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What you need to know

Location Activities

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Photo Op
  • Redwood
  • Waterfall
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Preserve Information

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve has over 24 miles of trails to explore, so there's something for everyone, whether you're looking for an easy stroll or a strenuous hike. The views are world-class and are forever yours to enjoy thanks to POST, who helped protect this landscape in 2005.

The Purisima Creek and Whittemore Gulch hike (details below) meanders through redwoods and along a creek before climbing up to a more exposed ridge and back down to another stream in a quiet forest. It's a good challenge and one of our favorite routes.

Watch for:

Huckleberry shrubs, madrone, tan oak and lots of banana slugs!

Our Favorite Hike at Purisima Creek Redwoods

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

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Midpen Logo-TransparentThough we try to keep this page accurate, please see the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s website before visiting for the latest information.



If you’re up for a challenge, try the Purisima Creek and Whitemore Gulch hike, which takes you through the heart of the preserve. You’ll have to put in a lot of work, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views.

Take the Purisima Creek Trail to the Craig Britton Trail, then the Harkins Ridge Trail, North Ridge Trail and Whittemore Gulch Trail. The Whittemore Gulch Trail is not open to bicyclists and equestrians, though some other trails in the preserve do allow bikes and horses.

Please see the preserve map for more information on what activities are allowed where in this preserve.

The Backstory

POST protected Purisima Creek as part of our Saving the Endangered Coast Campaign back in 2005, established with a gift of $2 million from Save the Redwoods League. The preserve encompasses the headwaters of Purisima Creek, which flows past verdant farmland before entering the Pacific at Cowell Ranch, another POST-protected property that lies just south of Half Moon Bay.


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