Hike Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP

Redwood City, California

4.6/5
based on 9 reviews

Details

Distance

7 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Ali Kim

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.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app

Features

Fitness
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Starts at the top, goes down to the creek, and you end with a hard uphill. Fun but the end is tough.

This was maybe my 3rd or 4th hike ever, and I'm glad it was because it helped fuel my love for hiking! It's got great views of the trees on mountains when you're near the top, and closer to the bottom you can find soooo many banana slugs.

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

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!

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)!

This trail is great if you want to see a little bit of everything Nor Cal has to offer: creeks, redwood forests, hilly trails, hot and sunny plateaus and views of the ocean. Definitely start going to the top by parking at the west side parking lot. This trail is probably more for intermediate hikers than beginners though.

I love this place! Its not overly crowded like most hiking spots. You get in a great workout and experience a beautiful scenery on your way up. Although the parking lot is super tiny, you can park alongside the road and you'll be just fine. Bring water and a flashlight if you start your hike late. The giant redwoods tower over, making it look darker than it really is.

This is a beautiful hike in the Bay Area and rarely crowded. No dogs are allowed, and the second part is uphill so bring a snack and water for the way back up.

Unfortunately dogs aren't allowed in Purisima, but there are plenty of preserves in the area where they are! Here's a a good list of other possibilities: http://www.openspace.org/activities/ideas_for_dogs.asp

Does anyone know if this place is dog friendly?

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Purdy Pharis Run

Mountain Bike at Purisima Creek

Hike Whittemore Gulch at Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP

Hike the Purisima Creek Trail and Craig Britton Trail Loop

Hike the Crystal Springs Trail Loop

Hike the Methuselah and El Corte De Madera Creek Loop