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Our Guide to Butano State Park Hiking

December 23rd, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Butano State Park redwoodsThere is no better way to see the beauty of northern California than through Butano State Park hiking. From the towering redwoods to the park critters, you’re bound to enjoy your time exploring this magnificent state park.

About Butano State Park

In the coastal forested mountains just to the north of Half Moon Bay in the town of Pescadero, you’ll find one of the area’s most charming state parks. This land was preserved in 1957 through the Butano State Park, with the main purpose being to preserve more of the coveted coastal redwoods. Now one of the area’s best places to find a variety of hiking trails, to explore the towering redwoods and find woodpeckers, newts, and the rare Calypso orchids that many come specifically to find. Butano State Park hiking trails offer a variety of short and long loops for you to enjoy.

The change in elevation throughout the park, as well as the erratic coastal climate, means that hikers should be prepared with clothing layers. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, snacks and to adhere to the Butano State Park’s strict no-crumb rules. Before heading out make sure to review the Butano State Park Map and Butano State Park Trail Map to make sure you are choosing the correct trails for your skill level and endurance. Butano State Park backpacking adventures led by a naturalist will be coming to the park in the summer of 2016.

Short Butano State Park Loops

  • Little Butano Creek Trail – This 4.3-mile hike gains 500 feet in elevation beginning at the parking lot near the entrance. Come explore this charming creek trail that will also get you up on one of the park’s ridges overlooking the valley below.
  • Little Butano Creek and Ano Nuevo –  For a great and longer variation of the Little Butano Creek Trail, a slight turn will give you 5.5 miles of hiking and even get you up to 1000 feet for more spectacular views, while you still get to enjoy the quaint lowland setting of the creek.

Long Butano State Park Loops

  • Grand Loop – This is the longest possible hiking route in the whole park, taking you meandering through its midst for 18 miles with a total elevation climb of 3,300 feet. There is no better way to explore the park than to truly devote a day or two to this epic trail where you will not only become deeply acquainted with the flora and fauna of this unique forest, but will also get some of the best panoramas of the valley available, and ends with an exciting creek crossing. There is a hike-in campground where you can stay along the way to break up two days worth of hiking on the Grand Loop.
  • Jackson Flats and Ray Linder Trails – This 14.2-mile loop is a full day hiking with significant climbs in elevation. This route will offer you a chance to see the numerous microclimates found within the park including redwood groves, along the creek, and up and down various mountain ridges. If you’re looking for a wildflower hike in the spring, this is a great option.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the region south of San Francisco where Half Moon Bay is found. One of the wonderful things about the area is that you can both enjoy the urban life and a redwood forest in one day, without feeling the strain of long travel times. After a day exploring the beauty that surrounds you, head back to Mill Rose Inn to rest. Located just minutes away from Butano State Park, we are in the perfect location for you to visit both Half Moon Bay and the beautiful neighboring state park. When considering taking a trip to the area and looking for more things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to download our Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide. We look forward to booking your stay and hearing about your adventures in Butano State Park!