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California State Parks

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San Francisco Bay Area Region
Butano State Park
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Valley Quail
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Pescadero, California   94060

Phone: 650-879-2040
Reservations: 650-879-2040
Email: park email button icon
Butano State Park's 2,200 acres lie in a secluded redwood-filled canyon. The park features miles of hiking trails, 21 drive-in campsites and 18 walk-in campsites. Restrooms with running water are provided. Drinking water is available at the park in both the campground and in the day use areas. Guided nature walk and weekend campfire programs are offered during the summer.
History of the Area
Located in San Mateo County, California, the park was established in 1957. It covers over 4,700 acres of redwood forest and canyons.

The name "Butano" originates from a Spanish term for a drinking cup made from bull's horn. The area got this moniker due to its natural formations resembling such cups.

In the early years before becoming protected land, it served as home to Ohlone Native Americans and later became logging territory during Gold Rush times.

Since being designated as state-protected land by Governor Goodwin Knight on May 3rd of '57 , it has been managed by California Department of Parks & Recreation.

Today visitors enjoy hiking trails through towering trees along with camping facilities amidst diverse wildlife including bobcats and black-tailed deer.

Day-UseHiking Trailyes
- Butano State Park Campground: Offers 39 drive-in and walk-in campsites, each equipped with a picnic table and fire ring.

- Ben Ries Campground: Provides tent-only sites in the redwood forest.

- Trail campgrounds: For backpackers who prefer solitude; requires hiking to reach.

- Group camping areas: Available for larger parties or events by reservation only.

- Environmental Camping Sites (Slate Creek): These are hike-to sites that offer more seclusion than traditional campgrounds.

Butano State Park offers scenic picnic areas amidst redwoods. Tables available on a first-come, first-served basis; bring your own food.
Mill Ox, Goat Hill, Ano Nuevo Trails 4 miles round trip with 700-foot elevation gainAccording to Native American lore, butano means ?a gathering place for friendly visits.? Visitors who find out-of-the-way Butano State Park will no doubt agree with this assessment.

On the map, Butano State Park seems rather close to the bustling Santa Clara Valley, and to the Bay area. But this 2,800-acre park, tucked between sharp Santa Cruz Mountains ridges, has a remote feeling.

While most of the redwoods in the park are second-growth, some grand old first-growth specimens remain.

On lower slopes, just above Butano Creek, the walker encounters the forest primeval: redwoods, trillium, sword ferns. Moss-draped Douglas fir, tangles of blackberry bushes, and meadowland, are some of the environ?ments visited by the park?s diverse trail system. Ano Nuevo Lookout offers fine views of the elephant seal reserve, and of the San Mateo coastline.

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 1, turn inland on Pescadero Road, and drive 2.5 miles to Cloverdale Road. Drive south three miles to Butano State Park Road and turn left into the park. Park near the entry kiosk.

The hike: Signed Jackson Flats Trail begins just across from the park entry kiosk. The path starts out in meadowland, but soon enters redwoods.

The trail follows the north slope of the canyon cut by Little Butano Creek, and junctions with Mill Ox Trail. Take Mill Ox Trail to the right, down to the canyon bottom. Cross Butano State Park Road, and join an unmarked (except for an authorized vehicles only sign) paved road. Ascend through redwoods on this access road. The route soon junctions with Goat Hill Trail, which you follow into a mixed forest of oak and madrone. Follow this trail to the next intersection: Goat Hill Trail heads left and melts into the woods, but you take the short connector path to Olmo Fire Trail. Turn right. Olmo Fire Trail leads to a junction with Ano Nuevo Trail on your left. Take this path over fir- and blackberry bush-covered slopes to Ano Nuevo Viewpoint, located in a clearing. On clear days, you can look south to Ano Nuevo Island.

From the viewpoint, the trail descends with enough switchbacks to make a snake dizzy, back to the park entrance.
Nature Programs
Guided nature walk and weekend campfire programs are offered during the summer.

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The park is on the San Mateo Coast, off Highway One. Three miles northeast of the Gazos Creek Coastal Access Point by way of Gazos Creek Road, and about 4.5 miles southeast of Pescadero by way of the Pescadero and Cloverdale Roads.

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California State Parks