Monday, December 16, 2013


60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Sixteen
Portola Redwoods State Park
Redwoods on Slate Creek Trail

What it's like:
This 7.4 mile loop travels through a forest of gorgeous Douglas fir and redwood trees, and includes a visit to a small waterfall, all in a remote San Mateo County canyon.

Why now:
Planning a winter hike here can be tricky. Heavy rainstorms often knock the park's trees about (and down), but with no major storms yet trails and roads are clear. Portola Redwoods is one of the best destinations for mushroom spotting -- in my opinion far better than for wildflowers in spring. Now's the time to admire the fungus among us!

If you can't make it this week:
Go in summer and stay a few days at the park's wonderful campground.

Insider tip:
After the start of the rainy season, park staff remove the bridges crossing Pescadero Creek. If that is the case when you visit, start your hike on Iverson Trail just across from the Madrone parking lot, and skip the trip to Tiptoe Falls.

Portola Redwoods State Park is hike number 46 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
To the lighthouse! This may be the very best week of the year to make the long, scenic drive out to the Point Reyes lighthouse. From late December through mid-April on weekends and holidays heavy visitation requires a shuttle bus ride from Drakes Beach to the lighthouse. Instead, go now, for incredible views and a very good chance to spot migrating whales as well as elephant seals. Remember, the lighthouse is closed Tuesdays-Thursdays.

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.

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