EveryTrail is now a part of AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

HARD 31 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is a 26.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Los Gatos, CA that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

26.9 miles 3090 feet Point to Point






nature trips

trail running







wild flowers


old growth

no dogs

Two of the Bay Area's most popular hiking locales -- Castle Rock and Big Basin Redwoods state parks -- promise one of the region's top backpacking experiences. A three-day, 25-plus-mile hike through these parks from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean shows off everything to see in the South Bay woods, from the redwoods towering above to the banana slugs creeping along the forest floor. A popular version of this hike begins at the eastern terminus of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, at the intersection of Highways 9 and 35 (Saratoga Gap). The first third of Skyline-to-the-Sea tracks along a highway and is otherwise unremarkable, so a superior option is to start from the Castle Rock State Park headquarters a few miles south of the gap on Highway 35. Castle Rock offers wonderful vistas of the mountains stretching to the sea, and a safe place to park your car. The second and third days of the hike traverse ancient redwoods in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, passing the impressive Berry Creek Falls and ending at the edge of America at Waddell Beach on the Pacific Ocean.

1 day ago

trail running

Started at the intersection with highway 9 under the fog. Ended up at Rancho del Oso 28km away. Mostly downhills and under the shade of the trees. Very nice run.

16 days ago

What a beautiful and amazing trail.

16 days ago

My 11-year-old son and I did this trail in a July and it was really awesome. We actually picked up the trail inside a big basin state park near the headquarters. The first day we did a 5 mile day-hike and then stayed the night at Jay camp primitive campsite.

The next day we set out for the Sunset Trail Camp via Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls, the cascades, and golden Falls. What an awesome trip that was. The first few Miles were mostly uphill but then there was a nice downhill stretch before reaching Berry Creek Falls. Then a up again the the Sunset camp.

The last day we headed down to Waddell beach and took the hikers-only trail near the end. It was really great.

Overall this trail is ranked as Hard, but my son handled it well with sizable pack. Our route was just at 20 miles total. The scenery was beautiful and the trails were well marked. For us, this was a great trip... Off the grid but close enough to civilization that I felt pretty safe with the kiddo out there. It was a very memorable experience and we both LOVED it.

2 months ago


Great hike, really scenic
Paths where great and the tree cover excellent to save being baked by the sun

2 months ago


The part of the trail that follows hwy 9 is quite dismal; hiking for several miles right next to a busy road buzzing with Harley Davidson enthusiasts is not exactly my idea of serenity. However every other part of the trail is absolutely stunning and beautiful. Would recommend.

It's possible to sneak into some of the closed campsites in Big Basin if you can't get a reservation for one of the backpacker's campgrounds there. Just set up shop after dark and leave early in order to not be spotted by the Rangers. I have never done this and I am not recommending it to anyone. ;)

2 months ago


Gorgeous hike along the creek when water is present (Spring is great)