Southern Pacific Coast Ranges
United States

Cathedral Redwoods

17. 11. 2023

Jane Walls, Peter Schrammel


intermittent rain


***: Hike in dark woods with magnificient trees


Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Parking, 90m - 209m - Cathedral Redwoods, 195m - Parking

Elevation gain





1 2/3h (1 + 2/3)




0: some steep sections


2: steep forest slopes

Visitor frequency 

c: lots of walkers on the grove and river trails, quiet further up the hills


Parking fee $10


On the way back from Santa Cruz, we stopped at the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Felton. It was already after 3pm when we left the parking and it was raining intermittently. The plan was to see as much as possible before the night falls. The trees on the Grove Loop Trail were most impressive: many of them are more than 5m in diameter. It was hard to capture these giants on photos because only tiny parts of them fit onto a photo even with a wide angle lens. After passing under the railway bridge we followed the River Trail over a small bridge crossing Eagle Creek and further up through dense, damp woods. A section of the Buckeye Trail led us over the hilltop and back down to the Rincon-Fire Road. A few metres further we reached the Cathedral Redwoods, an ensemble of multiple close-standing trees, giving the impression of looking upwards from inside a huge tower. It was 4.15pm and hence time to turn around. We took the forest road back and followed the path down a bit before turning right onto a smaller path that led us via some muddy sections to the tarmacked Pipeline Road that we followed back to the Grove Loop Trail. This time we walked the other half of the loop back to the parking, while hearing the whistling of the narrow gauge tourist train that descended from Bear Mountain. When we left the parking after 5pm it was pitch dark. We followed the CA 9 via the Saratoga Gap and a dinner and battery charging stop in Sunnyvale back to San Jose.

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