FOM FOK Hiking Group
Portola Redwoods State Park
An almost totally enclosed trail. Little poison oak on well kept, somewhat wide trails. Hike is "hard" on the "Wimble Scale". Plan on at least two large water bottles.
An alternate, easy version of this hike can be found by clicking here.
- From Park Office, head south to the Old Tree Trail.
- Take the Old Tree Trail and after a short distance, bear left towards the Slate Creek Trail.
- About 0.4 miles further, pay attention on your right for the Slate Creek Trail cutoff. The sign may also indicate something about the Trail Camp. Take the right towards the summit. If you miss this turnoff (as we did the first time), you'll end up crossing Peters Creek.
- After just under a mile of more or less steady climb, you'll come to near the summit. Going to the summit in this direction around the loop is much easier than coming up the Summit Trail. There should be a large log there which affords a good opportunity for a rest and a snack.
- Take the Slate Creek Trail at the intersection, heading towards the Slate Creek Trail Camp.
- After a little over a mile of mostly flat trail, you'll come to the Slate Creek Trail Camp. There are toilets here.
- Bear left along the Bear Creek Trail. This will involve some climbing, alternating with flat sections. You will leave cover for a short segment of the trail. Poison oak will build up rapidly towards the end of this segment, and will be hard to avoid unless you pay close attention to how you move.
- About a mile along the trail, you will come to some felled logs. This is another good place to rest and snack. For this hike, we chose not to make the 800 foot descent and complete the loop. Instead we headed back towards the summit.
- At the intersection with the Summit Trail, bear left along that trail. There will be a short section of somewhat steep climb to the actual summit, then it will be a steep descent all the way back to the paved Service Road.
- Take the Service Road back to the Park Office.
Click on map below for a larger version of it (about 1/2 MB in size).
Saturday, August 19, 2000
Click on pictures below for larger images.
||After paying the $6.00 parking fee, we parked just south of the Park Office. This is a good time to use the facilities as it will be a long time to the next toilet.
This is a long hike with a lot of climb. Make sure you take plenty of food and water. I drank over 30 ounces of water on this trip.
As you go along the Bear Creek Trail, the poison oak eventually overruns the trail. Pay close attention to where you walk to avoid getting it on you. Some amount of gymnastics might be involved as you twist and turn to avoid contact.
To the left, you see Kathy and Stephanie at the turnaround point. If we had gone further, we would have had to climb down 800 feet to make a short loop, then climb back up the 800 feet.
On the way up and back, we came across a couple of volunteer groups that were working on the trail (shown left). Unfortunately, we didn't have any spare food for them. Next time, we should think to bring extra chocolate bars for just such an encounter. Unlike bears, it is ok to feed the volunteers.
Copyright © 2000-2002 by Michael Wimble, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED