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Purisima Creek Redwoods

Average Rating:    (4.48 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 21

Harkins Fireroad climb up. Beautiful, winding Whittemore Gulch trail singletrack coming down. More beautiful than it is technical. Not as technical as nearby El Corte de Madera.
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Latitude
37.43942886015505
Longitude
-122.36091613769531
Trail Directions
From San Francisco, take 280 south to Hwy 35/92 exit. Follow Hwy 92 until you reach Hwy 1. Turn left on Higgins-Purisima Creek Rd. until you reach the parking lot on your left. This way you do all your climbing first, then the downhill.
Trail Length
~7 miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Woodside
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
June 2, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: moretownmac ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I'm hestitent to write a raving review of this often overlooked spot because one of the things I like the most about it is the fact that it is generally empty, but here I go. For those that relish self-flaggilation with big rewards, this is the spot. In my experience, the downhills are the best in the bay. The two best are: 1. Whittemore Gulch, which perfect blend of fireroads with perfect jumping waterbars and no suprises to switchback singletrack with a gorgeous view. There are occasionally a few hikers on this trail but the visibility is good enough to minimize the liklihood of a collision. 2. Grabtown Gulch, another kill downhill that mixes fireroad with great jumps to a fast nailbiter of a singletrack along a redwood ridgeline overlooking the creek. Fast and awesome, this trail doesn't have great visibility but luckily there is almost never anyone on it because the climb up Borden Hatch Mill Trail is a challenge. The climbs in this park are substanstial but they are on smooth wide fireroads in the shade and climbing doesn't get much better than that. I love this spot!! So much better than the crowds at Corte De Madera.

Recommended Route:
Parking lot off 35. North Ridge to Whittemore Gulch up Purisima Creek, right on Borden Hatch Mill Trail then down Grabtown Gulch, right on Purisima Creek all the way up to 35 then north on 35 back to the parking lot (the perfect long flat cooldown).

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Corte De Madera



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Review Date
June 10, 2007

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: bmxer72 ,  Downhiller

Summary:
Take a look on the link to see some pictures of Harkins ridge trail and Whittemore Gulch.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/70181551@N00/

Recommended Route:
Start from the bottom



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Review Date
October 11, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: loopmeister ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
After 16 years of riding in the Bay Area, I've been crossing off the few must-do riding locales in the Bay Area and...hands down, the trails in Purisima blew me away. Killer climbs, very fast tricky and fun downhills, well preserved and maintained (it's a damn good thing they keep these trails closed for so long in the winter...see Pine Mountain Fire Road at the bottom of the descent for an example of wet weather over-use and year-round skidding descents), almost empty on a weekday, and beautiful coastal redwood, mixed forests, and chaparral slopes. I rode this for the first time on an outstanding indian summer day, cool in the canyons, hot on the ridges. Incredible...

Whitmore Gulch is definitely one of the finest sustained downhill single-tracks in the Bay Area, ranking up there with Henry Coe, Skyline Park in Napa, Annadel. However, none with the descent into redwood canyon views. All descents are pretty stellar, for both jumps and carving turns.


Definitely go off-peak...I stopped and talked with equestrians and hikers who are very sensitive about unregulated speed on the downhills. Easy to go fast hella fast around corners...don't! Plenty of wide-open straight-aways for that.

Recommended Route:
There is a long loop...a figure 8 with about 4 miles of retracing your steps (though a lot more fun descending), involving 4,200 ft of climbing in 19.8 miles. Start at the North Skyline trailhead, down North Ridge, to Whitmore Gulch, up Purisima Creek double-track, right up Borden Hatch Mill FR to Tunitas Creek Road, back down Grabtown Gulch, up Purisima to Skyline, descend back down Purisima Creek for that final, brutal climb up Harkins Ridge. Also, any options involving riding Skyline are to be avoided if possible...cars go way too fast and there's no shoulder so climbs can make your teeth rattle.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Looks like it may be possible to combine Skeggs Point with some road-riding (El Corte de Madera OSP) or Phleger Estate (east side of Skyline to climb both sides of Skyline) for other loop options.



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Review Date
September 19, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Dredd ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This place is good. Skeggs is better, so if I ride here I try and do a look by skeggs.

Recommended Route:
Check out skeggs point first...loops starting at purisima are fun though.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
El Corte De Madera (Skeggs)



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Review Date
November 22, 2001

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: mikeb , from Sodom in the North

Summary:
my crew and i used to ride purisima quite frequently just a we were all really becoming really hard-core. every once and a while, we used to ride star king road (is that it?) to connect with the leaf trail which is part of el corte madera, but we'd usually just do two loops. we'd drop the first fire road to whitmore gulch, then make a left at the bottom. we would then use that rolling fire road to get to another service road on the right side. that's the second fire road you come to, the once with i bridge near the intersection if i remember properly. (it's been maybe two years since i've been here) you can climb this fire road, which becomes excruciatingly steep in places to do two things, which are both good things. one would be to continue on until you reach the paved road at the end of this trail, which is how you would connect to skeggs. the second option is make a right turn (after you take a break at the top) down the fire road to the right, which is probably one of the better ultra-high-speed fire road descents in the bay area, second only in my opnion to the one at nicine marks in santa cruz. this descent has some really cool double track sections in the middle and a series of very cool jumps, if you dare hit jumps while you're running almost forty miles an hour. riders can choose to either turn left and re connect with whitmore gulch to retrace their steps or you can opt for the right turn, where you'll eventually connect to the highway for a twenty minute road ride back to the purisima parking lot. there's not a lot of singletrack here except for whitmore gulch. the fire roads can be challenging however, because they're fast. that's a problem, though, because purisima is usually crowded, unless you ride here very early in the morning or on weekdays. purisima still merits four tires, since i believe whitmore gulch ranks as one of the better high speed singletrack trails in northern california.

Recommended Route:
don't ride here unless you're using purisima to start an epic through el corte madera (skeggs). it's just not worth the drive.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
el corte madera/skeggs



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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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