Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Whittemore Gulch and Purisima Creek Loop Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(977)
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

Whittemore Gulch and Purisima Creek Loop Trail is a 9.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Redwood City, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,109 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

no dogs

As of June 2020, due to COVID-19 parking restrictions are place along Highway 35, Purisima Creek Road and Higgins Canyon Road. Preserve parking is very limited at this time. Specific info regarding further restrictions can be found here: https://www.openspace.org/preserves/purisima-creek-redwoods This hike explores beautiful Redwood forest, streams, and stunning ocean views. The hike starts out downhill, heading away from Skyline Blvd, and down toward the ocean. Soon after leaving the trailhead, you head out on top of one of the ocean facing ridges, where you can see the ocean and North Ridge Trail. Soon after the ocean views, the trail heads down and follows Whittemore Gulch. The trail follows the gulch down to the parking area on the opposite side of the park. The loop trail then heads up Purisima Creek. The trail meets up with the Bay Area Ridge Trail, and turns back up the ridge. This trail heads through some more redwood groves, and the ocean views return when the trail meets up with Harkins Ridge Trail. This is a slightly longer version of the popular Purisima Redwood Preserve area hike and starts on the eastern trailhead on the coastal side. The trail begins at the point where 3 of the major tributaries of the Purisima Creek joins into one and continues its flow into the Pacific ocean. A major part of the hike is in the shades of redwoods. However, towards the latter part with elevation gain the trail opens out to give some good views of the ocean.

Nice trail.. shady almost entire time with some open areas. Social distancing was bit weak though. Could see people without mask even when crossing each other.

hiking
9 days ago

Fantastic trail. Parking fills up quickly, so I’d suggest getting there before 8 am. We had fog when we started in the morning but around 10 am it cleared out and the views were beautiful. I clocked the hike at 10.6 miles, not 9.3.

hiking
14 days ago

Did this hike for third time. Nice shaded trail except for some open spots along the end of the trail. Very beautiful in the mornings. carry lot of water gets very humid if its a hot day. Spotted few rabbits today. It was very wonderful morning at the woods today. Please help keep trail clean. LEAVE NO TRASH.

Solid hike with a variety of views. One of my go to hikes in the area.

Loved this, not too steep on the climb good shade

Good hike. Nice views.

hiking
20 days ago

Love love love! One of my favorites in the bay! Multiple trails to explore. Does not feel like your in the busy bay.

hiking
20 days ago

Wonderful trail with fantastic views on both the way down and the way back up. Highly recommend the full hike- just make sure to take enough water and snacks!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful hike! Amazing views. Crowded. Last mile is strenuous as others have mentioned.

Very pretty. Last two miles are brutal tho.

hiking
29 days ago

Was crowded. Seems like a popular hike destination. But the views were breathtaking. Walked a total of 10.7 miles loop from north ridge parking. It’s strenuous at its best. Especially the final 0.5 miles

Well shaded and full of nice views! The final pitch is wonderful!

Beautiful hike but too crowded to have a peace of mind.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous well shaded trail. Someone thoughtfully left a basket of individually wrapped face masks as a gift to fellow trail enthusiasts. Thank you!!

hiking
1 month ago

that last section uphill threatens to take a star off, but the rest is so beautiful... 76 banana slugs today!

Absolutely beautiful. Shady for the most part. The uphill is long and hard but also filled with ferns and redwoods and is totally worth it and a great workout. It took us about 3:30 and did clock in closer to ten miles. Due to COVID and social distancing requirements they are being quite strict about people not parking on the side of the road if the parking lot fills up. So get here early! When we got back to our car we saw lots of people had tickets who had parked in the no parking areas along the road.

rocky
1 month ago

Legit hike. Hiked as a loop with Harkins Ridge Trail, beautiful views of the ocean toward the top, massive moss covered tress and redwoods in the lower sections. Rating 8/10

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is beautiful with the open views and rolling hills, the ocean in the background and the walk through the shady redwoods. A wonderful hike...except for the last 0.9 mile . Ending uphill is more difficult than you would think! I couldn’t think of anything but the hike ending for that last little bit, but the majority of it was so pleasant that I can’t complain too much. Worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

I was here on May 4/2020. My tracking was 10.7 miles. Very pretty trail, 20 percent of my time in the trail was exposed with the sun. I had ocean view, mountains,a lot of redwood trees, creek, steam, not much of rocks or sandstone. Some areas have single track, it was hard for me to build distance. I will come back to this trail again.

hiking
2 months ago

Really lovely trail! Beautiful scenery. Not sure why though my tracking ended up at 10.6 miles but after 9.5 miles I’m not really counting anymore! Ha! Such Z beautiful park!

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Just got back from this fantastic hike. It's all downhill for the first half and then almost entirely uphill for the second half, so make sure to pace your supplies properly. BTW my tracker said this hike was 10.75 miles. Today was a very foggy day so no ocean views available but it was still breathtaking to look down into the valley (which was full of fog). There's a stone bench right near the southern start of the Craig Britton Trail that provided a nice opportunity to rest my feet and take in the sounds of the creek and birds.

Lots of butterflies today with the warmer weather!

running
2 months ago

Great trail! One of the best in the Bay Area. Well labeled and great views. The park just closed today to everyone. Hopefully we can return to it some time soon.

The park is still open (CLOSED ON WEEKENDS) but there is only parking in the lot, nothing on the streets. I hear they give out tickets if you park on the streets so I’d come early. Lots of banana slugs so please watch your step! Someone wasn’t paying attention and I saw a couple that were squished under a footprint. Beautiful views even when you’re amongst the clouds and fog.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

104 banana slugs. All down hill for the first half and then backup the second half. Last 1.5 miles is by far the steepest grade up. Very beautiful!

Showing results 1 - 26 of 977