Butano Trail Camp via Canyon Trail

An 11-mile hike to the Trail Camp in Butano State Park.

11 miles; 4-5 hours; 2200 feet elevation gain. Moderate to strenuous.
Mill Ox Trail —> Jackson Flats Trail —> Canyon Trail —>Indian Trail —> Butano Fire Road —> Olmo Fire Road —> Doe Ridge —> Goat Hill Trail

From within the shaded depths of the redwood canyon where Ben Ries Campground lies, follow Mill Ox Trail across the creek. The trail immediately climbs steeply, but don’t be deterred—it’s the steepest section on the route. Take a right onto Jackson Flats Trail, which continues to wind upwards. At the next junction, veer right onto the aptly named Canyon Trail. This stretch is narrow and there’s a notable drop-off into the canyon to the south. You also begin to glimpse sweeping views of both the coast and the forested interior. After a few scrambley creek crossings, pass through some manzanita arches and turn, left and uphill, onto Indian Trail, which will take you past the backcountry campground. Past Trail Camp, you reach the loop’s high point at an elevation of about 1,700 feet on Butano Fire Road before turning quickly onto the Olmo Fire Road and descending down the luxuriously soft fire road, which offers panoramic views. After a quick mile, a right turn onto Doe Ridge Trail takes you into singletrack heaven that wanders through the redwoods. Turn right onto Goat Hill Trail and follow signs to the Ben Ries campground or back to the main road.

—Kelsey Farabee

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