Berry Creek Falls – Big Basin

This past weekend a few of us decided to head down to Big Basin and go for an outdoor adventure.  After the copious amounts of rain we got in the last couple weeks, a waterfall hike seemed to be the most logical decision. Big Basin Redwood State Park is about an hour and a half drive from the peninsula so we started our day early and arrived to the park at 8:30am.  As with most state parks there is an entrance fee of $10 per car, so plan to carpool!The original route (Berry Creek Falls Loop) was closed off due to the recent storm so we took Skyline to the Sea trail.  The hike out to the waterfall was pleasant and luscious with a bit of uphill climbing. As you walk along the tree covered trail, there are times when you can stop and enjoy the flowing creeks. Due to the storm, there were also a few fallen trees we needed to navigate past during the trial. imageAfter about five miles we finally made it to the waterfall site. It’s a good idea to start your day early to beat the crowds and get some good waterfall photos.  There is also a small seating area to enjoy a small snack before heading back. WaterfallGroupOur group decided to be adventures and take the Howard King trail on the way back to try something a little bit different.  At first the trail seemed like a nice easy stroll back, however our first major encounter came after about 15 mins on the trail.  We needed a way to cross the river to get to the other side of the trail, our option was to cross what seemed to be unstable beams.  After a bit of courage and support, we made it safely to the other side. I should have known this was foreshadowing more pain to come.  IMG_7951The remainder of Howard King Trail was a straight up hill battle with switchbacks and climbing essentially 1,000 ft of elevation for the next five miles.  At this point in time, my calves and thighs were on fire hoping the end was near with no clear sign of easing off. The route also provided a much different type of terrain then on the way to the waterfall. There are little outlook points along the trail to get a nice view of the park and even as far out to the beach.  Finally around 2pm we made it back to the car, kicked off our hiking shoes, and took a nap while our driver took us to end the day with a gluttonous meal of Wingstop!

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