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Though located an hour south of San Francisco and west of San Jose, Butano State Park rarely sees visitors. Maybe it is the proximity to other stellar redwood parks closer to Santa Cruz, or maybe because people just don't know about this local treasure. Whatever the case, you should put this redwood park on your radar. Miles of hiking trails snake through groves of second-growth sequoias, passing the occasional grandfather tree. Visitors can ascend the steep Santa Cruz Mountains to guarantee views of Año Nuevo State Reserve's elephant seal population, or wind past ferns and Butano Creek on the Mill Ox Trail. Campers will delight in well-kept ...

Though located an hour south of San Francisco and west of San Jose, Butano State Park rarely sees visitors. Maybe it is the proximity to other stellar redwood parks closer to Santa Cruz, or maybe because people just don't know about this local treasure. Whatever the case, you should put this redwood park on your radar. Miles of hiking trails snake through groves of second-growth sequoias, passing the occasional grandfather tree. Visitors can ascend the steep Santa Cruz Mountains to guarantee views of Año Nuevo State Reserve's elephant seal population, or wind past ferns and Butano Creek on the Mill Ox Trail. Campers will delight in well-kept sites complete with running water and more sunny days than many redwood parks see. That being said, you'll want to wear layers because the fog makes this region chilly in summer. Also in summer, check into the guided nature walks and campfire events.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Butano State Park is located in San Mateo County near Pescadero, California.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Fall, summer