Pescadero, California

Pescadero State Beach ©Natalia Burina

TLDR Itinerary

Total Time — 5 hours (start at Mountain View) We made the trip July 8, 2017

The Trip

Prior to the trip I made and packed these delicious picnic sandwiches.

Boursin with tomatoes and cucumber ©Natalia Burina

The winding road to San Mateo Memorial Park is almost treacherous. Upon arrival we parked at the Tan Oak Flat Picnic Area ($6 cash only). We walked to Pescadero Creek Road then crossed to reach the Mt. Ellen Nature Trail. Mt. Ellen eventually meets the more challenging 3.5 mile Pomponio Canyon Trail. Our goal was to hike the entire Pomponio trail loop and rejoin the Mt. Ellen Trail as a conclusion to our hike. Fun fact — the Pomponio trail was named after a Native American outlaw Pomponio Lupugeyun. He was pretty badass.

Handy map of trails below. I recommend using Google maps which have all the trails and always show you where you are (thanks GPS!). Heads up — you will likely lose cell service.

Map of Memorial Park Trails

Along the way we found ourselves in the presence of giant redwoods. The oldest known coast redwood is about 2,200 years old; many in the wild exceed 600 years.

Pomponio Canyon Trail ©Natalia Burina

As we progressed the trail became narrow and overgrown. It may be a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants for protection. Half way at the loop the trail narrowed and nearly fell into a small ravine. At that point we turned back retracing our original path. In all we ended up hiking nearly 4 miles.

Easier portion of Pomponio Canyon Trail ©Natalia Burina

Next we drove to Pescadero (23 min) from Memorial Park. Pescadero is a farming and ranching community with a pleasant pastoral ambiance. It also happens to have lots of farm-to-table food.

House on one of Pescadero’s main roads ©Natalia Burina
Flowers in bloom in downtown Pescadero ©Natalia Burina

Get the freshly baked artichoke and garlic bread from the Arcangeli Grocery — Norm’s Market. Our loaf was warm and delicious.

Famous Arcangeli Artichoke and Garlic bread ©Natalia Burina

Hiking made us ravenous. We headed to Pescadero State Beach to picnic with a view.

Picnic Tables at Pescadero State Beach ©Natalia Burina

We also bought this tasty honey made in Soquel, CA. For desert we ate honey dipped apples and peaches. Highly recommended!

Dip Apples & Peaches in honey for picnic desert ©Natalia Burina

We took Highway 1 back and enjoyed the scenery. It was a perfect day.

Highway 1 photo © Rafa Win