Memorial County Park – Mount Ellen Loop

The main feature of Memorial Park is a campground and picnic area set amidst towering redwoods and lush Pescadero Creek. However, there is also an area of trails on the north side of Pescadero Creek Road that is worthy of a visit. We covered most of these trails on a loop from the Hoffman Creek Trailhead including Mount Ellen and the Pomponio Trail and enjoyed the various settings offered on this loop.

View from L to R of Castle Rock SP, Pescadero Creek, and Mount Ellen

View from the Pomponio Trail

The Mount Ellen trail is steep and gains elevation fast in a redwood and then mixed forest. The summit of Mount Ellen is in the woods with no views. However, sweeping views of Pescadero Creek and Butano Ridge open up by continuing along the ridge on the Pomponio Trail. The Pomponio Trail makes a long traverse of a south-facing chaparral slope and can be hot on a sunny day – we walked this trail in mid-January and it was warm! The second part of the Pomponio Trail is an old road which is now a soft double-track path. The path follows a lush canyon with ferns and then redwoods to the bottom and Pescadero Creek Road. We crossed the road and continued on a path into the campground area. On the way back to Hoffman Creek Trailhead, we followed the Pescadero Creek Trail enjoying the cool redwoods which grow right along the banks of the stream.

Ascending on the Mount Ellen Trail

Ascending on the Mount Ellen Trail

Mount Ellen, Pescadero Creek, and Butano Ridge

Mount Ellen, Pescadero Creek, and Butano Ridge

Descending the Pomponio Trail

Descending the Pomponio Trail

Redwoods in Memorial Park

Redwoods in Memorial Park

Redwoods near the bottom of the Pomponio Trail

Redwoods near the bottom of the Pomponio Trail

Pescadero Creek

Pescadero Creek

The largest tree in Memorial Park

The "largest tree" in Memorial Park

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