Purisima Charisma

Purisima Creek Redwoods HIke

Beautiful old-growth redwoods have been at Purisima Creek for a long time, but the purple, pink, white, and yellow blossoms popping right now are spring fresh. Combine a canopy of redwoods and newly blooming wildflowers on a 5.4-mile loop in this Half Moon Bay haven. The hike will stretch your limbs (look up at the redwoods doing the same) as you climb moderately steep switchbacks on a dirt trail. With a deepening gulch to one side and an expansive fern-covered rock wall to the other, you'll be mingling among young and old redwoods, moss-covered oak, clovers, and lush green vegetation. Cross footbridges and keep an eye out for slow-going banana slugs on the trail. Wildflowers look Easter primed, enhanced by sunlight piercing through the branches overhead. Common blooms include wild iris, lupine, California poppy, and forget-me-nots. About a mile up you'll encounter a fairy circle, where a cluster of young redwoods have emerged around the location of a dead redwood. Continue up for valley vistas before looping around for the return trip back down. This spring, your cup is half-moon full!

The trailhead to Purisima Creek Redwoods is located 4.2 miles down Higgins Canyon Rd. in Half Moon Bay. For the 5.4-mile loop, hike left uphill 2.2 miles along the Whittemore Gulch Trail. At the first intersection, continue left uphill for 0.3 mile, angling downhill for 0.6 mile when you meet a wooden gate. When you again intersect Whittemore Gulch, follow the trail back down to where you began. Free parking, although the lot is limited. Download a map on the official website. No dogs.

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