Hike through Portola Redwoods State Park
San Francisco › Portola Redwoods SP
Added by Brian Heifferon
Take in the best that Portola Redwoods State Park has to offer: tall redwoods, a waterfall and, wildflowers. If you don't have the energy, this 7 mile loop has a shorter option allowing you to turn it into a 5-miler.
Like redwood hikes? We do too, they're always very scenic and take you away from the hustle and bustle of the bay area. Not to mention, they also stay cool during the summer months. If you want a hike in the middle of the peninsula, this is a great bet.
When starting this hike, head out from headquarters on Sequoia Nature Trail. Take this trail down toward Pescadero Creek. Cross the creek on the wooden bridge and head toward the Iverson Trail. Once you reach the junction with the Iverson Trail, head left on this trail. At this point, you'll begin to climb up above the creek, so prepare your legs for a little work. On Iverson Trail, you'll cross over a stream and notice that the trail forks. Just after half a mile, take a quick detour to the right and head toward Tiptoe Falls. Spend a few minutes here to relax and rejuvenate before you head back to the Iverson Trail. From here, the trail descends down to Pescadero creek, where in the spring, you can see many wildflowers in bloom. Cross over the creek and look for a junction with the Pompino Trail. Take Pompino, which will follow Pescadero Creek until it ends at Bridge Trail. Bridge Trail is a large fire road. Take this trail for until just shy of 3 miles into the hike, where it will become Old Haul Rd. Immediately, you'll this trail climbs ~1,500ft over the course of 2 miles. Once you've finished the climb, you'll start your descent passing by the Portola Trail and Iverson Creek.
A little after 4 miles, you’ll cross a service road that veers off to the left. Jump on this road for a short descent, where after a half-mile, you’ll reach a junction. If you decide you’ve had enough for the day, continue on the service road, which will take you back to the car.
If you’re still feeling good and want to go another 2.5 miles, take a right on Summit Trail. This trail starts broad and steadily begins to narrow as the trail climbs a moderate grade. Staying on the trail will take you to the summit. The summit isn’t a traditional bay area summit with sweeping views of the pacific, but it is the highest point on this trail and a good spot to stop and take in the redwoods.
At 5.25 miles, you’ll connect with Slate Creek Trail. This trail will take you back to the ranger station. If you want one more detour before reaching the car, take the Old Tree Trail junction at 6.6 miles to a massive old redwood (hence the name). This is a short 0.6 mile out-and-back detour. Once you’ve made it back to Slate Trail, it’s about 0.1 miles back to the car.
If you want to stay overnight, the campgrounds open April 1st.
Need a post-hike beer? Head to Apple Jacks to quench your thirst. The food situation isn't ideal here, so if you need something more substantive, a bit longer drive will get you to Alpine Inn aka "Zots" for a rustic outdoor beer garden and a burger.
Note: Dogs are allowed in the campground on-leash, but not on the trails.
- Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes
- Lightweight Jacket
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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