“Secret” Entrance to Pescadero Creek Park from Big Basin

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Wouldn’t it be interesting to learn of a “back door” to Pescadero Creek County Park (and upper Big Basin State Park)? No crowds, no entrance fees, and great views of the Pacific Ocean if the weather is cooperating!

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In the upper reaches of Big Basin State Park:

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About 4 miles north of the park HQ, you’ll find a westbound turn on to China Grade Road. This is the upper boundary of the park and is quite sunny and dry compared to lower elevations.

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Drive a few miles to approximately N 37° 12.900 W 122° 13.290 and look for a gated logging road and a small trail sign on your right at a pullout. (The coords are within about 100 feet of being accurate.) The logging road is not open to the public, but there’s a foot trail next to it that’s an “easement” for hikers and equestrians. It’s a bit over a mile, on the easement, from there to the boundary of Pescadero Creek County Park.

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Be sure you have some sort of navigation skills and mapping tools. The first time I was here with a few friends, we ended-up missing where the trail crosses a logging road and went down the road for awhile…

Here’s the official map. The easement enters the main map at the extreme botton corner “Basin Trail Easement” https://parks.smcgov.org/sites/parks.smcgov.org/files/Pescadero-SamMcDonald-Memorial-Complex-Map.pdf …and the park brochure: https://parks.smcgov.org/sites/parks.smcgov.org/files/Pescadero-Complex-Brochure.pdf

Eventually you’ll “hang a left” and see some sandstone formations.

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This one looks like a face. My water bottle was placed there for scale. (One friend asked what was the colored stuff in the bottom of the bottle! It’s a Nuun Electrolyte tablet. It is not a lab sample…

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…and more typical views of the trail:

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If you choose to continue to the north-west like I did, along the park’s boundary, you’ll eventually see a crossroads down to the main (lower) part of the park. If you REALLY want to “get remote” and do another few miles of even steeper dips…

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You should (weather permitting!) be rewarded with some magnificent ocean views!

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It’s a hilly roundtrip hike of 15+ miles:

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You may even spot this odd stump with 3 significant “children” growing out of it:

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That’s it! Enjoy your “no crowds, no entrance fees, and no drinking water” hike from Big Basin to Pescadero Creek Park.

Also consider a bit further down the road you parked on is Big Basin’s “Johansen Road” trail, as well as an even more obscure easement into Butano State Park. http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/540/files/BigBasinRedwoodsFinalWebLayout030311.pdf

and http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2061281

There are also 2 other awesome hikes not “too” far from here. You’ll have to surf a bit (or drop me a note) to find those entrances. “Beverly Hillbillies crude oil” https://alpharoaming.com/2013/08/31/up-from-the-ground/ and Peter’s Creek remote old growth redwoods! https://alpharoaming.com/2013/09/16/peters-creek-old-growth-redwoods-portola-redwoods-state-park/

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About AlphaRoaming

Random outdoor roaming: hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking & plotting more of the above Grew up on the edges of the Adirondack mountains of New York, just a bit west of Vermont. Now living in Silicon Valley and venturing out when and where I can!
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2 Responses to “Secret” Entrance to Pescadero Creek Park from Big Basin

  1. Steven Stone says:

    Great story! Always enjoy reading about your adventures. I miss hiking this area.

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