nature trips

trail running



dogs on leash

kid friendly

Butano State Park, situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains midway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, is prized for the diversity of its habitats and wildlife, and for the depth of its solitude. Many visitors to Butano- thought to be named after a drinking cup made from a bull’s horn- find it the perfect place to shed everyday stresses. Nature’s vital processes can be seen everywhere. The unusual bend of a redwood tree tells the story of a long-ago earthquake. Elsewhere, the root of an alder tree begins eight feet up its trunk before reaching the ground, revealing the history of flooding in this area. The Candelabra redwood tree, with five huge branches jutting upright parallel to the trunk, is an odd natural phenomenon on a parcel recently added to the park. Those who take the time to stroll along a park trail or set up a tent will discover the beauty and solace of one of California’s least-known parks. The park is on the San Mateo Coast, off Highway One. Three miles northeast of the Gazos Creek Coastal Access Point by way of Gazos Creek Road, and about 4.5 miles southeast of Pescadero by way of the Pescadero and Cloverdale Roads. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

Enjoyed the range of vegetation. Went in spring so lots of green and flowers. Lots and lots of fallen trees after all the rain. TICKS so hikers BEWARE. Very steep at the very end/beginning depending what direction you start.

This one is very hard for day hike, I only finished 2/3, and it already took longer than I planned, so I have no choice but to drop South Butano Fire Trail, Canyon Trail, and Doe Ridge Tail. Also because of the Feb storms, only 1/3 of the Little Butano Creek Trail is accessible.

But, this is still worth for a 2 days hike, if you start from south like it suggested and camp at Trail Camp for one night.

Jan 17 trip - muddy and slippery with rain in the last 24hrs, although great park and can't wait to come back with better conditions! Moderate when dry. Hard when wet.

More trails to choose from in State Park!

3 months ago

it was very quiet, campground closed for the season. clean park. easy to find Butano SP. $10 day fee for parking, bring cash. dog did pick up a couple ticks.

3 months ago

steep incline with switch backs. great view out to the ocean. bridge to Six Bridge Trail washed out at entrance near entrance booth, use picnic area to access.

Great fun. Nice little climb.

Dogs are only allowed on paved roads and the fire roads.So we followed the Olmo Fire road for an out and back trail. We went in November, just after the first fall rains. The trail can be quite challenging due to rapid elevation gains in places. You have to ascend rapidly to get to the rim of the park. The start of the trail is obviously an old road (some paving is here and there) but when you cross the Goat Hill trail the first time, the track narrows and keeps narrowing, becoming overgrown, but still well-marked.

5 months ago