Located in the Golden State, in beautiful Pescadero, Butano State Park was established in 1957. It was the result of a smart decision to protect the coast Redwoods from logging. If you visit the park today, you'll enjoy the sight of the same towering redwood trees, as well as a good amount of new ones.
Butano offers many options when it comes to hiking. The local trails vary in length and difficulty, and take hikers through the redwoods, wetlands, and gorgeous overlooks. Guided nature walks are also offered by the park, albeit seasonally. The main trails you won't want to miss out on are Little Butano Creek Trail, which is practically a short walk at just 1.5 miles; Jackson Flats Loop, a trail that's a little longer at 5 miles; and Canyon Loop, which is the longest of the three trails at 9.5 miles long. There are a total of 40 miles of trails in this park so bring your best hiking boots!
The park provides easy camping of all types. They have 21 drive-in sites, 18 walk-in campsites, and another that's actually a primitive trail camp with 8 sites to choose from. The campsites all include access to a shared restroom with access to water hookups. Drinking water is also available in the day use area.
Your furry friends are event welcome at visit the park, provided they remain on a leash at all times and are promptly picked up after. The only exception is the trail camp area, where dogs are not allowed and travelers are urged to bring their own drinking water as there are no water sources nearby. Reservations are required to stay in this area.
Butano State Park, Ben Reis was an excellent experience.
The park itself has great hikes, thick with Redwoods, immediately you feel like you are in Ewok territory. Lots of varying levels as well.
The campsite has car camping and walk-in sites. I had sites 5 and 6. The map for the campground is deceiving as they looked close together and connected but they were separate. If I were to come back and want two large sites to connect, I would choose either 6 and 8 or 10 and 13. If it's just two people, site 3 is pretty private as well as 14. 16 is also a good site, but too slanted. Overall, the sites are spaced apart nicely.
The bathrooms are pretty clean, flush toilets, no showers, no hot water and no soap. There is potable water throughout the campground, recycle bins, trash bins(animal proof) and bear lockers and firepits at each site. It does have a dishwashing station and most people cleaned up after themselves when using it(read: don't be a d-bag and clean the drain and basin people!!!). It is also a crumb free park and they take it very seriously. There is no cell service.
Fellow campers were there to camp, not to party, so that's always a plus(I was also there Sunday to Tuesday so…).
Great weather, lots of shade at the campsite and on the hikes. Coast was a cool 60's- 70's but warm in the sun(the coast/beaches are windy), night time was a lovely 55-59 degrees, easy to sleep, not too cold(first week in August). Hard to find stars as you are canopied in trees but if you walk a little out, the night sky is dark and stars a plenty.
The campground is very close to PCH/Highway 1 and the beaches are lovely. PCH is also dotted with farms and fruit stands, artisan pies, etc. The closest town is Pescadaro, and has a tiny main street with an excellent coffee shop, and grocery store with fresh baked pies, breads, jams, sauces, and a deli counter as well as sundry items. There are cheese farms/creameries as well surrounding the park.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, cheers!
We did a one night backpacking trip here in Butano SP and it was great! Had to get a permit to camp in the backcountry, and could only camp at designated sites but they were easy to find. We got there early on a Saturday afternoon and got our first pick of campsite. No fires allowed, and BYO water or bring a filter.
Would come back here again
What an incredible place! Campsites are in the midst of the massive redwoods so it’s always pretty shady and cool. There are 40ish sites (50/50 drive-in and walk-in), well spaced for a bit of privacy. Fairy rings (where the redwoods have grown up in a ring) and hollowed out tree trunks made awesome forts when we were kids. There are ferns growing all over the place, and brilliant yellow banana slugs cruising around in slow motion, and loads of mushrooms if you go in the right winter conditions (early season rain). This is a great spot any time of year. Even if it’s rainy, the redwood canopy has a way of drinking up the rain so that it becomes more of a drippy mist. There’s a creek and awesome trails around, just don’t step on the banana slugs. If the shade gets to be too… shady you can always drive down the road to the beach. Año Nuevo has a colony of Elephant Seals that pretty impressive to check out.
There are pit toilets as well as a bathroom with a flushing toilet more centrally in the campground.
Butano State Park is an absolute gem! It is a smaller park than many of the other redwoods parks in Northern California, so it was very nice and peaceful. Butano is a bit off the beaten path to get to, but so worth it. There are some car sites available, but we had a walk in site. At the time we went, you were assigned a site by the ranger - we happened to get the very last site that was tucked back on a little hill, so it was very nice and secluded. Every site is surrounded by giant redwood trees, and it is an absolutely gorgeous campground.
We forgot our tent on that trip, but that ended up being a GREAT mistake! We set up our air mattress on the tarp, and falling asleep and waking up amongst the still, quiet redwoods was absolutely magical.
The park is so green and lush, shaded, with a nice moderate temperature. There are plenty of hiking trails, and a creek nearby.
I would love to return to Butano some day!
Plumbed Toilets: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Table: Yes
Cooking Grate: Yes
Cell Service: No
Animal Bins/Food lockers: Yes
Super user-friendly campsites that are good for beginners. Lots of great hiking trails in redwoods for all levels.
Large, user-friendly campsites surrounded by redwood trees. Great ferny hiking trails for every level of camper/hiker. Very easy access to campsites and near Pescadero and Highway One.
Butano is just inconvenient enough for the average weekender to be amazing for everyone else. It's mellow, kid-friendly, shady, and wooded. If you don't want to make breakfast, Duarte's is a 10 minute drive. Or pick up coffee across the street, then hit the beaches, or go for hikes up into the hills.
Did a 12 hour hike around the entire park. it was long but gorgeous!
I really liked this camp ground! It’s a little bit up in the trees, seculeded camp sites, and nice scenery. Lots of banana slugs to watch out for. People weren’t overly concerned about noise levels.
I absolutely love this campground. We stayed here for thanksgiving, so it was fairly quiet when we were there. The trails are well marked, and there are plenty of them! The sites have a lot of room and privacy (We stayed at campsite 1) Most sites are within redwood groves. We'll definitely go back! Maybe we'll see you there this thanksgiving!