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Todd Creek Redwoods

Sanborn Skyline Park

Sanborn Skyline Park Links:

February 19th, 2000

4.0 miles
1260 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:11

Rating: 6/10

Directions:   View Driving Map


Jean and I visited Sanborn Skyline Park. It was an overcast but dry day in a break between a barrage of rain storms.

The park was relatively empty, only a few cars parked in the lot which would probably be full during summer. The park has picnic grounds and dozens of camping sites for RVs and tents. One of the draws, of course, is redwoods. Near the parking lot is a beautifully landscaped area with a wooden deck underneath a grove of 8-12 redwoods towering above. Adjacent was a small pond and brightly flowering tree.

Jean examining the flowering tree

Two flowers

We wandered around before heading up the paved service road, which rises steeply next to a grassy field. The road continues upward to the right, becoming shaded by redwood trees. The road is bordered by campsites. On the right the ground drops off to Sanborn Creek 20-30 feet below; the creek was clearly audible from the trail.

The road continues steeply up, but eventually levels off at the top and turns to gravel and then mud. It wasn't as muddy as I'd feared, however. Much of the trail is sheltered by trees which take the brunt of the rain. We crossed over Sanborn Creek, at a point just above where if starts its cascade into the valley we just walked parallel to.

Rounding the corner we took in a glimpse of one of the only views of the trail -- clouds hovering over the green hills heading up Highway 9. A vineyard was clearly visible on a hilltop below.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught something moving on the ground below me. I looked closer and saw some type of translucent-looking lizard. It was very well camouflaged amongst the fallen leaves. However, it accidentally flipped over to reveal a bright orange underside. It quickly righted itself to avoid detection before continuing to crawl along.

Another common sight was yellow banana slugs slithering around everywhere. None were present as we settled down on some rocks to eat lunch. Afterwards we continued our walk underneath redwood and madrone trees. It was all very nice and peaceful, but nothing spectacular.

We turned right onto the San Andreas trail and started back down the hill on our loop hike. Every step of the way our trekking poles picked up more and more fallen leaves. As we neared the parking lot the trail turned to mud and we had to walk on planks which had been left on the ground for hikers.

We reached the main park area and walked through an amphitheater back to the deck underneath the grove of redwood trees. It's worth it to visit the park just for this area. A great place for a picnic!


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