Passing through the heart of Joaquin Miller Park, Palo Seco Creek is flanked by the Sunset and Sinawik trails, which form a loop that makes an easy, pleasant walk of just over a mile.
Starting at the fire trail near the intersection of Sanborn and Joaquin Miller roads, walk down and across the large picnic meadow and creek, turning left on the Sunset Trail. This stretch, which follows the creek closely, is shady, broad, and nearly flat.
You’ll pass a number of side trails, but clear markers make it easy to stay on Sunset. This part of the park is very popular with mountain bikers, so stay alert. (All the bikers I encountered on this weekend walk were polite, cautious, and staying on their designated trails.) After passing the intersection with the Cinderella Trail, you emerge from the trees into a chest-high hedge of Scotch broom and the trail narrows to a single track. The cutoff to the Sinawik trail is unmarked, but you will see the roof of the abandoned Sinawik cabin below you to the left.
Scrambling down past the cabin, which used to be part of the Kiwanis Club’s youth program, you reach the intersection of the Sinawik, Palos Colorados and lower Sunset trails. The Sinawik is a slightly more-rolling single-track that will bring you quickly back to the meadow.
Getting there: Sanborn Road intersects Joaquin Miller Road less than a mile uphill from Highway 13.
Cool stuff in the neighborhood: The closest cafe and market are in the Woodminster neighborhood retail area, at Joaquin Miller and Mountain Boulevard.