Staff portrait for Justin Garland.
By ,
Redwoods Program Manager

We’re lucky here in the Bay Area to live close to places like Muir Woods National Monument and Big Basin Redwoods State Park where we can escape for a hike in the redwoods. While you’ve probably heard of both of these places, you might not know that they can get pretty crowded – especially in the summer.

But don’t worry, there are so many other amazing places to experience the majesty of our redwood forests that aren’t as crowded (you just might not have heard of them before). Here are a few of our favorite redwood hikes on the Peninsula and in the South Bay area:

Eagle Rock - POST

1. Eagle Rock Trail

Little Basin State Park
Boulder Creek, San Mateo County

This four-mile climb to a fire lookout provides great views of the surrounding redwood forest of Little Basin. This property was once a company retreat for Hewlett-Packard until POST purchased it in 2007, making it available for public enjoyment. Keep a lookout for red huckleberries, star lily, mountain iris and black-tailed deer along the way.

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation change: 1400′ gain

Hiking time: 3 hours

Trail surface: packed dirt, fully exposed

Best Season: year round

Managing agency: Little Basin Redwoods State Park

Parking lot location: Click here for directions


Looking for more great hikes?  Try our hiking guide.


Phleger Estate - POST

2. Skyline Trail

Phleger Estate
Woodside, San Mateo County

This 4.6-mile hike follows old logging roads through towering second-growth redwoods. This forest was cut down in the Gold Rush era but has since recovered and is now home to a variety of wildlife. In 1995, POST partnered with Save the Redwoods League and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in an ambitious campaign to protect this property. We’ve since transferred the land to the National Park Service and it is now open for public enjoyment.

Distance: 4.6 miles round trip

Elevation change: 400′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 2-3 hours

Trail surface: Uneven, dirt trail

Best Season: Year round

Managing agency: San Mateo County Parks

Parking lot location: Click here for directions


Purisima Creek - POST

3. Purisima Creek and Whittemore Gulch

Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve
Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County

This hike meanders through redwoods and along a beautiful creek for a total of seven miles round-trip. POST protected Purisima Creek as part of our Saving the Endangered Coast Campaign back in 2005. Keep an eye out for huckleberry shrubs, madrone, tanoak and lots of banana slugs!

Distance: 9.1 mile loop

Elevation change: 1600′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 5-7 hours, depending on your route

Trail surface: Packed Dirt

Best Season: All year

Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Parking lot location: Click here for directions


Butano State Park - POST

4. Canyon Rim Route

Butano State Park
Pescadero, San Mateo County

If you’re up for a day-long redwood hike, this 11.7-mile hike follows the rim of a secluded canyon full of huge second-growth redwoods. It features beautiful vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains and, on a clear day, you can see as far as Big Basin Redwoods State Park. In 2000, POST protected 903 acres of this park and has since transferred it to State Parks for permanent management and protection.

Distance: 11.7 mile loop

Elevation change: 1700′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 7-9 hours

Trail surface: packed dirt, mix of shade and sun

Best Season: Year round

Managing agency: CA Parks and Recreation

Parking lot location: Click here for directions


Looking for more great hikes on the Peninsula and in the South Bay?

Fill out the form and we’ll send you a guide to 30 of our favorite trails.


Hikes Guide - POST

Can't see the form? Please click here for a simplified version.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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