agree with a previous reviewer, this loop is probably more intermediate, but it's doable for a beginner if you remember to bring water and take your time. Great wildlife as well! Saw many banana slugs, lizards, and even a newt and snake on trail (so watch your step)!

Distance

7 Miles

Activities

Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Ali Kim

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Mountain Bike at Purisima Creek

Adventure

Purdy Pharis Run

Adventure

Hike the Purisima Creek Trail and Craig Britton Trail Loop

Adventure

Hike the Crystal Springs Trail Loop

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

gear

Patagonia's First Ever Product Collaboration: Danner & Patagonia Wading Boots

Debuted at Summer Outdoor Retailer 2018, Patagonia's newest fly fishing products are now available.

activities

The World's Gnarliest Bike Race: 1000+ Miles on the Silk Road

"How tough it will be cannot be understated, but as Mike Hall once said, 'Nothing that’s worth an...

photography

How Landscape Photographers Can Improve at Leave No Trace

We often talk about “leaving no trace” in the outdoors. You don't take anything from the wilderne...

More Stories