Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waterfalls

Santa Cruz, California 95066

Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waterfalls

Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waterfalls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"If you have not visited Big Basin before, you are in for a treat! This park is home to some of the most impressive redwood trees in the world. Almost every tree here is huge, making for a humbling experience as you walk through the forest. If you hit the trails early in the morning, when the fog still blankets the forest, the experience gets downright surreal! Big Basin also holds the distinction of being the state’s oldest state park, established in 1902, covering over 18,000 acres. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls, Golden Cascade, and Sempervirens Falls."

More Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waterfalls Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Bubba Suess
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"Cutting deep into the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this long hike features giant old-growth redwoods and a trio of awesome waterfalls in a wild setting. Of all the redwood groves south of San Francisco, the most magnicficent groves and the greatest redwood wilderness is found in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The park, California’s oldest state park, preserves 18,000 acres, more than half of which is old- growth forest. The rest of the park is made of second-growth redwoods and mixed forests of oaks and firs and coastal chaparral. While the ancient redwoods are a chief attraction, the park also boasts numerous beautiful waterfalls." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jane Huber
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"Redwoods, creeks, and waterfalls—that’s what this loop is all about. Nestled in California’s oldest state park, this popular hike begins at the Big Basin park headquarters, and follows the undulating Sunset Trail downhill through forested canyons to a series of three dramatic waterfalls. The return leg, a segment of the Skyline to the Sea Trail, rises along murmuring creeks back to the trailhead." Read more
"This 11-mile loop is a satisfying jaunt through the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. Following the contours of the hillside, the Sunset Trail brings you through several deep canyons and cascading creeks. Berry Creek Falls Trail takes you past a series of waterfalls and through a deep basin. The Golden Cascade and Silver Falls feature just that: manes of silver water against golden earth. Berry Creek Falls is a 60-foot vertical sheet of white water falling down dark glistening rocks. Out of the canyon, the Skyline to the Sea Trail takes you through lush canyons past downed trees and more red giants. Trails Surface: Single- and doubletrack dirt trail." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
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"A varied trail loop links Big Basin Redwoods’ main attraction, Berry Creek Falls, with the two equally stunning but less-visited falls that lie upstream. Silver Falls flies over a relatively sheer cliff into a small pool, while Golden Cascades tumbles over tiers near the apex of the loop. This long loop, which takes in Berry Creek’s three waterfalls before curling back toward home, is arguably outside the realm of a day hike. Indeed, it can be part of an overnight trip, because Sunset Camp lies along the route. But for hardy hikers who want to see what lies above lovely Berry Creek Falls, it’s worth the effort. Just be sure you alot enough time to complete the whole loop in the span of a short winter’s day." Read more

Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waterfalls Reviews

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Great hike, about 11 miles. Took my family and I 6 hours. Great views of large redwoods, some big enough to climb inside of and even banana slugs. Mid way through the trail you start to follow a creek that leads you to a beautiful Zen like garden with 2 wooden planks as bridges. There are some stone paths that slim out, so I would really suggest wearing correct hiking shoes. End result is a beautiful waterfall.
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Fabulous hike! Not extremely strenuous, but not for the faint of heart either. It took me about 6h30 to complete the trail, and that was with a number of stops to take in the scenery (and also with me being not the most in-shape hiker in the world).

Perhaps because it was so early in the season, the rock stairs descending from Berry Creek falls were more precarious than I had expected. I think I would have been more comfortable without shoes on -- the rope siderail and a cautious descent were a must. I can't wait to hike the entire Skyline to the Sea!

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Trail Information

Santa Cruz
Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
December to May
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Franklin Point, Big Basin
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018