Mountain Bike at Purisima Creek

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Added by Jake Young

Fast, Flowy Single Track Through Lush and Dense Redwood Forest. Distance: 10-20 Miles. Elevation: 1500 - 2000 ft. Banana Slugs. Ocean Views.

This beautiful mountain bike ride can be started at the Purisima Creek Road Trailhead or on Skyline Boulevard. There are many trails in the Purisisma Creek Redwoods, but Whittemore Gulch is by far the most beautiful and fun single track to descend on. If you are starting from Skyline Boulevard, it is often the better option to park at the trailhead near the beginning of the Purisima Creek Trail. From here, ride north on Skyline Boulevard to the trailhead at the beginning of the Whittemore Gulch Trail and North Ridge Trail. At the trailhead, take the North Ridge trail for approximately a half of a mile. This portion of the ride is pretty steep and can be incredibly muddy. The steep section ends at an intersection with Harkins Ridge Trail. Continue on North Ridge Trail until you see the beginning of the Whittemore Gulch Trail. This trail has sweeping views of the surrounding hills as well as the ocean. It then descends into an extremely lush redwood forest. This flowy single track keeps descending for another 2.5 miles until the Purisima Creek Road Trailhead.

To extend this ride, it is fun to bike down Purisma Creek Road to the Ocean and check out the Purisima-Cowell Coastal Trail. This is a pretty awesome coastal single track that is only open on the weekends.

If you choose not to go to the ocean, you must now start the arduous climb up the Purisima Creek Trail which will take you back to where you parked your car. This is a relentless climb and should not be tried by the beginning mountain biker.

It is also advisable to bring layers as the weather can change quickly when you descend through the different biomes.

The trail is also open to hikers and is a fantastic trail running area.

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

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.

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