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

Good workout. Nice views. Suggest getting there early (before 10am) if you want convenient parking and a peaceful hike.

Just completed a portion of the loop today. I'm giving this a Moderate to High Moderate rating. Our loop was 7.51 miles in 5 hrs, 4 mins (not including a 30 min lunch). Minimally, carry 2 liters of water or hydration pack. We spoke with the Ranger and followed her suggestion. We took Whitemore Gulch Trail down: great suggestion. Saw two bucks immediately, good trail maintenance, great views, wild flowers blooming. We came back up Harkins Trail and it is steep in several areas (8%} and in more Sun. Ranger suggested coming back up Whitemore, but you're going to have to come back up either way. if we had more tone, we'd have done the full loop.

hiking
4 days ago

Started from the Higgins Road Trailhead. Nice mix of shady forest and great views.

Gorgeous and vigorous hike!

this trail has beautiful views of the coast. the hike uphill is quite a good workout! i agree with other reviewers, do this trail clockwise. turn left first. this gives you a lot more shade during the hike up.

Truly amazing hike. 7 miles loop. Elevation gain of close to 2000 feet. A superb view of ocean while going down the Harkins ridge and while near the purisima creek, the redwood forest preserve grows on you. The Whittemore gulch trail back is completely shaded expect small parts on the northridge trail. Saw two deers at a close range. Lots of birds, a rabbit nibbling away to glory. The flora along the way is good too. I highly recommend this hike. As the description says, please carry plenty of water. I also recommend a good set of binoculars.

hiking
16 days ago

Very nice and shady hike. Saw several banana slugs and all kinds of birds. Very few people this morning and we got there that at about 10:30am on Sunday. The sandstone deck is a nice photo op. There were some mountain bikers who were quite cautious and respectful. That little portion down to the bottom of Fir trail is awesome. The rest of the hike is easy but sticking with that descent and hike up gives you a great little workout with plenty of time to relax for the remainder of the hike.

Great hike, lots of ticks on the long grass though so be careful. And definitely walk down Hawkins if it’s a sunny day or you’ll be walking up it in heavy sun.

6/30/18 Saturday, hottest day of the week. 10.4 miles under 4.5 hrs, plenty of free parking at 8am started from Purisima Creek Trail Head parking near Redwoods Trail Head. It was 2miles downhill hike not recommended to come back uphill . Loop around to Whittemore Gulch to North Ridge Trail Parking Lot. There is a trail along highway 35 next to the fence of private properties to go back to Redwoods/ Purisima Creek Trailhead. Some parts has no shade and lots of challenging uphill. Probably rated as hard due to long distance and some steep elevations but if you keep doing small hikes with elevations, this will only be a moderate challenge. Just keep hydrated and bring a snack bar 

First time hiking this trail. Hot weekend in the Bay Area so we hit the trail at 8am to avoid the heat. Plenty of parking at that time, but by the time we finished at 11am parking lot was full and everyone was parking on Skyline Blvd. We chose to take trail clockwise, down Harkins Trail and climbing out on Whittemore Gulch. This gave us maximum shade possible for the climb up. At the base where two trails (Harkins & Whittemore) meet up there is a small little grove (called Nancy C Minard) down by the creek that is peaceful and quiet. Great place to relax for a minute and have your snack/lunch. Trail narrows at only a few spots, it’s mostly a wide trail where you can easily hike next to someone.

A great way to get a workout while enjoying nature! This trail had a little bit of everything- views from above, a forest, flowers everywhere, and even a little creek at the bottom. We went counterclockwise and found it more enjoyable. Doesn't matter which way you go; one half will be downhill and the way back will be all uphill. We found it easier to go left (2nd intersection) on Whittemore Gulch Trail instead of continuing right on North Ridge trail. This way we were able to enjoy more of the woods. Either way, the two trails meet eventually, and you continue onto Whittemore Gulch. *Be warned: going down on Whittemore Gulch means you will be going up on Harkings Ridge, which is mostly out in the sun. If it's a hot day, it might be a better idea to do this loop clockwise. There is a really nice area at the midway point (where Whittemore Gulch meets Harkings Ridge) to have a lunch break. It's right behind the bridge. There were people on the trail, but it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded, and every person we saw along the way was very nice. It took us 3.5 hours to complete, with plenty of stops for pictures and a small lunch break. Definitely hard on the legs, so leave yourself plenty of time for breaks and bring lots of water, especially when it's hot. Enjoy!

Love this trail have been doing it for years. Now that summer is here and it’s warm this is the perfect hiking trail because of all the trees. Lots of shade bring water and prepare to hike back up.

Easy downhill very hard uphill. I will recommend go downhill on Harkins and uphill on Whittemore as it’s more gradual and shady of the two trails. Next time I will be doing that. Great views of the ocean and the redwood trees. the total loop is more like 8miles not 6.4. Overall Enjoyed the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout!!!

Difficult hike. Very beautiful in early spring.

Went on Thursday 5/10, arrived at 11am and completed 9 mike hike in about 4 hours. Lots of shade, awesome atmosphere, very green, nice views and amazing Redwoods, passed by the creek area. Great for bird watching. Downhill at the beginning and uphill at the end. Went with a friend who doesn’t normally hike and she was able to complete the 9 miles with very short pauses on the uphill part. Ok for hiking solo as well, saw many people hiking alone. Fair cell phone reception. Parking available.

This trail was a great workout, all downhill one way and uphill the other. Poles are definitely a good idea for this trail, especially if your knees give you trouble. Banana slugs and wildflowers abound! Lots of shade on the way down with more exposed areas on the way up. Bring layers. There are port a potties at both ends of the trail but no trash cans, so please be sure to pack out what you bring in. Also there aren’t any tables or really great places to stop and eat along the trail or at either end. This is definitely a beautiful trail!

Exhausting but worth it!

A bit hard to climb up. Very nice seashore view

Amazing Redwood canopy lined by fern and occasional mist. Heaven!

Really good hike and the uphill on the return is definitely a good workout. Beautiful redwood groves and a serene creek, a variety of wildflowers, and a few pretty good views of the coast below.

Great training loop; good tree coverage to protect from the elements but some exposure on the hike up to the lot; definitely a difficult climb especially with a heavy pack

Hike was great. Though we carried enough water, we didn’t have anything to eat. Getting some calories while burning them would have made this hike even more enjoyable!!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with lots of Geocaches! Drone footage can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMt2gbNfKQU

Easy downhill, hard hiking back. Still beautiful

There are many different options to complete this loop. The loop has a lot of features, redwoods, ocean viewpoint, creek. It was a good climb at the latter half, and the trail has a lot of shades. Once passed the first descending part it would be a very good trail for running too.
One can see a lot of different scenes in this one loop. from mountain to ocean, from bare ground to tree canopies, from mountaintop to creek valleys.
Definitely worth the effort of completing the whole loop.

trees, downhill then uphill, can see half moon bay, nice forest type trial

Amazing trail

hiking
5 months ago

A beautiful combination of redwood forest and hilly vistas. Popular hike but not overly crowded the return part of the loop is mostly uphill and at times feels like a "hard" level, not "moderate". Recommend.

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