Explore the most popular trail running trails in Pescadero Creek County Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

Unique experience partly because of non existent traffic. A few things made me wonder if the trail was actually closed e.g. no other hikers, broken trees, a not opening gate, etc. Anyways, this is indeed a great trail. Saw some impressive redwood trees in the earlier part of the trail.

Lots of trail closures including Shaw flat, west brook and parts of old haul. Almost had to reverse most of the “loop” but turned out ok. Nice walking through a variety of eco systems.

hiking
2 months ago

As of mid-March 2018, Old Haul road was closed only a mile and a half into this hike, so I instead wandered around the other trails within the Pescadero Creek Park for 16 miles. There weren’t any views, but there were some nice big redwoods and the trails were well marked.

very tranquil trail with few hikers. Not difficult to hike except that the trail sometimes gets very narrow. Great for redwoods lovers.

Beautiful trail, but we have several times clung there ticks.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail in and out of redwoods and oaks.

A beautifully green and shaded trail, but the drive to the trailhead was stressful- not sure I'd want to repeat it.

Very secluded on a Friday in August! We saw one person in the parking lot when we arrived, and then no one on the entire trail.

Arrived to see a notice that some trails were closed. Talked to the ranger who gave us a map and suggested an alternate route. Lots of redwoods and fire roads. We got lost unfortunately, first time ever for us. Our own fault though, tried to navigate without using AllTrails gps. Ended up in the neighboring YMCA youth camp. They have set up trails of their own and named them the same as the trails on the map. Got directions back to the main road and hike back to the parking lot. Will be back to conquer this though!

hiking
9 months ago

A quiet trail full of redwoods, poison oak and mosquitos. Old Haul Road was closed due to trail damage, so we took a different route following Pomponio trail to Tarwater trail and looping back on the canyon trail for about 10 miles. Only saw 5 equestrians the whole time. Trails are a mix of fire roads and single-track trails.

hiking
10 months ago

Pretty good loop trail. There were dry grassy meadows, a neat abandoned cabin, a cool looking bridge,and some awesome Redwood groves. Had a little bit of everything. Not a lot of people on the trail. Bring bug repellant. The meadows areas had narrow trails- watch out for ticks, we saw some.

hiking
10 months ago

Perfect 4 hour hike. Beautiful views of rolling hills at beginning of Tarwater trail head. Then the trail moves in into the Redwood Forrest. The trail is well maintained but there is one large tree that just fell over the Pomponio trail 1.25 mi from

hiking
11 months ago

Really underrated trail. There was only four cars parked at the trailhead and we saw no more than a half dozen people on the trail even though it was a sunny Saturday. The last mile is slightly different than the Alltrails Map, with more switchbacks closer to Camp Pomponio Rd. The last mile is completely exposed, can be rough on a hot day. Make sure to check yourself for ticks after the hike.

This trail might be the most shaded trail I have ever hiked in the Bay Area. More than 90% is well covered. So it's definitely a perfect choice is you want to hike on a hot summer day!

The parking lot at the trailhead is limited. Though there are few hikers here, I suggest you arrive earlier (before 10 am on weekends).

hiking
11 months ago

Not an easy Trailhead to find - really small one lane road (more like a path) to get to the TH. Other than that - really liked the hike. A lot of variety. The redwoods are good but it is a little buggy. Not sure the trails are that well marked once you get to the bottom. Wasnt very busy if you get there early

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Dogs OK, but I would not recommend for kids as the way back is nonstop uphill. I went back on the camp ___ Rd. I missed that I had to walk a little further on the camp Rd to pick up the tar water trail for the way back. I finished quicker, but missed half the trail. First half of trail was lovely.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Nice remote trailhead to cut down on crowds. Some of the Trail names have changed and there is an excellent trail signage map system through the county parks in this area. One leg of the featured loop is closed to mud slides so you can do an out and back on Tarwater or other loops that are longer than this hike. Nice mix of meadows and forests. Plenty of wildflowers!

