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All Midpen Preserves are open to the public free of charge, 365 days a year from dawn until one-half hour after sunset.
The Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay. Magnificent views of the coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve. The preserve was established with a gift of $2 million from the Save-the-Redwoods League.
The preserve's main entrance and the North Ridge Trail trailhead are located on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), 4.5 miles south of Highway 92. Parking is available for 30 cars.
Get personalized driving directions to main entrance from Google Maps.
For access to the Redwood Trail or Purisima Creek Trail, there is an 11-car parking area at the trailhead 6.5 miles south of Highway 92.
The Preserve's western access point is accessible from Purisima Creek Road. From the Highway 92 and Highway 1 intersection in Half Moon Bay, travel on Highway 1 south approximately 4.3 miles. Turn left on Verde Road. After turning on to Verde Road and traveling 1/4-mile, continue straight to remain on what becomes Purisima Creek Road. (Verde Road splits off to the right.) Travel approximately 3.7 miles on Purisima Creek Road to reach the Preserve. Parking is available for approximately 5 cars.
The centerpiece of this 4,711-acre preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, rushing creek, and understory of ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Coastal scrub and hardwood forests of tanoak, madrone, and Douglas fir border the cool moist canyon. Magnificent views of the coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve.
Twenty-four miles of developed trails and historical logging roads provide opportunities for easy walks or long, strenuous hikes or rides. Remember to carry water on your hike, since the trails out of the canyon climb up to 1,600 feet and can be quite strenuous!
Below is a list of some basic regulations that will help to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.
Explorations in Fungi
Under the Redwoods
Winter Fungus Walk
The Other Side of Purisima Creek Redwoods
The Whittemore Gulch Trail is OPEN to bicyclists and equestrians.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that seasonal trail closures may change from day to day without notice, based on changing weather conditions. Also note that during winter storm season high waters can make creek crossings hazardous, so plan your outing accordingly.
Last updated on: 1/18/2015