Hike: Purisima Creek Redwoods
Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Hike starting PC01 Gate, Skyline Boulevard,
North Ridge Trail & Whittemore Gulch Trail
Thursday, July 4, 2013

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: This is my third hike in 2013. My last visit to Purisima Creek Redwoods was on September 6, 2010, entering the southern PC04 gate at Tunitas Creek Road, and hiking on the Grabtown Gulch Trail. An earlier visit was on September 14, 2008 going through eastern PC03 gate, and hiking on Purisima Creek Trail to the Soda Gulch Trail. Today, we came through the northern PC01 gate on Skyline Boulevard. We hiked mostly on the North Ridge Trail and a tiny part on the Whittemore Gulch Trail. Unlike the Redwoods encountered on the earlier hikes, today's trails featured mostly giant Douglas Firs, many of them with branches thrusting out like samurai swords ready for battle. There were many vista views of hills and valleys along the trails with numerous Checkerspot butterflies fluttering around. Some of the flowers seen on the trails include Ocean Spray, Sticky Monkeys, and Golden Yarrow. Our five-hour hike ended at 6:30 pm. Unlike our June 30, 2013 hike at Upper Windy Hill where we met only 2 hikers, there were several dozens hikers encountered today at Purisima. It was interesting chatting with a bearded man relaxing under a giant Douglas Fir by the Whittemore Gulch Trail gate reading the 1984 novel Money by Martin Amis. Another woman was sleeping on a giant Douglas Fir trunk. The most interesting meeting was with Phil Evans who told me about Claus Mattheck's Body Language of Trees, when I shared with him insights on Platonic Lambda, soul of the universe, found in goosepen redwoods and whenever we walk and breathe.

Purisima Creek Redwoods Info Boards

North Ridge Trail Signpost

Ferns Foliage at Trail Switchback

North Ridge Trailhead

Douglas Fir Ladder Branches

Curving Trunk Upward

Samurai Swords Douglas Fir

"Shoot Them Up" Tree

Twin Douglas Fir Trees

Twin Douglas Firs Top

Eye in Giant Douglas Fir

Cyclop Eye in Giant Douglas Fir

Anvil Rock at Trail Switchback

Split Fallen Log on Trail

Star Rings of Fallen Log

Tree Rings of Fallen Log

Root of Fallen Douglas Fir

"Friendly Monster Head"

"Woolly Mammoth Head"

"Horse Face" in Douglas Fir Trunk

Curving Trunk Douglas Fir

Anvil Rock at Trail Switchback

Entanglement Tree

North Ridge Trail

Samurai Swords Douglas Fir

Samurai Swords Fir Top

Leaning Fallen Douglas Fir

Sun Rays on Douglas Fir

Sunshine Douglas Fir Branches

Samurai Swords Tree

Samurai Swords Treetop

Spread Out Douglas Fir Top

Douglas Fir Spreading Out

View Through Tan Oaks

View Through Douglas Fir

View of Hills Through Trees

Scenic View from Trail

Madrone Tree

Thimbleberry Leaves

Panoramic View North Ridge Trail

Forest View on Distant Hills

Roots at Trail Switchback

North Ridge Trail

Douglas Fir & Blue Sky

View Hills from Trail

Checkerspot Butterfly

Dandelion & White Yarrow

Gate to Harkins Ridge Trail

Harkins Ridge Signpost

North Ridge Trail Signpost

"Crocodile" Fallen Log

Ocean Spray & Sticky Monkeys in Valley

Samurai Swords Battle

Samurai Swords Battle

Tuning Fork Tree

Multi-Trunk Douglas Fir

Multi-Trunk Treetop

Douglas Fir & Blue Sky

Horizontal Branches Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir Entanglements

Monster Douglas Fir

"Profile Face" in Tree Stump

Samurai Tree on Trail

Samurai Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir Entanglements

"Two Samurai Warriors"

"Two Samurai Warriors" Treetop

View Through Douglas Firs

Eye Holes in Douglas Fir (1)

Field of Sticky Monkeys

More Sticky Monkeys

Scenic View from Trail

Vista Views between Trees

Ocean Spray between Trees

Whittemore Gulch Signpost

Tuning Fork between Two Firs

Top of Two Douglas Firs

Douglas Fir Treetop

"Lambda Λ" Branch Shadow

Trident Douglas Fir

Top of Trident Tree

Multi-Branches Douglas Fir

North Ridge Trail

Eye of Giant Douglas Fir

"Lambda" Douglas Fir & Vista View

Ocean Spray & Sticky Monkeys

Vista View Left Side

Vista View Center

Vista View Right Side

"Bird Face" in Douglas Fir

Top of "Bird Face" Douglas Fir

Giant Douglas Fir

Top of Giant Douglas Fir

More Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor)

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Field of Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

Checkerspot on Thimbleberry

Checkerspot on Thimbleberry

Checkerspot on Golden Yarrow

Ocean Spray

Checkerspot on Thimbleberry

Checkerspot on Yarrow (1)

Checkerspot on Yarrow

Checkerspot on Yarrow

Ocean Spray & Sticky Monkeys

Giant Madrone Tree

Top of Giant Madrone Tree

Checkerspot on Golden Yarrow

Checkerspot on Golden Yarrow

Dandelions & Sticky Monkeys

Sticky Monkeys (Mimulus aurantiacus)

Valley Vista View

Sticky Monkeys & Thimbleberry

Trail to the Hilltop

Vista View of Douglas Firs

Vista View of Valley

Trail Down to the Valley

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Morning Glory Flowers (Convolvulaceae)

Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)

Ocean Spray & Sticky Monkeys

Checkspot & Vista View

Golden Yarrow & Trail View

Checkerspot on Golden Yarrow

Checkerspot on Golden Yarrow

"Cyclop's Eye" in Oak Trunk

Yerba Buena (Micromeria douglasii)

Gate at Whittemore Gulch Trail

Ocean Spray

Top of Douglas Fir

North Ridge Trail

North Ridge Switchback

Monster Douglas Fir Tree

"Swordfish" Branch of Douglas Fir

Gate at Whittemore Gulch Trail

"X Marks the Spot"

Monster Douglas Fir

Top of Monster Douglas Fir

Tuning Fork Douglas Fir

"Lambda Λ" Branch Shadow

Roots Steps at Switchback

Exposed Roots Steps

Coming Home on Hwy 280 (1)

Split Fallen Log on North Ridge Trail

Woman Sleeping on Douglas Fir Trunk

Stanford Dish on Highway 280

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, July 4, 2013

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email: (7-9-2013)