Snagging a good campsite among Bay Area redwoods is about as easy as getting a parking spot in North Beach. But head to Butano State Park and, with a little help from a hike, the odds swing heavily in your favor. Butano is a park less traveled, and a 5.5-mile hike-in leads to a sweet reward: a tranquil trail camp among redwood trees. Make your way by heading up lush Jackson Flats Trail and exposed Canyon Trail. It’s a bit of a climb, but the effort is worth the huff and puff. Butano’s Trail Camp was just cleaned spic-and-span by the Boy Scouts (they even added log tables to most of the sites). Most of the sites are the size of a studio apartment—but #8 is more like a two-bedroom! Camping under a thick redwood canopy limits big vistas, but only half a mile away there’s an abandoned landing field with clear views all the way to the ocean. Bring a blanket and flashlight and watch the sun set from 1,700 feet before returning to your tranquil, tree-roofed retreat in the woods.
Weekend Sherpa: Butano Backcountry Camping