Hikes in Portola Redwoods State Park
1 Jan 2012
Portola Redwoods State Park is a treasure in Santa Cruz Mountains. It is one of my favorite parks in the bay area. The park is relatively quiet, with few hikers. Other redwood parks like Big Basin or Castle Rock are teeming with visitors. Trails in Portola Redwoods are generally shaded by tall trees, sometimes next to creeks. Long, interesting routes are possible by combining trails from two adjacent parks: Pescadero Creek County Park in the west and Long Ridge Open Space Preserve in the east.
Best time to visit: I love to visit redwoods in winters, especially after rains, when creeks flow with water and vegetation looks fresh and green. Generally speaking, trails are walkable even after rains because layers of leaves form a carpet that protects our feet from mud. Redwoods are popular during summers as well because they are cooler than open spaces, providing respite from the sun.
Notes: In Feb 2010, the Visitors Center was closed, no maps were available and the restrooms were also closed due to shortage of funds. So we took maps with ourselves to explore this beautiful park.