Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waterfalls and Redwoods in the Bay Area

Big Basin Redwood State Park is California's oldest State Park and is home to the largest population of ancient Redwoods south of San Francisco. The park features an incredible diversity of terrain. There are beautiful waterfalls, redwoods, and a freshwater marsh. Inside the park are many hiking trails and today I'm going to talk about an amazing trail that takes you by 3 waterfalls.

Berry Creek Trail

The Berry Creek Trail is a strenuous 10.2 mile hike. It may seem very intimidating but this is the best hike in the San Francisco area. Seasoned Berry Creek Falls hikers suggest doing trail counter-clockwise and if you want a less crowded hike do it during the week days. 

You will start the trail by the head quarters parking lot and gradually ascend through a lovely redwood forest. Pretty soon you will hear the roaring waters of the Golden Cascade Falls and you can easily see how it got its name. 

Golden Cascade Falls

After Golden Cascades, follow the trail to Silver Falls. The base of Silver Falls is a great place to relax and take a quick photo op. Silver Falls is a 70 ft waterfall over sandstone and limestone. During the summer months you can walk right up to the falls and play in the water. The trail takes you to the brink of the falls, where you trek over slippery sandstone steps. Steel cables are along this portion of the trail to help you get down.  

Hikers using the steel cables at Silver Falls
Continue hiking through the redwoods and you will once again here the sound of rushing water.  You are now at the 65 foot high Berry Creek Falls. There is an overlook platform which is great to relax and take some stunning pictures of Berry Creek Falls. Be warned that this is the most viewed falls out of all of them on this trail. On the weekends is when Berry Creek is the most crowded.

Berry Creek Falls

This is a great day hike and it only cost $10 for parking and a trail map. A more detailed trail map is available for $8 at the park station. For more info about this trail click here

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