Purisima Creek Hike
Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve (Redwood) Hike
Distance: ~10 miles loop
Duration: 1/2 day
Date: 19 December 2015
Elevation: ~2000 feet
Trailhead: North Ridge Trail parking lot. (Pass Fisher Investments and parking lot on the right, it’s quite easy to find and interestingly had no parking fee)
Trail: North Ridge trail -> left on Whittemore Gulch trail -> West Entrance -> Purisima Creek trail → left on Craig Britton Trail → right on Harkins Ridge trail → right on North Ridge trail
It’s been quite a while since I hiked and I’ve been getting sloppy at quickly writing them down. Well here’s for getting back at it. This time around Shruti and I decided to go hiking at the Purisima Creek Open Space Preserve which is yet another redwood sanctuary. The mighty, tall, majestic trees had called me back for a visit and so it happened. We joined Gurmeet & Happy Hikers on this hike. The hike was just as beautiful as it was difficult to get up and get going in the morning. Saturday for me started gloomy with a drizzle that manifested into moderate showers at around 7:30am. Shruti and I were the first ones at the trailhead 10minutes ahead of schedule and the rain hadn’t subsided. Like the Big Basin one we were gearing up for a wet hike.
By the time everyone got here, the rain gods blessed us and slowly the rain reduced to a drizzle and then finally stopped. The cold however wasn’t relenting. Gurmeet put us all through some stretching exercises which warmed me up quickly. This was quite evident as I got my layers off immediately. At 8:10am we started our hike along the North Ridge Trail. The hike was a loop so we were not going to be coming back the same way. This turned out to be a good thing as the first part of the trail was pretty much downhill. We would have lost quite a bit of elevation (for this hike :)) and coming back the same route would mean a good huff-puffing end to the hike. Thanks to rains throughout the night and early morning the trail was gorgeous. It was as green as it could get and you could see water droplets dancing on leaf edges. The slippery and muddy condition of the trail was well compensated for by the beauty.
We took the rear walking slowly and hopefully not annoying the leaders at the front. The forerunners on this hike however were very kind to stop and wait for us laggers to catch up to them whenever there was a fork or turn in the trail. The half way mark was pretty much the west entrance. The trail goes along the creek and after the rains we were lucky to see flowing water. A diversion to hike the creek for a bit was a lot of fun. This was just before the west entrance. There’s a restroom for the urgent travelers. After a quick break we started along the Craig Britton Trail and went along till we hit the Craig Britton Trail. This part of the trail was mystical going up, up and up. We gained a lot of elevation before exiting the trail high up above the ridge. We were about .9 miles to the parking lot and so decided to stop here for lunch.
After a great share and eat lunch which included hummus & pita, some indian snacks, chips, fruits and more stuff we started the final leg of the hike. In no time but with more up hiking we made it to the parking lot finishing the hike at 1:00pm. A great place to hike especially just after rains! Will definitely come back and explore other trails here.