Hiking Through the Redwoods
Towering above us, these redwoods hug the Pacific coastline and make for wonderful companions to a day of hiking.
We joined volunteer docents for a guided hike in Big Basin Redwoods State Park located just outside of Boulder Creek, California. The park headquarters have a number of trail heads including the Skyline to Sea trail that we had explored early in this year’s California adventures. For that trip we started from the coast at Waddell Beach and did an out-and-back of 13 miles to make the car logistics easy. A popular (and strenuous) loop from park headquarters travels down the Sunset trail to Berry Creek Falls and returns via Skyline to Sea.
This particular morning we were blessed with clear skies, a welcome break from the winter’s heavy rains. The temperatures in the mountains can be very cold so be sure to bring lots of layers!
Our docents were extremely knowledgeable about the plants and wildlife throughout the region and very familiar with the trail network in the park. Check the park schedule for hosted hikes and events to make the most of your visit.
We headed up the Pine Mountain Trail ending at Buzzard’s Roost with it’s sweeping vista of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean off to the west.
This is a moderate trail with some elevation gain but nothing particularly technical except for a scramble over a recently downed tree on the trail and a very short section of boulders. Our group of 8 was chatty throughout the hike with only one quick stop to catch our breathe on the way up. Most of our stops were to take in the view or learn about particular plants along the trail.
The Redwood Trail loop near the park headquarters finished off the day with some of the largest trees in the park. This loop is perfect for families or those short on time. It is a natural surface so I don’t know that it qualifies as fully accessible.
We were fortunate in our timing. Since our visit, another round of heavy rains have brought more mudslide and flood damage throughout the park. Saturated soil has closed the campgrounds for the next week or so. The state park service is working to repair trails as best they can while we all wait for this next wave of rain due over the weekend. Be sure to check the park’s website or Facebook page for updates before making the trip.
But don’t let the temporary closures keep this gorgeous park off your travel list next time you are exploring Northern California in search of the mighty Redwoods!