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#42 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in Portola Redwoods State Park

372 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Portola Redwoods State Park, California? AllTrails has 12 great hiking trails, trail running trails, wild flowers trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 6 moderate trails in Portola Redwoods State Park ranging from 2.3 to 11 miles and from 383 to 1,555 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Portola Redwoods has a rugged, natural basin forested with Coast Redwoods, Douglas Firs and Live Oaks. There are eighteen miles of trails, a 53 site campground, four group campsites and two beautiful creeks, the Pescadero and Peter's Creek, that run throughout the park. The Sequoia Nature Trail, which leads to the Pescadero Creek, introduces visitors to the natural history of the area. Summer temperatures typically have highs in the 70s to 80s, lows in the 50s. Winter brings highs in the 40s to 50s and lows in the 30s. Visitors should come prepared for any type of weather. The park receives between 40 and 60 inches of rain per year and the summer months can be foggy and cool. Layered clothing is recommended at any time of the year. Dogs are allowed on paved roads (campground roads, the park entrance road, the service road between the Campfire Center and the Pescadero Bridge and on Upper and Lower Escape Roads). Dogs are not allowed on trails, at any of the creeks, or in the county parks. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

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Map of trails in Portola Redwoods State Park
Park information
Acreage:
2,800 acres
Park hours
Monday
6:00 am - dusk
Tuesday
6:00 am - dusk
Wednesday
6:00 am - dusk
Thursday
6:00 am - dusk
Friday
6:00 am - dusk
Saturday
6:00 am - dusk
Sunday
6:00 am - dusk
Contact
650-948-9098
Helpful links
Top trails (12)
#1 - Old Tree, Slate Creek, Bear Creek, and Peters Creek Trails
Portola Redwoods State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(119)
Length: 11 mi • Est. 5 h 58 m
All-day hike to grove of ancient redwoods in Portola Redwoods State Park is a must if you can do the distance. The first six miles are nice enough -- lots of ups and downs in second-growth redwoods -- but the real payoff is at the midpoint: Peters Creek Loop tracks through one of the last remaining stands of old-growth redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Peters Creek Loop is simply amazing -- the area was so remote that it was not profitable for loggers to cut the old redwoods, so dozens of ancients trees tower skyward all along the path. With its primeval feel, you wouldn't be surprised to see a brontosaurus rumbling through. Mind you it is a very long walk back, but it's worth the effort. This is a great hike all year long. If you go in the winter, make sure you'll have enough daylight to cover all the miles.Show more
#2 - Slate Creek Trail [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(60)
Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 23 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 Beautiful redwood hike to Slate Creek Trail Camp at Portola Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is an excellent moderate hike through the second-growth redwood forest at Portola Redwoods State Park. It ends at Slate Creek Trail Camp, a popular overnight camping destination. The park is in the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Highway 35 in one of the best hiking regions in the San Francisco Bay Area. While ancient redwoods are scarce because of heavy logging in decades past, the redwood forest that has retaken the hills here is still impressive. It's also very shady, making Portola Redwoods a great place to hike year-round. This hike is an out-and-back with multiple options -- tack on a couple miles by hiking down to the Page Mill Site, then following Slate Creek Trail to its terminus at the crossing of Slate Creek. Few people go this way so the forest along the creek becomes a cradle of solitude. Another must visit is a side trip to the Old Tree, biggest redwood in the park. It's massive to the point of being mind-boggling. Trails on this track: Old Tree Trail > Slate Creek Trail. The Slate Creek Turnoff comes before you reach the Old Tree. The actual Old Tree is a quarter-mile beyond the Slate Creek turnoff. It's well worth the extra half-mile.Show more
#3 - Iverson Trail To Tiptoe Falls [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(41)
Length: 1.6 mi • Est. 51 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009Show more
#4 - Sequoia Nature Trail [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(22)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 47 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 A short, yet beautiful interpretive nature trail. The trail follows Pescadero Creek and is under the shade of towering Redwoods. From the rear of the Visitor Center and Park Office, take the Sequoia Nature Trail. NOTE: The footbridges across Pescadero Creek are removed in the fall and replaced in late Spring.Show more
#5 - Coyote Ridge and Summit Trail Loop [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(27)
Length: 4.6 mi • Est. 2 h 44 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 Note: The bridge on Coyote Ridge Trail between Portola State Park Road and Escape Road is damaged and unsafe to cross. It is not possible to hike from the campground to Coyote Ridge Trail. You will have to go back past the Visitor Center and take the Iverson Trail to the Coyote Ridge Trail. Vigorous and diverse six-mile hike takes samples the best of Portola Redwoods State Park west of Silicon Valley. This is the essential loop at Portola Redwoods State Park. In just over six miles it ascends two ridges and stops in on the most impressive old-growth redwood in the park. It starts out near the park headquarters, climbs up Coyote Ridge, descends to Peters Creek, climbs again up the Slate Creek Trail, then descends via the Summit Trail, and takes a side trip to the Old Tree, which is 297 feet tall, 12 feet across and estimated to be over 1,000 years old. The climb up Coyote Ridge is fairly steep; just take your time and enjoy the walk. The hike up Slate Creek Trail is more gradual but it's still a healthy climb. And the Summit Trail descent is a bit of knee grinder. So there's plenty of challenge, all under a shady redwood canopy that makes this great route any time of year. Trails on this hike: Sequoia Nature trail, Iverson Trail, Coyote Ridge Trail, Slate Creek Trail, Summit Trail, and Old Tree Trail. Be sure to take enough water and snacks along to keep your energy level up. $10 park fee.Show more
#6 - Iverson and Sequoia Nature Loop Trail [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(21)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 33 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 Please note: off line map is recommended to get oriented as several users have reported that there may be poor cell reception in this area. Also as of July 2020 parts of Iverson Trail may be closed making it not possible to get to TipToe Falls. A pleasant loop trail that goes through redwood groves. Show more
#7 - Old Tree Trail [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(18)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 35 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 This short trail heads west towards the Slate Creek Trail . Enjoy the pleasant serenity under the shade of the redwoods. The trail begins off of the service rd.Show more
#8 - Slate Creek Loop [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(17)
Length: 5.4 mi • Est. 2 h 10 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 A short loop to a primitive campsite for an easier overnight backpacking trip. The trail begins and ends at the Portola Visitors Center. Water can be obtained by filtering at either Slate Creek or Pescadero Creek. Backcountry camping permits are required if overnighting. No dispersed or off-trail camping is permitted. Dogs and ground fires are also not permitted. Show more
#9 - Portola Redwoods Summit Trail [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(21)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 1 h 20 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 The Summit Trail winds up to a small peak and then connect to the Slate Trail From the Service Rd, take the Summit TrailShow more
#10 - Long Ridge to Peters Creek [CLOSED]
Portola Redwoods State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(5)
Length: 18.3 mi • Est. 10 h 7 m
As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009Show more
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