Craig Britton Trail

There is a fantastic 7 mile loop in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space (map) including the marvelous 2.6 mile Craig Britton Trail. Purisima is located just over the ridge from my house in the San Carlos Hills, but it feels far away. The park entails mature second growth redwood forest, lush canyons, and stupendous views of the San Mateo Coastline and Half Moon Bay. We started at the Higgins-Purisima Parking Area and went up Harkins Ridge Trail. This allowed us to complete all the climbing in the first 2.1 miles to be followed by 5 miles of gradual downhill. The Harkins Ridge Trail is quite steep in spots and gains nearly 1,200 feet, but it’s well worth the effort. Once on the Craig Britton Trail, excellent views of the Purisima Creek Canyon all the way to the San Mateo coastline and Pacific Ocean open up to enjoy. After several switchbacks, the trail descends into a lush redwood paradise with cascading streams, sorrel, and ferns. The single track trail traverses the steep hillside poking in and out of gulches with a soft surface of redwood needles. This trail is so good that you don’t want it to end! The good news is that Purisima Creek Trail taken back to the parking area after completing the Craig Britton Trail is also spectacular as it stays near Purisima creek the entire way and crosses the stream several times. Here are some photos from our trip. View the complete album here.

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2 thoughts on “Craig Britton Trail

  1. Leor,
    thanks again for a great tip! I had been eyeing Purissima for a while because its not that bad of a detour on the way home from work, but had never gotten to it.

    Yesterday I went, and I can only agree that Craig Britton is one of the top trails in the Bay Area. Fantastic!

    Also agree that its more enjoyable to climb up to Skyline in the beginning of the run, rather than in the end like I did :-)

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