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Peters Creek Loop Hike Information

On this loop hike, you’ll enjoy the third largest old-growth redwood grove in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for a redwood adventure.

Watch for:

Look for old-growth redwoods, salamanders, newts and banana slugs.

Hiking Details for Peters Creek Loop

Distance: 11.5 mile loop

Elevation gain: 1800′ feet

Hiking time: 6-7 hours

Trail surface: Packed dirt

Best season: Summer and fall

Managing agency: California Department of Parks and Recreation

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Hike overview: This loop hike takes you through a seldom-visited area of the park and past majestic old-growth redwoods – the third largest grove in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the words of Anne Marie Brown, author of 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area, “A trip to the Peters Creek Grove may be the most awe-inspiring hike in the Bay Area” and “The sanctity of this grove will move you.”

The route for this hike is fairly straight forward. From the park’s headquarters, take the Slate Creek Trail and go left on the Bear Creek Trail to the Peters Creek Loop trail. Then retrace your steps.

If 11.5 miles sounds a bit daunting for one day you can also stretch this hike out into a short backpacking trip by camping at Slate Creek Trail Camp. Plan ahead as reservations are required for backcountry camping at this location.

Directions to the Peters Creek Loop Hike

From 280, exit at Page Mill Road. Head west, and follow Page Mill Road for about 11.5 winding miles, until you cross Skyline Blvd. Stay straight, continuing on Alpine Road for about 3.5 more miles. Then take a slight left onto Portola State Park Road.

More About Portola Redwoods State Park

Portola Redwoods State Park is home to a great diversity of trees, including coast redwoods, Douglas fir, and the endangered Santa Cruz cypress. You’ll also find tan oak, madrone, California bay laurel, canyon live oak, big leaf maple, and California wax myrtle throughout the park. The creeks that run through the park are home to endangered Coho salmon and steelhead trout. With 18 miles of trails, a family campground, group campsites, and a trail camp for backpackers, there are plenty of options for exploration.

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