We knew it was going to rain on Sunday, but thought that would make for an extra magical hike. I had been wanting to do a trail at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve for awhile now. I always pass it on my long solo drives up Skyline and have suspected there is a killer ocean view. It was super chilly and luckily I had a bag of clothes to donate in the trunk so I could add extra layers!
One of my favorite places to search for hikes is Bay Area Hiker. I went on the second hike in that link. I made the mistake of not reading where the trailhead was, instead just pulling off at the Purisima Creek parking lot. This meant that what I thought was a 7-mile hike was actually an almost 10-mile. It wasn't a big deal, we just had to be somewhere at 3pm and ended up being late. It all worked out though. All in all we did the loop of Harkins Ridge to Purisima Creek to the Craig Britton Trail.
At first, the hike brought me right back to the Pacific Northwest. I lived there in junior high and have camped the overcast West Coast many times. Definitely planning a trip there in the fall. Also, every time I get in the redwoods, I think of Return of the Jedi. I probably watched it too much as a kid.
The trail was a bit of a roller coaster, going up and down to get to views of the ocean, fog settling in between the pines. The hike dips down to Purisima Creek, with lush ferns and banana slugs everywhere.
I saw a salamander, tons of banana slugs and wildflowers including, poppies, wild irises, Indian paintbrush and baby blue eyes.
This is one of the best hikes in the area. My legs are still super sore two days later. I didn't fully time it, but it took somewhere around 4 hours. It's totally worth it for the workout, views and variation. The last leg of the hike was on the Craig Britton Trail where a dedicated bench plaque reads, "They aren't making any more land, so preserve it while you can!"