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).

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

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

*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. {COVID-19 UPDATE, JULY 2020}: Parking is extremely limited!}**

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Hidden Stairways of SF: Urban Hike

    This guided hike sold out fast, but new dates have been added! Get outdoors and explore the hidden stairways and gardens of San Francisco anew. Small group and socially distanced.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Ah, Good Point

    Ready for a rewarding view? Head to to one of the Peninsula’s favorite promontories: Mori Point. Climb your way up the Bootlegger’s Steps to the Mori Point headland for awesome vantages of the San Mateo Coast.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Shealor Stunner

    Robust mountains, striking slabs of granite, and deep green pine reflections make Shealor Lake near Kirkwood resort a jewel of the El Dorado National Forest. Reach this alpine oasis on a 1.3-mile hike.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    National Parks Road Trip: Circle of Discovery!

    Love national parks? Love road trips? Combine the two on one fabulous Circle of Discovery route in Northern California and Southern Oregon! This itinerary features 7 national parks with wondrous features.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Peak-a-View!

    Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the entire country and the seventh deepest in the world. For one of the very best perspectives of this shining blue beauty, hike up to Garfield Peak.

    View