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I love to do this hike but always do it in reverse. start and endon Purissima Creek Road. I like to get the hard work out of the way first and then coast downhill to finish

hiking
5 days ago

Good moderate trail with some inclines on the track. Some beautiful scenes of the Forrest on the way.

Don't be like us - check the weather beforehand so you don't end up hiking here when it's 100° outside

Did the Whitmore Gulch - Purisma - Craig Bitten. A total of 9.2 miles.
I would rate this Moderate

Good hike , view was disappointing

Beautiful hike and a great workout

Hike was beautiful! We took Harkins Ridge down and Whittemore Gulch back up and managed to be in the shade a majority of the time.

Beautiful forest, views (the ocean in Halfmoon Bay) and flowers.
If you are fit under 55 you can get started either way, otherwise I would go anti clockwise.

hiking
20 days ago

Started from Skyline Blvd, arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday and the parking lot was full. However, the trails were fairly quiet, garbage free and sparcely populated. Whittemore Gulch Trail was beautiful: Redwoods, shady, ferns, etc, but all downhill. Harkins Ridge was a killer. STEEP uphill and in the sun. Not pleasant at all. Did see two little foxes running across the trail.

The climb out is ennervating

Good workout. Nice views. Suggest getting there early (before 10am) if you want convenient parking and a peaceful hike.

Just completed a portion of the loop today. I'm giving this a Moderate to High Moderate rating. Our loop was 7.51 miles in 5 hrs, 4 mins (not including a 30 min lunch). Minimally, carry 2 liters of water or hydration pack. We spoke with the Ranger and followed her suggestion. We took Whitemore Gulch Trail down: great suggestion. Saw two bucks immediately, good trail maintenance, great views, wild flowers blooming. We came back up Harkins Trail and it is steep in several areas (8%} and in more Sun. Ranger suggested coming back up Whitemore, but you're going to have to come back up either way. if we had more tone, we'd have done the full loop.

hiking
1 month ago

Started from the Higgins Road Trailhead. Nice mix of shady forest and great views.

Gorgeous and vigorous hike!

Great hike. Highest place I’ve gotten to in my backyard

this trail has beautiful views of the coast. the hike uphill is quite a good workout! i agree with other reviewers, do this trail clockwise. turn left first. this gives you a lot more shade during the hike up.

Truly amazing hike. 7 miles loop. Elevation gain of close to 2000 feet. A superb view of ocean while going down the Harkins ridge and while near the purisima creek, the redwood forest preserve grows on you. The Whittemore gulch trail back is completely shaded expect small parts on the northridge trail. Saw two deers at a close range. Lots of birds, a rabbit nibbling away to glory. The flora along the way is good too. I highly recommend this hike. As the description says, please carry plenty of water. I also recommend a good set of binoculars.

Great hike, lots of ticks on the long grass though so be careful. And definitely walk down Hawkins if it’s a sunny day or you’ll be walking up it in heavy sun.

By far my favorite trail this year. I took the Hetherington Loop both ways to get off the fire road a bit. No real waterfalls left, but the creek was still moving a little bit. I stood beside it and it reminded me of the Calm app. Even with the shade, it heats up quickly, so take lots of water and start early. I finished at 11 AM and was sweating pretty good.

I did the loop clockwise as others suggested. Wonderful views as you start ascent. Love getting off the fire road and onto single track. I saw a doe with her two youngsters, turkeys, and lots of lizards. There were some loud talkers and bicyclists early on, but once you get off the main trails, it quiets down a lot.

6/30/18 Saturday, hottest day of the week. 10.4 miles under 4.5 hrs, plenty of free parking at 8am started from Purisima Creek Trail Head parking near Redwoods Trail Head. It was 2miles downhill hike not recommended to come back uphill . Loop around to Whittemore Gulch to North Ridge Trail Parking Lot. There is a trail along highway 35 next to the fence of private properties to go back to Redwoods/ Purisima Creek Trailhead. Some parts has no shade and lots of challenging uphill. Probably rated as hard due to long distance and some steep elevations but if you keep doing small hikes with elevations, this will only be a moderate challenge. Just keep hydrated and bring a snack bar 

It’s a challenge on a hot day.

First time hiking this trail. Hot weekend in the Bay Area so we hit the trail at 8am to avoid the heat. Plenty of parking at that time, but by the time we finished at 11am parking lot was full and everyone was parking on Skyline Blvd. We chose to take trail clockwise, down Harkins Trail and climbing out on Whittemore Gulch. This gave us maximum shade possible for the climb up. At the base where two trails (Harkins & Whittemore) meet up there is a small little grove (called Nancy C Minard) down by the creek that is peaceful and quiet. Great place to relax for a minute and have your snack/lunch. Trail narrows at only a few spots, it’s mostly a wide trail where you can easily hike next to someone.

hiking
2 months ago

Really beautiful hike. I took the the Hetherton Loop up and back to avoid the Donner Creek fire road.
6.1 miles out and back.
1200 elevation gain. Moderate with some tough rocky steep areas.
Best I feel in spring or after a rain and not too muddy.
Will definitely do again.

A great way to get a workout while enjoying nature! This trail had a little bit of everything- views from above, a forest, flowers everywhere, and even a little creek at the bottom. We went counterclockwise and found it more enjoyable. Doesn't matter which way you go; one half will be downhill and the way back will be all uphill. We found it easier to go left (2nd intersection) on Whittemore Gulch Trail instead of continuing right on North Ridge trail. This way we were able to enjoy more of the woods. Either way, the two trails meet eventually, and you continue onto Whittemore Gulch. *Be warned: going down on Whittemore Gulch means you will be going up on Harkings Ridge, which is mostly out in the sun. If it's a hot day, it might be a better idea to do this loop clockwise. There is a really nice area at the midway point (where Whittemore Gulch meets Harkings Ridge) to have a lunch break. It's right behind the bridge. There were people on the trail, but it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded, and every person we saw along the way was very nice. It took us 3.5 hours to complete, with plenty of stops for pictures and a small lunch break. Definitely hard on the legs, so leave yourself plenty of time for breaks and bring lots of water, especially when it's hot. Enjoy!

I love it! Lots of shade and the trails are beautiful.

Love this trail have been doing it for years. Now that summer is here and it’s warm this is the perfect hiking trail because of all the trees. Lots of shade bring water and prepare to hike back up.

Easy downhill very hard uphill. I will recommend go downhill on Harkins and uphill on Whittemore as it’s more gradual and shady of the two trails. Next time I will be doing that. Great views of the ocean and the redwood trees. the total loop is more like 8miles not 6.4. Overall Enjoyed the hike.

Hiked most of this trail mid May, great hike, didn’t run into too many other people. Take water, there is little to no shade and it gets hot.
When we returned to our car, our windows had been smashed and our belongings stolen. A woman pulled up and said this happened to her at another nearby trail a month or two prior.
I would love to hike this trail again, but can’t risk my car being broken into again.. hiker beware! Do not leave anything in your car!

hiking
2 months ago

Great workout!!!

Hard to find, good hike!

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