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River Trail Hike

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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River Trail Hike

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  • Entry to the River Trail via Rincon Road.- River Trail Hike
  • Redwoods on the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Oyster mushrooms on a fallen log.- River Trail Hike
  • Butterfly shaped clover.- River Trail Hike
  • Turkey tail polypore (Trametes versicolor).- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking near Eagle Creek.- River Trail Hike
  • Bridge over Eagle Creek.- River Trail Hike
  • Eagle Creek at Henry Cowell State Park.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • San Lorenzo River on the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • A Mallard Duck on the San Lorenzo.- River Trail Hike
  • Redwood stump on the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Redwood stump on the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • Hiking the River Trail.- River Trail Hike
  • - River Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Redwood trees. Easily accessible.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
347.00 ft (105.77 m)
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
115.00 ft (35.05 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Following the San Lorenzo River from the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park office, the River Trail is an easy 2-mile hike to Box Car Beach and Rincon Fire Road. Multiple river access trails cut off from the main trail, so swimming and fishing holes are abundant. Paralleling the Pipeline Road most of the way, traffic along this trail can be quite heavy as joggers and dog walkers utilize this path also. 

Because the route follows the river, visitors will find the hiking easy going with minimal elevation changes. This portion of the trail is surrounded by willow, buckeye, oak trees and shrubbery. After reaching Box Car Beach, the trail is lined with towering redwoods, luscious green ferns and clover. An occasional mushroom can be found growing on fallen and rotten trees. This enjoyable hike is a good introductory trail that leads to more adventures. If you are still up for more adventure, check out the Big Hole Rock, Buckeye, or Eagle Creek trails. They all connect in or around Box Car Beach.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(115 within a 30 mile radius)

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