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4 days ago

This is yet another beautiful hike. The route shown on the map is wrong. Either the map must be corrected or another hike for Harkins Ridge trail - Craig Britton Trail - Purisima Creek Trail should be added to alltrais. The path I took is as mentioned in my write up in the same order. The trail may be categorized as strenuous-Moderate and not essentially Hard. Harkins ridige is the ascend , Craig Britton is more or less flat through the redwoods and is very pretty and Purisima is a mix of slight gradient along the creek. As descend is tough for me I prefer having gradual slope for descend and hence took the clockwise route. Enjoyed the hike on a drizzling chill day.. though the work out is over once you reach the top.

I hiked Cataract Falls before during the dry season. But it was mid-March this time and the Bay Area had received a healthy dose of rain all week, so I wanted to return to see the falls in all their splendor.

Hiking to the falls from Stinson Beach certainly adds a degree of difficulty and is great for the more adventurous hiker. Beginners should probably start at the trail head at the southern tip of Alpine Lake.

I really enjoyed the Matt Davis ascent up the west side of Mt. Tam. All the switchbacks and bridges and steps make for an fun hike.

The coastal trail gave me an unexpected surprise about half-way from Matt Davis to Cataract Falls. Right below Ballou Point, you'll come across an old 1940's Pontiac wrecked right along the trail. I'm guessing it took a tumble down from Ridgecrest Blvd. about half a century ago.

The Cataract Trail was so amazing after all the recent rainfall. Everything was so lush and the falls were spectacular.

On the way back, I took the advice of another reviewer and went down the Willow Camp Fire Road instead of crossing back over the coastal trail to return via Matt Davis to Stinson Beach. I would also recommend this as it shaves a mile off the overall hike and offers some different views of Stinson Beach looking to the north. The trail is called a fire road, but it was mostly a single track until you get close to the bottom, so don't let that deter you.

Glorious views and magical trek through the redwoods.


trees, downhill then uphill, can see half moon bay, nice forest type trial

My dog and I had a lovely stroll! Nice on a cold day because there are a lot of sunny spots!

Breathtaking views, really light traffic once you get away from the trail heads. It’s definitely one of the hardest trails I’ve ever done, but also one I’ll never forget. Plenty of cute cows will stare at you as you make your way to the top, so prepare to have you heart stolen. Piece of advice though? Mind their poop!

I really enjoyed doing this trail with two of my friends on a Sunday. We arrived to the trailhead at 10 a.m. and we’re happy to see there was a free parking lot with a port o potty and hand sanitizer.

The difficulty is on the upper side of moderate for folks with intermediate hiking experience. It took us about 5 hours hiking a pace of 2.4 miles per hour and taking a 15-20 minute lunch. Most of the elevation gain is the last 2.7 miles of the trail. I would not recommend bringing people who are not in shape on this trail and if you do, expect for it take 6+ hours depending on how much they struggle.

We saw several banana slugs along the way and loved the scenery overall. This is a mixed use trail also used by trail runners and mountain bikers, so hikers should be extra aware that those folks are likely going to need to pass you at some point. The trail wasn’t terribly crowded either like some other Bay Area hikes can be.

Overall, a trail that is definitely worth experiencing if you are in moderately good shape.

Great trail! Nice ocean view about half way in.

Convenient to drive to, but a small parking lot. A nice weekend morning destination with all exposed trails for when you need some sun light. However, trails were not marked most of the time, so it was confusing to choose a way at the forks.

Bautiful view. Enjoyed it a lot

Matt Davis trail is a nice stroll in the park. Cataract Trail, I was very impressed with the waterfalls. For an added challenge, don't go on the Coastal Trail as the map suggests. Take a slight right, go up the hill and take one of the paths to Rock Springs Trailhead to get back onto Cataract Trail. I logged 14 miles in 5 hours.

The trail was great but the trail map showing the route is wrong.

Moderate trail, view of HB Mavericks, Redwood, crystal creek, beautiful. 7.65 Miles, 3.5 hours. 1,775 feet elevation gain, prepare to climb V elevation, nice workout. Bring water and snacks.

Stunning surroundings, a challenging hike, just so beautiful!

beautiful views of the ocean and half Moon Bay.

Nice and hardest trail. That too initial 2.0 miles from Stinson beach is the best I have experienced it ever. Really worth for 5 star

It's a beautiful trails with many altitudes and plant life.

Great combination of biomes—everything from sweeping ridge views to bubbling brooks in the redwood thickets. No matter which way you run the loop, it’ll be a bit tough the last mile back to your car.

Did this hike for NYE and it kicked my ass in the most wholesome way possible. You want challenge? Got it. You want views? Got it. You want wildlife? Got it. Literally had everything. Foot traffic is meh but as you get deeper into the park people will thin out. Tracker reported 10.5 miles in about 4.5 hours (breaks included), and I did the sharp incline half first (Whitemore Gulch trail section) starting at the bottom of the “gulch” from the Purisima parking. Highly recommend doing it that way for anyone looking to test/diagnose their endurance levels. Would consider this more hard than moderate, tbh. Word of advice? Bring a headlight in the winter months because hiking in the trees at the bottom of any sort of valley or gulch reduces light visibility by what I swear feels like 50% around sunset - I had to spend the last two miles at the end of it in near darkness while the sun was just barely starting to go down. 10/10 would and will come back though! HAPPY 2018!!

Great workout on Christmas day -- perfect sunny temps, lots of bovine friends -- highly recommended. Will definitely plan on connecting to Mission Peak next time.

2 months ago

I did my first solo backpacking trip on this trail. The ascent to camp was what I’d consider moderate, starting on Skyline and gaining more elevation on Lane Hollow. My FitBit logged 252 flights climbed, but it was very much dispersed. I also logged 7.6 miles to camp, and 20 overall on this loop making it much longer than this says!

The descent was what I’d consider easy with no extended periods of incline or decline. It was very easy imon my knees and ankles with a pack.

Camp was lovely with six or so sites, a pit toilet, and a bear container for food. I didn’t filter water, but there are opportunities to do so.

The views are definitely on the way down on the Basin trail. The hike up and the campground are in pretty thick forest. I hiked for approximately seven hours with a 35 pound pack, just to give an idea of your timeline, and I am in fine hiking shape but otherwise, have had a very lazy season. I arrived at camp very early because I anticipated a more difficult hike.

Bad trail marks, virtually all out in the open so no shade, too many animals and bikers. It should more accurately be called easy not moderate

Beautiful trail too enjoy quality time with your best friend 

Wonderful scenery on this hike

The best work out you can get with Beautiful views!!

trail running
4 months ago

Please remember this park will be close half hour before sunset. Make sure drive your car out of the park.

4 months ago

Went to hike this trail but unfortunately I didn't bring enough water thanks to the record heat at the end of October.
The 4 1/2 miles in before I had to turn was beautiful though.
I'll get you next time Lane Trail Camp!!!

Beautiful grassy hills, great for jogging, slightly hilly, must be even nicer when it is green

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