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Trail Center
3921 E. Bayshore Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Ph.: (650) 968-7065

Project Information Sheet

Gazos Creek Trail

Sempervirens Fund Lands (Pescadero, CA)
Summer 2001 - Summer 2002


In the mid-1990s, Sempervirens Fund acquired a large property in the Gazos Creek canyon (the Gazos Creek Forest) adjacent to Butano and Año Nuevo State Parks on the southern San Mateo Coast for future parklands. Big Basin is only two miles inland and is accessible from the Gazos Creek Road. The entire area has been logged numerous times and much of the surrounding land is still in private hands and could be harvested again. Despite past logging, the canyon is a rich and beautiful area. Gazos Creek is a protected steelhead salmon spawning ground and marbled murrelets nest on nearby ridges.
     A portion of the property includes a summer camp (the former Mountain Camp) that has already been transferred to State Parks and is now leased to the Pescadero Conservation Alliance. The PCA is currently refurbishing the camp as the Field Research Station at Gazos Creek. The remainder of the property will be also be transferred to State Parks soon.
     A rough trail runs along Gazos Creek for approximately half the length of the Sempervirens property - ca. 2/3 mile of trail. Although the trail doesn't yet go through, it may eventually connect with trails from Butano and Año Nuevo. Points of interest along the trail include two waterfalls, a cathedral-like redwood flat, and spectacular views of the canyon. The Trail Center, in partnership with the PCA, is upgrading the trail to State Park standards.

     Photos and additional details in the project announcement available.

Project Description:

Gazos Creek Trail (Summer 2001-Summer 2002):Gazos Creek Trail begins at the spur road approx. 3 miles upstream of the Gazos Road/Cloverdale Road intesection. Access is past a locked gate and across a wooden bridge. Total length is ca. 3000 ft. The existing trail is mostly 20-28" wide and existing bridge is substandard (the other bridge was destroyed in winter 1997). We will upgrade existing trail to Calif. State Park standards, including construction of new bridges, minor reroutes and tread improvements.

Detailed Description: Trail width will be brought up to a minimum 30", with most trail widened to 36". New foot bridges will be constructed over the major drainages, using native and salvaged materials (no pressure-treated wood will be used on this project). Where necessary, the trail will be realigned (primarily at the drainages); the existing alignment will be abandoned and restored. Some downed timber will be removed as necessary to clear the trail and will be incorporated as bridge timbers and retaining walls. Special care will be taken to avoid dumping duff, brush or soil in Gazos Creek or its tributaries to protect salmon habitat.

     The trail will remain open during construction for use by visitors and particularly for PCA field trips.

Technical Specifications:
Trail Width: 30-36" in.
Maximum Grade: 10% for new construction; existing grade for maintenance
Outslope: 2-3% (standard)
Flagging: At grade level (consult crew leader)
Hazards and Other Considerations: treacherous footing common; Gazos Creek not accessible during spawning season (Jan.-June); no loud power equipment during late afternoons of marbled murrelet nesting season (Jan.-Mar.)
Total Distance: Approx. 3000 ft.
Structures required: Foot bridges (2); retaining walls.
Expected Number of Workdays: 8
Access to Worksite and Parking: Parking at PCA Field Station and along Gazos Road at trailhead.
Water, Restrooms, Picnic Area: Water and restrooms at PCA Field Station (or as arranged); picnic area to be announced at workday

Emergency: 911 from phone at Butano State Park HQ (cell phone service unlikely)

Nearest Hospital: Seton Coastside Medical Center, 600 Marine Blvd. Moss Beach (650) 728-5521. From Gazos Road, take Cloverdale Road to Pescadero Road; turn left and go through the town of Pescadero to Highway 1 (Cabrillo Highway). Travel 28 miles north to Moss Beach and turn right on Marine Blvd.

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