Hike the Berry Creek Falls Loop
San Francisco › Big Basin Headquarters
Added by Steven Herbert
This loop is regarded as one of the most beautiful hikes in the Bay Area and takes you past 3 stunning waterfalls.
Nestled in California's oldest state park, the popular Berry Creek Falls Loop hike begins at the Big Basin park headquarters. If you're up for 11 miles, a thousand feet of elevation gain through towering redwoods and along serene creeks, and spread out over a half-day, then this is the hike for you. Veteran Berry Creek Falls hikers recommend a counter-clockwise loop starting on the Sunset Trail, turning left on to the Berry Creek Falls Trail, taking another left onto the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail, which returns to the trailhead.
- Hiking shoes
- Water and snacks
- Light jacket (it can get cool in the evenings)
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An accidental birthday gift
A friend and I ended up doing this loop when we went to Big Basin for my birthday a couple of years ago. We had a planned a short hike, but felt inspired by the landscape to keep going. It was a fantastic hike that takes you past really big trees, up some crazy stairs, and gives a good workout. I suggest getting there early in the morning for the cool air, and to miss the larger crowds. The store is a great treat afterward, for sandwiches and wraps.
Beautiful Redwoods and Waterfalls
A small group of us hiked this counter-clockwise based on all the reviews and that was definitely a great suggestion. It's just unfortunate that essentially the first five miles (or last depending on the direction the loop is hiked) that comprises the Sunset Trail doesn't offer much in scenery. We decided to actually jog that part of the trail and then take our time on the remainder of the hike. The waterfalls were flowing this time of year (end of April) and they were beautiful and the Redwoods were stunning in the afternoon light. All-in-all with jogging that first part the loop took us about 4.5 hours.
Awesome day hike
I did this hike a couple years ago with some friends. It's absolutely beautiful! We went counter-clockwise to get the more strenuous part out of the way early, which was a great choice. Definitely make sure you wear good hiking shoes, I was hurting by the end even in my Keens and I saw some people 5 miles deep in ballet flats looking miserable. The waterfalls are worth every inch of the 11 miles and the rest of the hike is awesome. Definitely recommend.
Completely agree with going counter-clockwise. This way you get the harder work out of the way early and hopefully hike some of the more exposed parts while it's still early and hasn't heated up too much. If you're heading there in summer months or on weekends, the park can get crowded, so I recommend getting an early start. Keep in mind that from San Francisco it's a little shy of a 2 hour drive. After the hike, you can take Skyline to Alpine and head to Alpine Inn ("Zots") for a burger and a beer.
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