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Old Growth Loop Trail



0.8 mile 1.2 kilometer point to point
80% Runnable


Ascent: 159' 49 m
Descent: -197' -60 m
High: 236' 72 m
Low: 77' 24 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

This trail loops through giant old-growth redwood trees.

Joan Pendleton

Features River/Creek

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park has a day use fee ($8.00 in 2017). Multi-day passes can also be purchased.


The Old Growth Loop Trail begins and ends along Aptos Rancho Trail. From the north end of the southern parking area, start off on Split Stuff Trail (described in detail in the Aptos Rancho Trail description). Almost immediately there is a fork in Split Stuff Trail where you'll want to go right. Upon reaching Aptos Rancho Trail, go left. After about 0.1 mile on Aptos Rancho Trail, the Old Growth Loop Trail is on the right (west) and is well marked.

Old Growth Loop Trail starts off in the redwood forest and descends to Aptos Creek, about 0.1 mile from the trailhead. Immediately after crossing Aptos Creek, the trail forks. Go left to go clockwise around this loop, as described here. To go counter-clockwise around this loop, go right at this split.

After going left at the trail fork, Old Growth Loop Trail climbs gradually through the lush, old-growth redwood forest. Giant, stately redwood trees are everywhere. Soon, about 0.1 miles from the trail fork, The Advocate Tree Spur is reached. This spur goes to Advocate Tree, a huge, 265 foot tall, old-growth redwood that was over 1,000 years old when unfortunately it fell over in the 2017 winter storms. But, very close to it is another giant, dominating, magnificent old-growth redwood that is well worth visiting.

Continuing past Advocate Tree Spur, Old Growth Loop Trail continues to climb very gradually through the old-growth redwoods, loops around, and comes to a marked junction with Oak Ridge Trail, followed almost immediately by an unmarked junction with Oak Ridge Trail.

Old Growth Trail then soon veers left and comes upon Twisted Grove Trail. Strange, cockeyed redwoods can be seen on Twisted Grove Trail. These redwoods were disrupted by the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, and are trying to correct for their disruption.

After passing Twisted Grove Trail, Old Growth Loop Trail circles to the right and comes back to the trail fork near the beginning of this loop trail. Go left here to descend and cross back over Aptos Creek, and then climb to the end of Old Growth Loop Trail at Aptos Rancho Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Giant, stately old-growth redwoods, ferns, and other lush vegetation can be found here.

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in California


8 Views Last Month
473 Since Dec 4, 2017



Giant, majestic old growth redwoods along the Old Growth Loop Trail
Dec 5, 2017 near Seacliff, CA
Aptos Creek at the Old Growth Loop Trail crossing
Dec 5, 2017 near Aptos, CA
Advocate Tree II perhaps, an immense old growth redwood standing close to the original Advocate Tree
Dec 5, 2017 near Aptos, CA
Advocate Tree II (possibly) dwarfs the giant redwood trees next to it. The original Advocate Tree toppled during the 2017 winter storms.
Dec 5, 2017 near Aptos, CA
Redwood trees in the Twisted Grove twist as the grow to re-orient themselves after being upset by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, magnitude 6.9. Normally, redwoods grow straight as an arrow.
Dec 5, 2017 near Aptos, CA
Aptos Creek below Aptos Rancho Trail, as the trail follows the creek upstream
Dec 5, 2017 near Aptos, CA


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