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Things to Do

Events & Activities

Events and activities are free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, California State Park volunteers, and California State Parks.

Things to Do

Eighteen miles of trails wind through the rugged terrain. All are for hikers only. Backpackers can stay at a trail camp 2.5 miles from the trailhead on their way to the memorable ancient grove at Peters Creek. 

Portola’s wheelchair-accessible visitor center is staffed on weekends and holidays year-round as staffing permits.


If you have an hour, hike the Old Tree Trail to its monumental namesake tree, a rewarding 0.6-mile roundtrip. The Sequoia Nature Trail, which introduces the natural history of the area in a scenic 0.75-mile loop.

If you have half a day, try the Iverson Trail, with a side trip to Tiptoe Falls. Start just north of the visitor center and return via the Sequoia Nature Trail. The latter will take you past Shell Tree, the remains of a redwood that was destroyed by a camper’s fire in 1989. The tree was 17 feet in diameter and about 2,000 years old when it died.

If you have a full day, the 11.9-mile-long round trip leads to the park’s backcountry old-growth redwoods. “A trip to the Peters Creek Grove may be the most awe-inspiring hike in the Bay Area,” says Anne Marie Brown in 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area. “The sanctity of this grove will move you.”
   

California State Parks Backpacking

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Looking for your next adventure?

Naturalist-led backpacking adventures are being offered in 2017.
Please click here for more information.