Big Basin State Park
Berry Creek Falls from Waddell Beach
Our first trip to Berry Creek Falls was an unsuccessful one. In an attempt to make the hike a loop, we unknowingly went off on an equestrian trail and couldn't find our intersection for the hike to the Falls. One good thing that came out of that long hike - we realized that bikes are allowed on the relatively flat Skyline to Sea trail.
Biking the first 5 miles one-way to Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin State Park
So our next attempt was with our bikes. We parked at Waddell Beach parking lot, crossed Hwy 1, and headed in towards Rancho Del Oso. The first part of the Skyline to Sea trail was paved, allowing for overnight hikers to park their shuttles there. Beyond this, was still a road, a packed gravel one now, allowing for residents of the private property to get home. The “road” part of the hike was probably about a mile or so. Look out for cars! Then came the forest. Lots of canopying trees kept us mostly shaded while we walked along the stream. Foot bridges got us safely over the stream when we needed to cross it. Though mostly flat, there were parts that had short sections of switchbacks going up or down a slope. Being beginners, we walked our bikes through these sections. The trail was muddy in some places, but we soon learned that it was much more fun to ride through the mud than to trudge through walking our bikes. A few downed trees greeted us as well.
The bridge enforcing the 'No Bikes' sign, bike rack available at this point
Walking through an oasis of ferns towards Berry Creek Falls
The Skyline to Sea Trail intersected with Berry Creek Falls Trail. At the time we went, Skyline To Sea trail was closed at this point. Luckily we wanted to go onto Berry Creek Trail, so we followed our trail up the hill. As we approached closer, a sign indicated that bikes were not allowed beyond that point. There was a bike lock rack just prior to crossing the stream on a wooden boardwalk. We found a few rocks to sit on for some lunch before we went beyond.
Near the top of Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin State Park, CA
After having a spam musubi lunch, we headed up the hill. We walked through a section of bright green ferns before getting a glimpse of the falls from afar. It was a beautiful falls, from the wooden overlook we stood on. After taking some pics, we went up the trail a little further to see the top of the falls. We headed back towards our bikes soon after, not realizing that there are 3 more waterfalls upstream, at least according to the map at the trailhead. We came across a couple of walk-in campsites too along the Skyline to Sea section of trail, if that is of interest.
|Features:||Hike or bike under a canopy of trees to Berry Creek Falls|
|Our Hike:||Biked 10 miles + hiked 2 miles roundtrip, 300-400 ft elev change, (the last mile to and from Berry Creek Falls, bikes are not allowed; Hikers welcome too for the entire trail.|
|Directions:||Parked at Waddell Beach parking area (just north of Davenport), crossed Hwy 1 towards Rancho Del Oso, hopped on to Skyline to Sea Trail, then followed Berry Creek Falls trail to waterfalls. Starting at Waddell Beach may be desirable to avoid the long winding road up into Big Basin State Park going in from the main entrance.|
|Amenities:||Vault toilet at parking lot and near trailhead|