Training hike #4: Slugfest in Butano State Park

Our most recent training adventure took us up the coast from Santa Cruz to Butano State Park. The banana slugs were out in FORCE. We saw over a dozen just within the first mile of our hike (and made the decision to photograph each one… all 170 of them). We’d never seen anything like it.


We also took one or two pictures that didn’t have slugs in them. 🙂

Selfie while sitting on a strategically located bench at the top of a steep section!
Some huge trees had fallen over in the forest
It’s been so wet that the woods are full of all kinds of mushrooms and fungi that we’d never seen before, including this crazy-colored fungus!
We reached the top of a ridge, with a fire road along it, and could see across to the next ridge south of Butano State Park. 
At the top of our hike, we found an abandoned landing strip! I can be seen pretending to fly on both sides of the picture. 🙂 

All in all, this was a hidden gem! 30 minute drive away, none of the crowds of other state parks in the area! We calculated that banana slugs outnumbered people by a factor of 14:1 (by count, not by mass. We hope).


  • 12.5 miles
  • 3100 feet of elevation gain
  • Highest elevation: 1692 feet
  • 170 banana slugs

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