Purisima Charisma

Hike Purisima Creek Redwoods on the San Mateo Coast

Hike Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve

Hundred-foot redwoods, a shaded canyon, and views overlooking Half Moon Bay. This 10-mile loop hike in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is a roller-coaster of uphill and downhill along with easygoing stretches through some of the Bay Area’s most beautiful landscape.

Get an early start and set out from the main trailhead on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35). It’s a downhill ramble along Harkins Ridge Trail with excellent views of the San Mateo Coast, Half Moon Bay, and Pillar Point.

After a couple of miles you’ll be at Purisima Creek, a generally tranquil spot to take a break and dip your toes in the water. Relax under the canopy of sycamores and second-growth redwoods (all the originals were logged in the early 1900s).

Make a gradual climb up the Purisima Creek Trail—conveniently shaded—before veering onto the skinny, canyon-hugging Craig Britton Trail. Traverse among more beautiful redwoods and across wooden bridges before the final huff and puff back up to the trailhead.

Get involved in helping to protect open spaces like this. Sign up for POST's email newsletter.

Hike Purisima Creek Redwoods

Parking is extremely limited! Start at Purisima Creek Redwoods trailhead on Skyline Blvd. (Hwy. 35), 4.5 miles south of Hwy. 92. Pick up a map at the kiosk. Take the North Ridge Trail and Harding Ridge Trail all the way down to Purisima Creek. Cross the bridge and continue up the Purisima Creek Trail for 2.3 miles. Make a left on Craig Britton Trail and go 2.6 miles. At Harkins Ridge Trail make a right and climb 1.4 miles back to the trailhead. No dogs.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Two women at the entrance of the Lavender Labyrinth at Bees N Blooms in Santa Rosa

    Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

  2. Can't Top This

    San Francisco’s Presidio was already a fantastic place to hang out for the afternoon, a beautiful site within the largest urban national park in the United States (the Golden Gate National Recreation Area). And the new Presidio Tunnel Tops is like a cherry on top. Tunnel Tops is just as it sounds: a park on top of tunnels! Presidio Parkway tunnels to be precise.

  3. You Know Kehoe?

    Hiking with your dog in a national park? Almost unheard of! But Point Reyes National Seashore has an easy and short hiking trail to a stunning beach that’s dog-friendly on its north side. Kehoe Beach is a beautiful place to hang out even if you don’t have a dog.

  4. Little Hike in the Big Woods

    Redwoods, river crossings, waterfalls, and wildflowers—the South Bay’s Portola Redwoods State Park packs a lot of nature’s best features. Enjoy them hiking this 2.5-mile loop.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Flavors of Fillmore

    Fill up on Fillmore! This picturesque city in the Santa Clara River Valley is an ideal day trip for finding good nature and delicious locally grown food. Explore it all via a 5-mile out-and-back walk or bike ride.

  2. Sponsored

    Sea It All This Spring!

    Go deeper on your next adventure! Monterey Bay Aquarium allows you to go Into the Deep. Be mesmerized by the flashy, iridescent, and adorable creatures in the ever-evolving, fully bilingual exhibit

  3. Peak a-’bu

    Summiting Sandstone Peak is a premier 6-mile (round-trip) classic adventure delivering a dramatic, ever-changing landscape and some of Southern California’s most cinematic views.

  4. Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.