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portola redwoods state park

Best Redwood Hikes in the Bay Area

Best Redwood Hikes in the Bay Area
Summer in the Bay Area means the tourists and out-of-townere are coming. Muir Woods sits at the top of everyone’s bucket list of San Francisco must dos. With its groves of old growth redwoods, it’s hard not to see why. This NPS unit is family friendly and accessible for all.

However, access these days is getting more tough. Muir Woods now requires shuttle or parking reservations to reduce congestion on this small, impacted area. (Foot or bike traffic is not affected by this change.)

If redwoods are on your list, but reservation systems and crowds and boardwalks are not, I’ve compiled a list of redwood hikes in the Bay Area varying lengths and degrees of difficulty that are equally amazing or better than Muir Woods.

Read on for the full list of best redwood hikes in the Bay Area.

Hiking Peters Creek Loop

Hiking Peters Creek Loop Portola Redwoods May 2017

Nestled deep in the Santa Cruz mountains, down some twisty roads, is my favorite local state park: Portola Redwoods. Creeks, short waterfalls and old growth redwoods are tucked inside this lesser traveled park. The trees aren’t as large as the ones found in nearby Big Basin State Park, but more often than not, you’ll find them in solitude. Weekend obligations kept me in the Bay Area a few weeks ago so I popped over to this park for a bit of solo hiking and mileage in preparation for long missions this summer.

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Portola Redwoods SP: Tiptoe Falls

Portola Redwoods State Park: Tiptoe Falls

On Saturday morning, I set off to do a bit of solo hiking in Portola Redwoods State Park. I had a few hours to kill and wanted something a little more remote and quiet than the open space preserves in the area. This park is one of the hidden gems in the Bay Area, tucked away off of Skyline Blvd in La Honda, CA.

I decided to check out Tiptoe Falls in this severe drought to see if it still even existed. There are currently campground closures throughout the park and no running water throughout the park. My first stop would be Tiptoe Falls, approximately .5 miles away from the parking lot. The trail descended to Pescadero Creek, which had such low flow volume it appeared stagnant.

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