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Was planning to do this hike with our dog, but, be warned, the info on this site that dogs on leash are allowed is incorrect. No dogs are allowed in Pescadero Creek County Park.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

If you are allergic to poison oaks, do not come here.

mountain biking
Monday, August 22, 2016

Couldn't believe we didn't see a soul using this beautiful trail after a mile in - on a Sunday afternoon. Remote and peaceful!

hiking
Monday, February 01, 2016

Hiked in Jan right after a rain so the trail was muddy about 1/3 of the distance. Only saw 3 other people. Extended it just a bit to see part of Pomponio trail, so about 6 total miles and 3 hours, including stops to take several pics. So about 2.5 hours hiking time. But I'm writing this review to notify everyone that a lot of the trails in the area have been renamed. So part of what used to be the Tarwater trail is now the Shingle Mill trail. But the trailhead has a nice map and they've published a new one dated Nov 2015. The trail junctions have new signs and they are number coded. Kudos to the county for these new signs. Everyone should go to this new system. Takes a lot of doubt out of "where are we?"

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Fun trail! The open rolling meadows are gorgeous, we came across an abandoned cabin which was my favorite part. Gigantic redwood tree blew my mind - visiting from the Midwest and have never seen a tree so mesmerizing!!
The jail was really creepy - would be fun to do this around Halloween. We didn't walk all the way back, it appears to be in use for some other reason. A fun, eclectic hike!

hiking
Saturday, July 04, 2015

Really enjoyable trail with great views of the coast and hills. It seems more wild and remote than it is. There's a trail camp about half way (if you are doing this as a loop).

on Tarwater Trail Loop

hiking
Friday, May 01, 2015

Went here a couple of weeks ago with the husband. We got as far as the ruined mill when we came across where the trail was now closed. Would have liked to see the rest. There is an absolutely huuuuge redwood along the trail here. It's so large it has another tree growing inside the hollowed out base of the tree. The trail was in good condition, but I was a bit clumsy and rolled my ankle. Fortunately, it didn't keep me from finishing the hike.
The road out here feels very off the beaten path. It's paved, but only large enough for one car at a time. Fortunately we didn't meet any other cars coming in or going out. I was also glad we had an SUV, because some of the ruts in the pavement were deep.
There is no bathroom available at the trailhead. We stopped at another open space area nearby to use the facilities there.

on Portola Trail

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beautiful area and would love to camp there. The only downfall is that the trails are somewhat hard to follow; the bridge was down on the nature trail, which we were warned of, but then we hiked tiptoe falls trail on a narrow trail which we were unsure if we were even on the trail in some spots and that dead ended to a creek which seemed it was supposed to have a bridge from the map, but no bridge there either. It's beautiful there and quiet, not crowded, which is nice, but the trails/maps can leave you a tad misguided.

hiking
Sunday, November 30, 2014

Great ~13 mile hike with a loop in the middle that goes through old growth redwoods and streams.

hiking
Thursday, December 05, 2013

Half downhill, half uphill what do ya know!

Very scenic through some really massive redwoods! Less than 15 min in you come across the largest tree on the trail and it's mind blowing. The loop is easily completed in 2 hours.

Unclear if this is a dog friendly trail or not... We got mixed info and brought a dog anyways, didn't seem to be an issue.

So quiet and serene, hard to believe the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley is less than an hour away.

FYI - The last road you turn on to make it to the trailhead is very narrow and looks like a beaten up golf-cart path. Plenty of parking at the trailhead.

hiking
Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This is a wonderful hike through gorgeous redwoods and beautiful scenery. We only saw 3 people on the entire hike. We took a slightly larger loop by going from Tarwater Trail, continuing on Canyon Trail, then heading south on Bear Ridge Trail, then back up Tarwater trail.

Beware of the creek! This trail is aptly named. We unfortunately allowed our dog to go into the water and we will now be cleaning tar out of our car for ions to come.

None of the elevation gain/loss is steep as the trails meander up the slope in a gentle incline. The trails are well maintained and easily spotted.

trail running
Monday, August 19, 2013

There is a nice easy road through the park to Portola State park. It used to be a rail bed. Keep an eye out for wild pigs, used to see them once in a while along the road.

hiking
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Portola is the secret redwood park that has much less traffic and is just a beautiful as big basin. A must visit.

hiking
Thursday, April 05, 2012

This is a great trail for solitude, I saw only a handful of other people during the entire two days. Started off in Sam McDonald County Park and stayed overnight at Tarwater Trail Camp. There's a decent waterfall near the convergence of Towne Creek and Jones Gulch Creek. The trail is moderately strenuous. If you like redwood forests without the crowds of Muir Woods, this is a great place. The Tarwater Trail is particularly nice.

Load More