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


no dogs



nature trips


trail running

kid friendly




wild flowers

Pescadero, California Map
7 days ago

Brought my hiking group up on a perfect day - I always plan around CLEAR WEATHER for this hike. Near the top of my list of favorite hikes in San Mateo County - although its not for everyone. Hardest part is the first mile - you climb 1000+ feet on a switchback trail in the shaded woods; it helps to stop at the lookouts and catch your breath or suck on an orange slice. Once you get up on the road, the landscape completely changes to knob pines, chinquapins & "the Chalks." For the most part you'll be trailing on top of the ridge as you head to Chalk Mtn and its terrific "backdoor" views of Big Basin SP. At Chalk Mtn. there's a radio tower and a toilet (a "Loo with a View") & brief cell reception. If you want a picnic table, walk west of the radio tower on the small flat hill above the road. You return the way you came to your parking spot on Whitehouse Road (technically your starting place is in Ano Nuevo State Preserve.) Don't forget to bring WATER!

Challenging on the uphill with a few switch backs over drainages. Mile 5 is when you hit Doe Trail to Goat Trail - a gentle down hill with lazy S turns. Footing was solid for narrow trails. I’m excited to check it out again.

Beautiful views

Great trail. There are a few short sections of the trail that look like they could wash out with a good rain or two so might avoid around then. Tons of shade and enjoyed walking through the trees. Very little traffic

This trail is pretty nice, good variety of things to see, including some good views, but I agree with Ryan H. that it would have been even nicer in the spring when the creekbeds weren't dry. "Moderate" is an optimistic difficulty rating, I've done "Hard" trails that were easier than this. It's long, with lots of uphill, and I was relieved that I wasn't backpacking to the campground. We left + returned from Ben Ries campground which allowed us to skip the steep downhill on Nuevo.

Scenery: 2
Views: 3.5
Difficulty: 2
Crowds: 2
Shade: 1

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Keep in mind you will not see the piegeon point light house on this trail. This is simply the nearest hiking trail to the lighthouse. We wanted to do a hike since we came from SF to see the light house so this is where we went. The trail was decent. It was clean, has a cool looking foot bridge, and a nice Vista sitting area overlooking a pond with some hills in the background. However you have to cross the highway twice with no crosswalks and you can see/hear the highway in the background most of the time. Also the part through the beach should be considered optional dependent on weather. Watch out for poison oak which lined about a quarter of the trail

Large, sandy beach with tide pools and a bench you can walk to that has a nice platform and views of seals. Part of the hike in has a boardwalk which makes it an easy walk.

Arrived before 10 on labor day and there was some parking available. There is parking near the trail-head past the first restroom.

We did this clockwise and it provides a nice gentle slope up so as not to be too strenuous.

Lots of redwoods, shade, and slugs. I can see that in the winter there may be running streams but not at the end of summer.

Overall, beautiful, quiet, not many others, and cool. A moderate hike due to length (add the walk from the first bathroom and we did about 9 miles).

Did a quick 9.5 miles in about 3.5 hours. Definitely start the loop via Jackson Flats; I can imagine the immediate switchbacks the other way would be enough to scare people off. It was much easier coming down Nuevo.

A lot of different biomes are covered in this hike, but it’s mostly shade. A few times you break out onto a ridge and get some sun, but never too much. The way I went there definitely is significant elevation gain, even if no stint of uphill lasts that long.

Would recommend as a spring hike. Late summer there’s not much running water so not a tremendous amount to see, but for the ridiculous amount of poison oak. There’s a vista or two but is mostly in the covered forest

The views are great, and there are lots of places to venture down to the tide pools. If you park at Bean Hollow and walk north toward Pebble Beach, the path has signifcant amounts of poison oak that are hard to avoid in several places where the path is narrow. It doesn’t seem to be particularly well-kept so go prepared to deal with the vegetation.

At the end of the driveway to the campground, you can also go straight on the service road through a gate. Soon you’ll see the path from campsite merges in, followed by a signage post to goat hill trail on your right side.

This trail doesn’t go to lighthouse, it’s about 6 miles drive south

3 months ago

So beautiful. The docents are very nice and helpful. The elephant seals were fun snd we even saw whales the day we went. The trails are very well laid out. Just a joy.

on Butano Creek Trail

4 months ago

5 months ago

Great hike - I think Butano is the best Redwood park in the Bay Area ... bc of the quiet. Easy to find trail head but not a ton of parking. The Flats Trail was simply amazing due to a small amount of fog - watch out for Newts - they were every where on the trail. Canyon also a great trail however dont take it all the way - turn right on Indian. Coming down Nuevo wasnt easy - very steep

scenic driving
7 months ago

I nice stretch of the legs after driving North on PCH from Monterey. This stretch of PCH has some great sea cliff overlooks. Excellent Road Trip.

Really cool hike Dec-March you can’t do the whole hike unless you do the tour as it’s National season and males are aggressive. There are limited spots. I almost didn’t go but it was awesome! $7 for the tour and $10 for parking

Amazing place. Gorgeous trail and views. If you go during Dec-March you will also enjoy views of elephant seals. Remarkable animals.
Trail is easy, with some walks on sand dunes. My 6 year old had no issues

8 months ago

I did not start at the trail's head, but from a pulloff at Ross Road...I hiked around here solo for about 4 hours, and saw not one person...it was truly amazing...Bull male elephant seal was bobbing around at one point and making lots of noise..saw many hawks and harbor seals too...I love the wooded walkway at the end of the dune area, it feels nice to lay there at the end and relax and have lunch...beautiful place...good seaglass too by the way...found a stopper and some large turquoise chunks

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

9 months 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.

9 months ago

Easy trail, nice views. Saw lots of birds and some harbor seals on the rocks.

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.

11 months ago

Peaceful path with no other traffic on a Saturday. Mostly flat with a small incline at the end that offers nice views looking back over the grasslands towards the ocean.

11 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.

11 months ago

Amazing area when the Elephant Seals are there...

11 months ago

Another forgotten trail from when i lived in HMB. There was a dead whale on the beach one time when i was there.

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