A few weeks ago, one of my favorite docs from Wisconsin was in town for a visit. Being an athletic and outdoorsy guy, he suggested that we catch up over a hike instead of doing to the usual meeting for dinner or drinks. He wanted to try hiking Big Basin Redwoods State Park. I happily agreed and extended an invitation to my fellow residents to join us. We decided to hike the Berry Creek Falls Loop.
We ended up with a nice sized group of people, with Pat and puppy along as well! This hike is very popular, but given the length of the hike I found that people were scattered around enough that it didn’t feel crowded.
The trail was very well marked and the only reason we needed the map was to check out progress.
Berry Creek Falls is a beautiful 11-mile loop that winds around a few different waterfalls and is mostly shaded by the beautiful redwood trees that give the park its name. We chose a hot day to hike, so we were definitely very lucky that it was shady! The hike has a reputation as being “strenuous” and I have to say that I mostly agree.
Although there wasn’t much for scrambling over boulders or steep climbs, there was elevation change (about 2,700 feet) that it still felt like a good workout. The path was fairly wide and mostly packed dirt. All of the people in our group were athletic, so we made excellent time and finished in just under four hours – even with several stops to show off how truly strong we are:
One of the members of our group had to work a night shift at the hospital, so we clipped along at a nice pace so as not to finish too late! I think if we did it again, I would budget more time so we could take advantage of the waterfalls and relax a bit more.
Redwoods State Park is known for banana slugs and I was stoked that we found one along our hike! Apparently they get much bigger, but I thought it was pretty impressive.
It was a really lovely day and I have to give a shout out to my visiting friend for organizing it. It’s definitely going to motivate me to get out of the city more often and explore the surrounding bay area!