Mountain Bike at Purisima Creek

Rate this Adventure San Francisco Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

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.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Mountain Bike
  • Helmet
Read More



Mountain Biking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Jake Young

Adventurer, Photographer, Impact Investor. I work with companies that want to have a positive impact on the world around them.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Along Mendocino Cliffs Trail

San Francisco / Mendocino Bay

The town of Mendocino is as charming and quaint as one can find. It is no wonder why it was pegged as the perfect location spot to film the series Murder She Wrote.

Mike Quine
8 Saves

Hike to McClures Beach

San Francisco / McClures Beach Parking

This beach is really easy to get to. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. It's an easy hike down from the parking lot.

Yuriy R
21 Saves

Hike Along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail

San Francisco / Half Moon Bay SB

Start at the visitor center along Kelly Avenue. Take note that the day parking fee is $10 in 2016 for each vehicle.

Gene Reyes
38 Saves