Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve

Cazadero, California

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Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve lies adjacent to the north-central end of Salt Point State Park. The reserve’s 31 7 acres were once part of the Kruse Ranch, a sheep ranch and logging operation dating back to the 1880s. The undeveloped land was donated to the state in 1933. California rhododendrons, the namesake of the park, grow in profusion. Their brilliant pink blossoms bloom in clusters from April through June. The fast-growing rhododendrons flourished after a forest fire around 1900 removed most of the existing vegetation. The reserve is also home to a mixed forest of second-growth redwoods, Douglas fir, grand fir, tanbark oaks, madrones, manzanita, and eucalyptus. This hike makes a loop across the reserve, from Chinese Gulch to Phillips Gulch. The fern-lined creeks flow through the reserve en route to the Salt Point coast. A total of five miles of hiking trails weave through the reserve’s forested coastal hills.

Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve Professional Review and Guide

"Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve lies adjacent to the north-central end of Salt Point State Park. The reserve’s 31 7 acres were once part of the Kruse Ranch, a sheep ranch and logging operation dating back to the 1880s. The undeveloped land was donated to the state in 1933. California rhododendrons, the namesake of the park, grow in profusion. Their brilliant pink blossoms bloom in clusters from April through June. The fast-growing rhododendrons flourished after a forest fire around 1900 removed most of the existing vegetation. The reserve is also home to a mixed forest of second-growth redwoods, Douglas fir, grand fir, tanbark oaks, madrones, manzanita, and eucalyptus. This hike makes a loop across the reserve, from Chinese Gulch to Phillips Gulch. The fern-lined creeks flow through the reserve en route to the Salt Point coast. A total of five miles of hiking trails weave through the reserve’s forested coastal hills."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cazadero
Distance: 2.5
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: U.S.G.S. Plantation • Salt Point State Park map

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Jun 2018