Butano State Park Part 2 : Butano Fire Trail to Santa Cruz


Todays goal was to head out of Butano State Park and head south to my final destination of Santa Cruz. Using my now trusty Kreb's cycling map I found a cool off road route that would take me to Big Basin. From Big Basin there is a couple options to get into Santa Cruz. Butano_part2

Due to the thick overgrowth in Butano it takes a lot longer for the morning sun to breath through. I have to admit making coffee with my headlamp was pretty damn fun.


The sun rising over Butano was definitely a sight to behold. Also take note that there is cell reception by that park sign but not inside the park itself.


After taking a right onto Cloverdale I took another right onto S Butano Fire Trail (which wasn't marked when I was there). If you pass Canyon Rd you've already gone too far.SF_Butano_SC-48SF_Butano_SC-49I picked up some Schwalbe Marathon Supremes for my trip and though they aren't made for dirt they held up just fine.


Theres really not much I can say about this. The S Butano Fire Trails climbs up and through some epic view points. This is just one of the many times I stopped to soak it all in.


S Butano Fire Trail eventually turns into a paved road and leads you to the entrance of Big Basin. From there you can head into Big Basin or bomb China Grade. China Grade features some of the gnarliest grades I've ever descended loaded down with gear. Grades easily reached -20% to -30%.

I had plans to take China Grade to Jamison Creek and follow Empire Grade back into town. unfortunately I had run out of water and had to pedal into Boulder Creek instead. Once in Boulder Creek I was pretty much forced to take the the 9 into town which sucked for the most part. There were sections that were nice but for the most part I was hugging the white line trying not to get run over by some stoned local in pick up truck.


Rolling into Santa Cruz I really only had one thing on my mind; a delicious burrito from Taqueria Santa Cruz!

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Field Notes :

  • S Butano Fire Trail is roughly 10 miles and climbs 2600 feet
  • Bring more water
  • Theres a rad trail camp on S Butano Fire Trail worth checking out
  • Highway 9 sucks for cycling and Boulder Creek is populated by a bunch of rednecks
  • Taqueria Santa Cruz makes one hell of a carne asada burrito. The green sauce from the salsa bar is legit!