|Bald Knob Trail,
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve,
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District,
San Mateo County
3.6 mile out and back in a quiet part of a preserve dominated by woodsy canyons.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This is a fairly easy 3.6 mile out and back hike, with about 400 feet in elevation change. Trailhead elevation is about 1500 feet. The featured hike's high point is about 1900 feet. Trails are well graded.
Mix of shade and sun.
Dirt trails and fire roads.
Nice any time.
From CA 92 in San Mateo County, turn south on CA 35 (Skyline Boulevard). Drive about 6.5 miles, and turn right (west) onto Tunitas Creek Road. Drive carefully on this narrow road, about 2 miles to the open space gate on the right side of the road.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
None in the immediate area. No camping.
Very limited roadside parking. Room for 2 cars just before the gate, and one other vehicle across the road. More roadside parking in a pullout back toward Skyline Boulevard, about 0.3 mile from the trailhead. Do not block the gate, or obstruct entry to adjacent private property. No entrance or parking fees. No restrooms. No maps (you can stop at the main preserve trailhead on Skyline Boulevard and pick up a map). There is no direct public transportation to this preserve.
Most trails are multi-use. A few trails are open to hikers only. Dogs are not permitted in the preserve.
The Official Story:
MROSD's Purisima page.
MROSD field office 650-691-1200
Map from MROSD (download pdf).
Peninsula Tales and Trails, by David Weintraub (order this book from Amazon.com) has an overview of the preserve, descriptions of hikes, and simple maps.
Afoot and Afield: San Francisco Bay Area, by David Weintraub (order this book from Amazon.com) has a great map and descriptions of a Purisima Creek hike.
Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map and descriptions of a hike to Bald Knob (order this book from Amazon.com).
The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book, by Tom Taber, has a simple map (order this book from Amazon.com).
View 32 photos from this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Creek Redwood's 481 acre Bald Knob parcel was purchased
by POST in 1993, and transferred to MROSD in 1997. Bald Knob Trail, built
from 1994-96, offers hiking-only access through very quiet forested hillsides,
and features fantastic views southwest to the ocean. The sole drawback
of the hike is the difficult parking on Tunitas Creek Road. Another option
is to park at the trailhead on Higgins Canyon Road and hike uphill on
Borden Hatch Mill Trail or Grabtown Gulch Trail. Those options add significant
mileage to the featured hike and begin at a lower elevation (500 feet
instead of 1700 feet).