hiking

trail running

walking

no dogs

nature trips

forest

birding

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 hike and quick climb in altitude.

Fun hike! Camped at the Butano trail camps, the campsites are nice, spaced well apart, there are bear boxes and a toilet, which is nice. Beautiful setting, a lush trail through ferns and redwoods is hard to beat.

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy trail. Some steep areas. If you are in shape then should be no difficulties. 5 year old did it with me. Dogs are NOT allowed on any "trail" in the park. They can only be on paved roads, campsites, and fire roads. Unless they are a service dog.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a moderate hike. Dogs are not allowed on any "trail" in the Butano. They are only allowed on paved roads, in campsites, and on fire roads. The hike it self was decent. Not too hard fro someone in shape. My sister, who is heavier with knee and ankle issues managed to hike part way on this trail until we took a wrong turn. Markers aren't too clear but we still managed. My 5 y/o also was able to do part of this trail well.

Hiked this trail in late April. Many wildflowers at the higher elevations, including huckleberries and beds of forget-me-nots. Redwoods and shallow stream were great fun for kids. Only giving 4 stars due to the thickets on the way up, which are hard on the kids.

walking
2 months ago

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.