Big Canyon Trail is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Carlos, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Big Canyon is an out and back style trail with a small loop option. As you hike, keep your eyes out for a plethora of native plants and animals (be aware of poison oak!) The trail is well marked and easy to follow except where it merges with or departs from jeep roads. Look for orange surveyors tape, orange stakes, orange pipes, or orange discs in such places.After 172 feet, the trail bears to the right, away from the main jeep road, which goes to the site of a house which used to stand there.The trail then crosses a little seasonal stream in a shady place with ferns, then crosses over to another drainage with oak trees and Poison Oak.(Dont touch the Poison Oak which has clusters of 3 green or red leaves.)
Eaton provides a nice hike with beautiful views of the bay, and even San Francisco. I learned what Poison Oak looks like because of the massive amount of it. Dog friendly, but our dog brought home a tick (there are warning signs). Trails are narrow and there are steep stairs at the end of Eaton Park. Must cross busy Brittan Ave with no crosswalk to access Big Canyon. At Big Canyon, came across off-leash dogs with owners nearby. Nice canyon views at BC, but narrow trails. If these parks were in my backyard or within walking distance, I would frequent them, but think I'll stick with Pulgas for now. If you're bringing your dog, bring a flea/tick comb to brush him afterward. And read up on what poison oak looks like.
I took the Eaton park way and it was mostly up hill. Not a bad hiking spot, but it didn't seem like it was 2 miles when hiking up. If your looking for a quick up hill hike, I'd come here.
Started at the Eaton Ave. trailhead, which meant it was mostly uphill from there. I made my way around the north side of the hill and then descended the trail to the Big Canyon Park area. There are some fairly steep stairs at this point. The Big Canyon section shows signs of a new trail being added, although overall Big Canyon Park is mostly a way of getting a nice view of the neighborhood as the new trail is basically wedged between two housing tracts. I made my way back to Eaton Park and decided to climb to the vista, where I also found a way to the very steep Loma Road trailhead. There's a great view up there and it's definitely worth checking out up there.
The trails looks decently maintained, although the switchbacks show signs of people taking the steep shortcuts up, making them somewhat unsightly. There are also a lot of unmarked trails, so keep that in mind as you try to stay on the mail trails. The wooded sections of the park are nice, and stairs help make the steeper portions easier to traverse. I wouldn't really recommend this park if you're interested in seeing flora and fauna, but it's a nice place to get some exercise and a good view. Also, someone built some dirt bike ramps near the Eaton Ave. trailhead if you're interested in that, although I wouldn't recommend the rest of the trails for bikers unless you can fly over stairs.