register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Butano Ridge Loop - Pescadero Creek Park, CA

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
13 1 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 13.71 miles
Trailhead Elevation 445 feet
Elevation Gain 1,652 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,686 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 27.14
Interest Ruins, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2013-02-02 JimmyLyding
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 111
Routes 431
Photos 4,307
Trips 716 map ( 4,298 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Sep, Oct, Jul → 5 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:10am - 7:20pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Pescadero Creek State Park
by JimmyLyding

Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
This hike begins in Portola Redwoods State Park, but quickly enters Pescadero Creek County Park. Travel steadily upwards from the deep redwood forest along Peters Creek to the second growth forest on the top of Butano Ridge before returning along an old road through still more forest. Leave your sunglasses behind as usual.

Park your car about 150 yards south / downhill from the visitor center, and continue walking down the road. Follow the signs directing you to the Iverson's Cabin site. There are a few signed, small trails heading off to the right that return to the main route after a hundred yards or so. Follow the paved road past where it turns into dirt through an area with a few duplex-style residences and some physical infrastructure for the park. Continue past the unsatisfying Iverson's Cabin ruins a few hundred yards to a junction with the Portola Trail. There's a large sign here with the usual tick and mountain lion warnings.

Continue up through a dense forest of second growth redwood for about 1.5 miles to Portola's junction with the Butano Ridge Loop trail. Turn left on Butano Ridge Loop to go uphill another 1-1/2 miles and 1,000' to a huge sandstone rock that stands out among the dense mixed forest of redwood, California bay, and Douglas fir. This stretch has a lot of switchbacks, but an unrelenting gain in elevation.

Go 2 miles or so on or near the top of Butano Ridge to the northwest along the old fire road while enjoying the easy hiking and deep forest. There are no views despite being on top of a regional high point.

The Butano Loop Trail heads downhill to the Old Haul Road after the 2 miles on top through a very dark redwood forest. I didn't notice any old growth trees, but the woods here are dark nonetheless. Old Haul is indeed an old road that is still maintained as a fire road, but mainly serves as a conduit for hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers between Butano County Park and Portola State Park. Take its gentle ups and downs for about 4 miles back to its intersection with the Portola Trail. Return to the parking area by going left back up your original route past the Iverson's Cabin site.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-02-05 JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Interstate 280 between San Jose and San Francisco, take Hwy 84 west in the woody suburb of Woodside through a small upscale suburban area for 5 miles as it winds its way up to a junction with Hwy 35 in the redwoods of Sky Londa, a wide spot in the road at the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Go left / south passing Windy Hill Open Space Preserve for 10 miles to Alpine Road. Go right past a parking lot that lies between the southern edge of Russian Ridge and Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserves. The road from here is a narrow and steep descent past some cows, rich people's homes in the woods, and dark, foreboding forest.

    The visitors center is about 10 miles down from Skyline, and that's where one must pay. It was $10.00 to park on the Saturdays of Jan. 26th and Feb. 2nd 2013, and there's an option to pay via envelope even if the park's closed.
    page created by JimmyLyding on Feb 05 2013 11:16 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker