Portola Redwoods has a rugged, natural basin forested with Coast Redwoods, Douglas Firs and Live Oaks. There are eighteen miles of trails, a 53 site campground, four group campsites and two beautiful creeks, the Pescadero and Peter's Creek, that run throughout the park. The Sequoia Nature Trail, which leads to the Pescadero Creek, introduces visitors to the natural history of the area. Summer temperatures typically have highs in the 70s to 80s, lows in the 50s. Winter brings highs in the 40s to 50s and lows in the 30s. Visitors should come prepared for any type of weather. The park receives between 40 and 60 inches of rain per year and the summer months can be foggy and cool. Layered clothing is recommended at any time of the year. The park is open from 6am-sunset. Dogs are allowed on paved roads (campground roads, the park entrance road, the service road between the Campfire Center and the Pescadero Bridge and on Upper and Lower Escape Roads). Dogs are not allowed on trails, at any of the creeks, or in the county parks. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
Nice redwood forest. A bit of uphill right at start and near the peak (few miles in) but mostly a flat easy hike. There's a backpackers camp a few miles in which is a great spot to stop for lunch on the picnic tables. We decided not to venture all the way over the hill and down into the creek.
Went to Portola State Park on Thanksgiving day, and the park was empty as I had hoped. Iverson trail is less of a hike, and more of a walk through the redwood forest. It was a beautiful and FREEZING! I ended up adding 2 layers of clothing for our walk through the woods. We took Iverson trail to Pomponio trail in the hopes of going to the Tarwater Loop Trail, but Tarwater Loop was closed off with caution flags, so we stayed on Pomponio trail.
-Always pay the park fee, it's on the honors system, but the rangers are definitely looking for the tags on parked car dashboards.
-Service animals allowed on trails
-Watch for banana slugs :)
-Bring clothes for layering!
Most of this trail follows an old rail bed, so except for near the trail head it is very easily graded (and just a few hills at the start otherwise). There is a spur trail that will take you into Portola SP near the HQ. The trail Is good for hiking running and beginner MTB. I have seen wild pigs on the trail.
(Continued. . .got away from me)
I am considering the peters creek loop the trail from the center of Portola SP to the old grove on Peters Creek. I think it is about 10 miles RT. This is my favorite trail mid-peninsula due to the remoteness and the old growth stand if redwoods. Makes a fantastic run and hike.
The best part about the trail was the swimming hole next to the rock face covered in ferns and mosses...all amidst the redwoods as the trail name suggests. Since we went the day after 4th of July, there was no one around. There's a magic at that spot that makes it more than just the sum of the features, though. You'll just have to go and experience it for yourself.