Hike the Crystal Springs Trail Loop

Crystal Springs Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Brennan McDonald

This beautiful loop hike in Huddart County Park allows hikers to witness giant second-growth redwoods, walk over trickling streams, and explore forests of pacific madrone and manzanita.

This is a great hike for any season of the year, with rushing streams during the winter, wildflowers in the spring, and cool, shaded canyons during the summer.

Starting from near the Zwierlein Picnic area, take the Crystal Springs to the left into the redwood forest. Stay straight at the next trail intersection as the path slowly drops into a deeply wooded canyon. After winter rains, even before you arrive at the bottom of McGarvey Gulch, you will be able to hear the sound of a rushing stream. Cross the bridge and stay to the left to remain on the Crystal Springs trail, which now climbs uphill out of the gulch. At the intersection with the Chaparral Trail, turn left and continue for the next 1.2 miles on the same path. Stay straight as the trail turns into the Sprout trail until you reach the Richards Road Trail, on which you will climb to the maximum elevation of your hike. Turn left on this fire road, and you will pass by a series of group camps that will be filled with people during the summer. Remain on this for the next 1.2 miles, climbing through redwoods, pacific madrones, and oaks as the elevation increases. Turn left at the intersection with the Summit Springs trail, and then quickly make another left onto the Crystal Springs Trail (once again). You will go downhill on this path for 0.8 miles through a similar mixture of trees as before. At the intersection with the Dean Trail, turn right and soon you will enter a densely wooded canyon full of redwoods. The bridge will mark McGarvey flat, at which hikers cross the same stream as earlier. Stay on the dean trail even as you cross paths with the Archery Fire Road to slowly make your way down the wooded hillside. After about 1.3 miles, turn right onto the Campground Trail, bringing you into the maze of Huddart Park's picnic areas. From this point, navigate back to your parked car. 

Distance

5.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1300 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Running, Hiking

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Santa Cruz North / Costanoa KOA

Pescadero, California

From $120/night

Serene Redwood Retreat

Ben Lomond, California

From $100/night

Walkabout

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA

1186 San Andreas Road

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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