Portola Redwoods State Park, La Honda

4.5
#385 of 612 in Nature in California
State Park · Hidden Gem · Park
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Portola Redwoods State Park is a 2,800 acres (1,100 ha) state park in California situated in San Mateo County. The parks' primary watercourses — Peters Creek, Pescadero Creek and their associated tributaries — converge at Portola Redwoods State Park. Tip Toe Falls is a small waterfall along Fall Creek, a tributary of Pescadero Creek.

The indigenous Quiroste people, affiliated with the broader constellation of Ramaytush Ohlone communities based in the San Francisco Peninsula, were among the original inhabitants of Portola Redwoods State Park, where they obtained various species of fish, such as coho salmon and steelhead trout, along the waterways that wend along the region, and harvested asphaltum from Tar Creek. In addition, the Quiroste maintained trading networks with tribes further inland and exchanged a variety of coastal products, including beads cultivated from Olivella sea shells as a means of barter.
In 1769, the Portola expedition entailed an overland journey from the Pacific coastline of San Mateo County to San Francisco Bay, presaging the advent of European-American settlement and colonization in the area. During the nineteenth-century California Gold Rush, the copious redwood groves were harvested for industrial purposes, such as mining and other construction enterprises. It was not until the 1860s, however, that the park was settled by Danish immigrant and lumberjack Christian Iverson, whose surname is commemorated by the titular Iverson trail today.
By 1924, about 1,600 acres (650 ha) — about half of the park's contemporary size — was bequeathed to the Masonic Lodge, whose Shriners subsequently sold the land to the State of California, and Portola Redwoods State Park officially opened under the auspices of the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1945. Owing to the fundraising efforts of such environmental organizations as Save the Redwoods League, the park was later enlarged to its current dimensions.
Relatively remote and secluded, the park offers various recreational opportunities for visitors, including a variety of hiking trails ranging in length and difficulty. For instance, the 1.2 mile (1.93 km) roundtrip Old Tree Trail confers access to the eponymous redwood tree, renowned for its longevity (estimated at around 1200 years) and height of over 300 feet (91 m). In addition, the longer Peters Creek Loop offers backpackers and hikers willing to traverse 11.9 miles (19.15 km) roundtrip the opportunity to witness some of the oldest and tallest redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Portola Redwoods State Park contains approximately 18 miles of hiking trails in the 2,800-acre park, a small car-camping campground of about 50 campsites, four group campsites, and 6 trail sites at Slate Creek Trail Camp. Portola Redwoods State Park is also home to the site of Page shingle Mill, for which Page Mill Road is named.
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Portola Redwoods State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
28 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It is very nice big campground , I could easily reserve a site.Very spacious sites . You can see the 1000 year old trees. 
    It is very nice big campground , I could easily reserve a site.Very spacious sites . You can see the 1000 year old trees.  more »
  • We decided to avoid the crowds at Muir Woods and came to Portola instead. We loved it. It was Memorial Day weekend so there were some people around, but I never felt crowded. We had a picnic lunch... 
    We decided to avoid the crowds at Muir Woods and came to Portola instead. We loved it. It was Memorial Day weekend so there were some people around, but I never felt crowded. We had a picnic lunch...  more »
Google
  • We visited this State Park for the first time and we absolutely loved our very first experience. There is a entrance fee for this park. There are multiple trails. Because of the tall Redwood trees, park is shaded and the overall hiking experience is good. There is a trail which takes you to the Tiptoe falls, view there is amazing and you can spend some quality time there. We spotted lots of Banana Slugs while walking. If you love seeing Redwood trees then this is the place for you! Do carry your bug spray along with your other stuff as there were lots of bugs and mosquitoes.
  • A hidden gem. Kiss your SnapChat streaks goodbye as you dip deep into the woods and out of cellular signal. The creek is accessible via multiple trails. The restrooms and sites are immaculate.

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