Jim and I took a three day hike of roughly 65 miles during Thanksgiving week. There was a weather forecast for three days of clear cool weather, so we took advantage of a break in the rain and walked to Santa Cruz. We had a very nice walk. By Bay Area standards it was cold (down in the 20s at night), the last day of the hike was a record low for many nearby towns. But the skies were blue and the air was clear. From our campsite at the top of a hill in Big Basin the Farallon Islands were clearly visible ~ 60 miles away.
Link to annotated SmugMug photo show
Link to Google Map (gmap-pedometer) allowing you to zoom in on details of the route, satellite images, etc. The line follows our route, but is only approximate in some places. (If you double click in gmap it will extend the route, which will make you quite confused.)
Home to the corner of Arastradero and Deer Creek Roads in Palo Alto via a local bus.
Walk to Santa Cruz.
Bus back to San Jose CalTrain station.
Link to more information about using public transit to access trailheads.
There is a series of parks that abut each other, forming a nearly continuous trail corridor between the two towns.
City of Palo Alto Arastradero Preserve
City of Palo Alto Foothills Park
Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District Preserves:
--- Los Trancos Open Space Preserve (OSP)
--- Monte Bello OSP
--- Skyline Ridge OSP
--- Long Ridge OSP
Castle Rock State Park
Big Basin State Park
Henry Cowell State Park – Fall Creek Unit
Henry Cowell State Park – Redwoods Unit
City of Santa Cruz Greenbelt, Pogonip Preserve
City of Santa Cruz Harvey West Municipal Park
The first two miles in Palo Alto, and the last 3 miles in Santa Cruz was on town streets. There was another 6 miles during the walk on County Roads (Empire Grade Road and Felton Empire Road). The remaining 50+ miles miles was on trail through public park land.
MAKING IT LONGER???
We have now taken four hikes that could be linked into one long Bay Area mega-hike of about 350 miles. Palo Alto to Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz to San Francisco, San Francisco to Point Reyes, Point Reyes Peninsula Circumamblation, and finally Point Reyes to Sausalito. Sausalito to San Francisco by ferry and CalTrain home to Palo Alto.
Information about each of these trips is included in our SmugMug gallery.
Amy L, Palo Alto