The Berry Creek Falls loop has been on our “to hike” list for a while now, pretty much ever since the first time we went to Big Basin State Park last June. It’s rated as a strenuous, 11-mile hike with about 2,000 feet of total elevation, and we’ve overheard park rangers telling others to set aside 6-8 hours to complete the full hike. If you’re curious, you can read a lot about this hike at the following links:
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/BigBasin/BerryCreek.html (beautiful photos)
http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/bigbasin/waterfallloop.html (bahiker.com is the bible of Bay Area hikes)
http://www.everytrail.com/guide/berry-creek-falls-loop-at-big-basin-redwoods-state-park (detailed walkthrough with step-by-step instructions)
We finally decided to embark on the hike this weekend. We had a huge breakfast (pancakes & bacon!), packed sandwiches and fruit, and arrived at Big Basin at about 11:45. After finding parking, it was off to the races…er….trails!
Overall I would rate this hike as strenuous only if you were trying to complete it in less than 6 hours, or without plenty of water & food. We brought a pack full of food and two camelbacks full of water, and fairly easily finished the hike in 4 hours, which included a 30 minute lunch break at the base of the falls, and plenty of stops for photos, along with a few 5-minute water or dumping-stuff-out-of-shoes breaks. Don’t get me wrong, we were pretty sore and tired after completing the hike, but If you took more breaks and used the full 6 hours I think it would actually be a fairly leisurely, nice hike with lots of beautiful views and of course, the stunning waterfalls.
Scroll down for tons of photos from our hike today, and more comments on the strenuous-ness 🙂