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.

Awesome hike. Lots of great redwoods and a nice flowing creek.

hiking
12 days ago

Tons of banana slugs some up hill & climbing over & under trees. 3 miles total. Was a nice hike with our 5 year olds, 2 year old needed a good amount of carrying.

Great hike...super quiet....saw no one else on the trail. Gorgeous towards the end where you're walking through lush hip high greenery.

The steep hike up at the start of Año Nuevo trail was the perfect way to begin 2018! I didn't download the hike and just used the paper copy at the Ranger station. I got off track a bit around the Ben Ries campground, but walking on the road the last bit of the way wasn't bad. Super serene, sweet hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike--love Butano--so quiet--hiked into only one couple. Never had done Canyon Trail--most California Nutmegs I have ever seen and beautiful chalk geology and botany.

Did an abbreviated version from the Ben Ries Campground: Goat Hill -> Doe Ridge -> Olmo Fire Road -> Indian -> Canyon -> Jackson Flats -> Mill Ox.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike through a variety of different types of forests!

hiking
5 months ago

The last part of hike is on the road.

camping
5 months ago

Very beautiful but pay close attention to the map, you may find yourself walking a little extra that can easily surpass an "easy" level

Really serene and smells wonderful. saw a small group of deer and it was super quiet! Loads of salamanders and banana slugs!! I kinda wish I had brought a friend because I saw after hiking that there are mountain lions here..and it seemed the sort of territory one may encounter one

5 months ago

My girlfriend and I are avid hikers and came to butano just yesterday. We started up año nuevo, to gazos trail, and came back down on olmos rd. While incredibly beautiful, taking the trail this direction was absolutely NOT "easy" and we wanted to let people know who might be bringing children or anyone unfit for such a hike. Intense and immediate altitude gains from the beginning and a constant increase in elevation, even through most of gazos. Most definitely a fantastic and beautiful hike, but definitely don't the difficulty for granted when going in this direction.

Pretty trees, mostly shaded, not too steep, lots of poison oak.

Great easy hike for the family with plenty of cover from the sun. Clean well kept trail. Kids saw tons of banana slugs!

hiking
6 months ago

Easy hike for the family with plenty of cover free m the summer sun. kids found over 60 banana slugs. Also a very well maintained trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Loved this hike. Was able to do this hike with my 18 month old son. Beautiful. Very much plan to do this hike again

Awesome loop! I'd rate this as pretty challenging, and I'm very athletic; big inclines and steep descents, lots of hot exposed ridge. Peaceful and serene--SO quiet! Epic views from Canyon Trail and Indian Camp. Where it's not exposed ridge, it's lush, shady, gorgeous forest. Lots of poison oak!! I went from park HQ up Jackson Flats to Canyon, then down Indian Trail/Olmo Fire, and accidentally missed the branch for Doe Ridge Trail/Goat Hill Trail, but it was a lovely trek nonetheless, and Olmo eventually connects up with Goat Hill. Make sure you have a trail map because some of the turns aren't marked. Would be great for backpacking; two campgrounds along the way!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike with a bit of everything. Shade and redwoods. Broad vistas. Ocean views.

Only downside is that parking is $10

Nice and easy trail. Somehow crowded at the beginning.

hiking
7 months ago

The map shows the trail head at the ranger kiosk. Temporary parking only. Proceed farther down to the first picnic area. Take the trail out the back of the picnic area and turn right. Then climb up a beautiful, but steep switch back. There's a view of the Pacific Ocean at the top of the ridge. The rest is a shaded fire road in the Redwoods.

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