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Our Guide to Butano State Park Hiking

December 23, 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!


4 of the Best Bay Area Hiking Trails

July 1, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

bay area hiking trails

Photo Credit: btwashburn / Flickr

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its scenic splendor, which undoubtedly contributed to its being settled by Spanish explorers in 1776. Europeans then spread throughout the entire area, some chasing land to live off of, and others business opportunities in a new booming American city.

Now one of the most populous region in the entire country, it continues to be recognized for its stunning beauty and preservation of public lands where both locals and visitors can appreciate the natural beauty on one of the many Bay Area hiking trails. Whether you’re on a family vacation and need a trail that is amenable to all ages, or are an avid hiker and want a strenuous way to spend a whole day, you’ll find it among the hills, mountains and bluffs of the Bay Area.

Here Are 4 Great Bay Area Hiking Trails to Check Out While in the Area

  1. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Locate on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Devil’s Slide Trail is a multiuse paved path for hikers and bikers alike in Half Moon Bay. Stretching just 1.3 miles, it is an out and back trail that is a segment of the California Coastal Trail. It is spotted with convenient amenities like bike racks, drinking fountains, and restrooms.
  2. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
    This park in Santa Cruz County is south of Half Moon Bay and is known or an easy 4.7-mile loop through redwoods with about 700 feet in elevation change. It is a mostly shaded trail and takes the average hiker about 2-and-a-half hours to complete.
  3. The Waterfall Loop at Big Basin State Park
    Also in Santa Cruz County is the coveted Big Basin State Park which is home to this epic 11-mile waterfall loop that is known as much for its stunning views and numerous waterfalls, as well as its difficulty. The elevation changes throughout this mountainous hike add up to about 200 feet, and the average hiking time is about 6 hours. Be sure to pack plenty of supplies for this day in the redwoods.
  4. Memorial Park
    Located in San Mateo County alongside the more well known Pescadero Creek Park, Memorial park is home to a beautiful 5-mile loop trail. This well-graded dirt track is a great place for beginners and although it gains about 800 total feet in elevation, there are no steep climbs. The entire loop should take about two-and-a-half hours and is abounding in beautiful views of both the valley and the ocean below as it is perched on the mountains in their midst.

This handful of Bay Area hiking trails barely scratches the surface of all the wooded and coastal areas to be explored in this Northern California haven for natural wonders. Visitors should definitely opt for seeing the gargantuan redwoods while here, as well as taking in the coastal cliffs so emblematic of the romantic setting in the small towns like Half Moon Bay plotted up and down the seaboard. If you are looking for other activities to enjoy while in the area check out this free vacation guide full of ideas.