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Coal Creek Waterfall Information

This hike offers a lovely mix of woods and grassy patches, with an energetic stream winding through it all.

Watch for:

Keep an eye out for raccoons, skunks, and blackberries along the trail. Don't get skunked!

Hiking Details for the Waterfall Trail

Distance: 3 miles round trip

Elevation change: 700′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 2 hours

Trail surface: Packed dirt, mix of shade and sun

Best Season: Year round; winter is best for seeing the waterfalls

Managing agency: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: Start this three-mile out-and-back hike from Skyline Boulevard. Turn right on Cloud’s Rest Road (Trail), and turn right onto Meadow Trail to Alpine Road (Trail), then Crazy Pete’s Road to the Coal Creek waterfall.

Keep left down Crazy Pete’s trail as the path winds through the trees. After just under a mile into the hike, you will cross a small bridge over a waterfall that cascades out of sight down the ridge. Once you’re ready to head back, just retrace your steps back to the parking lot. If you plan on doing this hike after heavy rains, wear good boots and prepare to get a little muddy.

Directions to Coal Creek Waterfall

The parking lot closest to the Coal Creek waterfall trailhead is located off of Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), right before Heacox Road, about four miles southwest of Old La Honda Road. Look for the Crazy Pete’s road signs.

More about the Coal Creek Open Space Preserve

Throughout the 1980s, POST helped protect approximately 350 acres of Coal Creek Preserve, now managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. This Bay Area waterfall hike is accessible and enjoyable all year, but the best time to see seasonal waterfalls is in the winter.

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