Portola State Park
A San Mateo County Gem
At Portola Redwoods State Park, silence and tranquility rule. The road leading to its 2,800 acres drops from a ridge top into a deeply shaded redwood forest, offering a hushed getaway from the suburban bustle of nearby Silicon Valley and the South Bay. The visitor center, with its couches and fireplace, feels like a wilderness lodge. Eighteen miles of trails follow meandering creeks, where moisture-loving coast redwoods stand tall among ferns and huckleberries. Waterfalls on Fall and Pescadero creeks tumble down mossy banks over rocks and woody debris.
The park has a 55-site family campground, 4 group campsites, and a trail camp for backpackers. It also protects some of the most remote and scenic redwoods in the region, the Peter’s Creek Grove.
The park is open year round for hiking, picnicking, and other day uses. The campground is open April through October and the visitor center is open on weekends year round and on weekdays as staffing permits.
The park is a 1.5- to 2-hour drive from most Bay Area locations. Please come prepared: there’s no gasoline or food available at or near the park.