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Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Long hike through old-growth redwoods to shimmering waterfalls is a Bay Area favorite.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 10.2 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Redwoods and waterfalls make this the best hike in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you're up for 11 miles and a thousand feet of... more »

Tips:  Buy a map at the park HQ - it's easy to get lost at Big Basin without one.

If you see a banana slug, resist the urge to pick it up. ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

Big Basin Redwoods State Park has a large parking lot; park first, then cross the road to the park headquarters to pay your parking fee. A broad trail opens from the parking lot. Check the large park map in the lot to get your bearings before starting out.

2. Dool/Sunset Trails

Take the broad trail from the parking lot (to the left of the campfire area) for a short stretch till you see a break in the fence -- pass through it, cross a bridge over the Opal Creek and come to a trail junction.

This is the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, where this hike will end. Turn right and follow Skyline to the Sea for about a third of a mile... More

3. Sunset to Berry Creek Trail

Cross Middle Ridge Road -- you'll see a sign warning of the long hike ahead. Stay on Sunset Trail, which descends gradually down to West Waddell Creek.

After the Waddell Creek Crossing, the trail climbs gradually till you see a sign for Timms Creek Trail -- by now you'll know if you're up for the whole 11 miles. If you're tired, turn left on the ... More

4. Golden Cascade

Soon you'll hear water roaring in the distance, then you'll turn a bend and see water pouring over a large, yellow-brown stretch of creekbed. This is the Golden Cascade and the Berry Creek Falls Trail.

From here the trail gets narrow and tricky in places; use extreme caution.

5. Silver Falls

Water tumbles down the canyon till it reaches another major drop-off -- this is Silver Falls.

You'll be so close to the falls you can almost reach them -- but you'll really want to grab the steel cable and step gingerly down the trail.

The base of Silver Falls is one of the best photo opportunities in the park. It's also a nice place to break ... More

6. Berry Creek Falls

Berry Creek Falls Trail continues through a sublime redwood grove and eventually comes out at Berry Creek Falls, the subject of so many photographic forays.

There's a large viewing platform to soak in the view, but there's also invariably a mass of humanity, too, so you'll be itching to move on soon.

7. Skyline to the Sea Trail

Berry Creek Falls Trail ends at Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, where you turn left and head for the park HQ.

The first section of this trail includes a short steep climb to a bench where you can pause for one last look at the falls, then descends to a make-shift creek crossing bridge that is occasionally under water or removed during heavy rains.

... More