Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,351.00 ft (411.78 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
6.14 mi (9.88 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Just a few miles from the California coastline and the quaint little town of Pescadero resides a redwood forest gem named Butano State Park. This park preserve feels like a remote wilderness; a true get-away from the hustle and bustle of Bay Area city life. Most of this region is dominated by second-growth redwoods speckled with a bit of old-growth and trail sections showcasing amazing ridge-top views of the Santa Cruz mountain range. You will come across very few hikers/cyclists here. Note: there is a day-use fee of $10 for parking.

The hike featured is a 6 mile loop, guiding you through the cool shady redwoods of the Jackson Flats Trail to a ridge vista and down a gently sloping fire road back to the parking lot. 

Start at the Jackson Flats Trailhead near the entrance kiosk. This trail takes you up a gradual incline through the cool redwoods - this section is especially scenic in the late fall and winter. Jackson Flats Trail is 100% shaded and is also a great choice during hot summer months. There is a variety of foot bridges along the way comprised of wooden planks and log stumps. At the Canyon Trail junction, make a left to continue uphill. This part is short but steep. The terrain begins to change from redwoods to manzanita and mossy fir. At the top, there are some spectacular views looking over the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Continue left to take the Butano Fire Road which is a mostly shaded wide trail gradually descending down with patches of viewtop ridges and ocean showcased on your left. After a couple of miles, take the steps down the Mill Ox Trail back to the Jackson Flats Trail junction. This tiny trail is a bit steeper than Butano Fire Road and can get a little slippery during the rainy season. Make a right to continue on the Jackson Flats Trail back to the trailhead.  
 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Summer
Fall
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Day Use Parking

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Big redwoods. Ridge views. Potable water

Cons

Poison oak.

Trailhead Elevation

240.00 ft (73.15 m)

Highest point

1,136.00 ft (346.25 m)

Features

Potable water
Big vistas
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.