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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Four Crossings

The Four Crossings trail is located at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The river known as the San Lorenzo River takes you through all Four Crossings. It is a great hiking destination if you don’t mind getting your feet wet! This trail cannot be found on the AllTrails app but on the California Department of Parks and Recreation website.

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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

I suggest checking the water levels before attempting to hike this trail. This trail is best to explore July-October.

I recommend bringing trekking poles, water shoes, and a paper map to navigate your way through – this is in addition to using the app, which also comes in handy. 

Maps to Assist You 

You will want to use this Google Maps address. On CA-9, you will continue for about 2.6 miles. When you get closer, you will see the parking area is on your right.

Use this map for the street view. You will see that you are in the Rincon parking area, which is precisely where you should be. 

I am providing my route and a map of all the trail names. I began on the Rincon parking lot, you will pass a railroad track. Continue straight onto the Diversion Trail on your right.

You’ll see redwood trees and the Diversion Dam on the Diversion Trail. You will continue going up the trail – this part gets steep.

Henry Cowell State Park
  • The first map is my route tracked on AllTrails.
  • The second is from here, which provides a larger map of all the trail names.
Henry Cowell State Park
Henry Cowell State Park

Trekking Poles for Your Next Hike

First Crossing

A little after you continue going up the trail, you will come across the crossing, the deeper crossing of all four.

If you don’t want to go all the way in, go a little further up the river, and you will see a bunch of rocks that allow you to cross to the other side.

Once you pass the first crossing, you will continue hiking for another half a mile. You will want to continue straight, leading to Rincon Fire Road.

A sign to the left says San Lorenzo Trail; if you want to do all four river crossings, don’t go that way; continue straight onto Rincon Fire Road, which is not labeled, but it is the steeper trail.

NOTE: The Diversion Dam Trail sign (pictured below) will be behind you as you continue straight up to Rincon Fire Road.

 First Crossing
Henry Cowell Redwoods

Second Crossing

Once you are on the Rincon Fire Road Trail, you will continue going uphill for a bit; then, you will come to the next river crossing; there will be two crossings on the Buckeye Trail. Both of these crossings are not deep and are easy to cross.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Third Crossing

The third crossing was easy to navigate. You will get a bit wetter here. After you pass the third river, you will hike for another few miles, and it will lead you to the overlook Pipeline Road.

The overlook Pipeline Road is a paved trail and is one of the popular trails at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. At the overlook, you can see views of the trees, and if it’s a clear day, you may be able to see the coast from afar. 

After you pass the pipeline overlook, you will come across a more well-known park area. This area is known as the “Cathedral Redwoods,” don’t forget to look up!

Henry Cowell State Park
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Henry Cowell Redwoods SP

Fourth Crossing

After you exit the Cathedral Redwoods, you will go right and continue straight onto the trail. You will see some trail signs after a few minutes.

You will want to take the Big Rock Hole Trail, which will take you back to Rincon Fire Road, where you parked.

Here, you will find the fourth river crossing on your way. This crossing was my favorite out of all four because it had a lovely stream.

You will get wet at this crossing – the water went above my knees. 

Henry Cowell State Park
Henry Cowell State Park

Additional Information

Parking is limited at the Rincon Road parking area. I didn’t see any restrooms on any part of the trail or the parking area, so keep that in mind when you go.

Please remember to Leave No Trace and pack everything you bring with you. Let’s leave nature how we found it! 

Lastly, I would recommend an extra pair of shoes, trekking poles, a paper map, and a battery pack.

My friend and I completed 9 miles – we were there for about 4 hours total, so expect to spend some time hiking these four crossings.

Henry Cowell State Park

Your Thoughts: Have you been to Henry Cowell State Park?

This post was about Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Four Crossings trail. Share a comment below, and let me know if you plan on going. If you have any questions, you can also leave them below. 

Additional Resources:




    1. Thank you, I had added that link under the map where it says “here” but it’s too small to see so I just added it as an additional resource underneath as well 🙂

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