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Pescadero Creek

Pescadero Creek County Park

Pescadero Creek County Park Links:

September 3rd, 2001

10.0 miles
1640 vertical feet
Total Time: 6:14

Rating: 6/10

Directions: Take 280 south to the Woodside Road exit and head west (right). Keep right to head up the hill to Skyline Boulevard. Continue on Highway 84 (La Honda Road) down the other side of Skyline. Make a left turn onto Pescadero Creek Road, then a left onto Wurr Road into Pescadero Creek County Park.   View Driving Map

Brenda, Jean, Howard, and I negotiated the light traffic from the King's Mountain Art Festival to reach Pescadero Creek County Park. We made jokes about passing near the county jail, but we never actually saw the structure (it's south of Old Haul Road).

We started out around 10:30am under sunny skies. There were hardly any other cars in the large lot as we started out on this Labor Day. Perhaps everyone was home barbecuing. We started off on the Old Haul Road, a wide dirt road. There are a few unmarked side roads; ignore them. If they're not signed, they probably lead to private property.

We began to pass by redwood groves before we turned left onto the Pomponio Trail. Soon after the intersection we made our first stream crossing. At this late date, there wasn't much water to cross, and what we did have to cross was easily done by rock-hopping. The trail then emerges from the forest and passes a meadow -- hot and dry under the summer sun. Probably a much nicer sight in the spring.

Jean resting in the redwood forest

We turned left onto the Jones Gulch Trail, where we passed some of the prettier redwood forests. It's a short detour, and we soon crossed a large flattened log over the creek and returned along the opposite shore. We somehow managed to avoid seeing Granger's Bridge, which is supposedly one of the highlights of the park -- there's a 20-foot waterfall there. To see it, make a sharp right onto the Brook Trail Loop.

Crossing the bridge

Instead, we continued to the left and ran into a couple of equestrians. We helped them with some directions, then turned left onto the Brook Trail Loop (not to be confused with the intersection we'd just passed). This trail climbs and climbs through the forest. It's easily switch-backed, meaning it's not very steep. But it climbs relentlessly. And in places near the top, it's unshaded. That being said, that does provide for some views of the forested hillsides below. When we reached the top, we started to look for places to stop for lunch. There aren't many choices. There aren't many logs or rocks to sit on. We eventually meandered over to the edge of a meadow and sat down on the ground.

The same equestrians we'd seen earlier had come full circle and now passed us at our lunch spot. After lunch we continued on the trail, which now descended gently. Less than a half hour later, we found a picnic bench. It would have been a perfect spot for lunch -- providing views, shade, and a place to sit all at the same place. Don't count on it, though, as there's only one table so it may be occupied when you come by.

View from the trail

After a short rest, we continued on down the trail. There are some very nice redwood groves along the way. At one point of the trail, you can look down dozens of feet to see the base of the redwoods, then look an equal or greater amount upwards toward the tops of the same trees. After our second crossing of the Towne Fire Road, we turned onto that trail. In contrast to the Brook Trail Loop, the Towne Fire Road is a wide dirt road and descends without switchbacks. We continued along the trail and came to another crossing of Pescadero Creek. A wooden board served as a makeshift foot bridge here.

Looking down on the redwoods

After crossing the creek, we soon reached our old friend the Old Haul Road. It was quite dark in the forest now, as the afternoon sun was below the treetops. We walked past more redwood groves. It's a fairly short way from here back to the parking lot.

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