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Awesome winter hike, but pack layers!! We took this trail on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019, which was overcast with a high of 60. In the winter months, the hills are nice and green, and although it had rained in San Jose all week, the trail wasn't at all muddy. The elevation change is steep but not overly so - I found this much easier than Mission Peak, for example. You get tremendous views of the valley, as well as the potential for spotting some animals (we saw both cows and pigs on our walk!).

As you're gaining elevation up to the Boccardo Loop, you'll feel pretty warm and so you may feel inclined to dress lightly. But the wind at the top of the trail is fierce and bone-chilling! I'd definitely pack a jacket and full pants. Also, the view from the top on Sierra Road is partially obstructed by a fence, so to get equally compelling views, I'd recommend walking to the top of Boccardo Spur and skipping the length of trail up to Sierra Vista.

Parking is plentiful in the park, and you can either park at Eagle Rock for free or park at the visitor center for $6 (except on holidays). There weren't many people on the trails and only two cyclists, so it is definitely high on my recommended list!

Parking lot fills up early on Woodside side, but lots of street parking. It is a climb from Woodside to Skyline, then a decent on the way back.

trail running
1 day ago

Jan 13, 2019.

Muddy, sloppy, dicey in places. Gorgeous and a ton of fun. Bring a gel or two, and at least one water bottle. Counter clockwise is the ticket. The climb on the way back from the falls is pretty mellow.

I wrote down directions and put them in a plastic bag prior. GPS for All Trails actually worked the entire time, however.

I was slow for my own pace, and some spots I couldn’t go very fast. Plus I stopped to take pictures of course.

Go a couple days after a good rain. The trail will be firmer, but the falls will be active.

If you go counterclockwise, Sunset Trail, to Berry Creek Falls (Left), to Skyline to the Sea (Left), all the way back to the Sunset trail (the way you came), you should get it done in less than 2 hours. If you’re fast, 1 1/2 hours. If you get it done in less time than 90 minutes, you’re a nut!

I did it in 1:53 minutes, 9 miles total, walked the last 0.5 because I bonked.

If you’re hiking, you should be able to get this hike done in less than 4 hours if you don’t lallygag. This IS NOT the 10.5 loop however. Don’t get confused. That loop takes longer. See my directions above. Be prepared, know where you are, and where you’re going. Don’t be a hero.

There’s a Wood bridge- big enough for cars - near the Sunset/Dool Trail Connecter. It’s a good spot to meet up with friends and get stretched out.

Happy running! Follow me on Strava!

Great Hike. Saw two coyotes, elk and deer. Bathrooms were closed when I went due to the government shutdown. Hardly any trees on this hike but amazing views.

1 day ago

Stunning sunrise hike

This review is for starting at Big Basin Headquarters -> Waddel Beach

It's a moderate hike if you're doing this route, It's very very scenic and amazing. The route totals about 12 miles and is perfect for a 1 nighter if you're backpacking

If you're starting at Big Basin then you will need a permit which is easy to get and you have to park at JAY CAMP not the headquarters.

I would HIGHLY recommend to plan the logistics on who will pick you up and drop you off if you do not plan on hiking back up. There are no UBERS or LYFT there once you reach the beach. I was lucky and was able to hitch hike off a "van lifer" that just so happened to have slept at the beach the night before.

2 days ago

3 mi loop perfect winter kid dog hike. Sparsely populated (few courteous mountain bikers) with vistas and small waterfall.

Super fast and fun trail. Great for kids plus dog on a Sunday afternoon. Great views of SF at the peak!

All in all a great trail. I’d probably say it’s more on the moderately trafficked side than lightly. A good amount of bikers use this trail so be on the lookout coming around tight corners. Stevens Creek is one of the prominent features of this trail. It is a hard hike, great workout and is all in a forest environment. Very little open views

2 days ago

Did this on Jan 12, 2019. Beautiful views of ocean and also wildlife— lots of elk quite close by along the trail, and lots of birding opportunities. Incline is not too bad as well. Got to tomales point trailhead parking lot around 10:45 and the small parking lot was full but there’s grass area right next to it that is used as overflow. By the time we left (around 3:45), there were double the amount of cars.

Great views!

Loved seeing the elk and pretty flat - my 9 year old was able to complete the hike!

over grown
3 days ago

The first part of the hike is a steady climb through some tall grass overgrown in some sections, which reminded me of hiking in Hawaii. The second half is a gentle climb on a open dirt road with the final half a mile through forest ! I saw only three mountain bikers during the entire hike. There are number of interesting detours to extend the hike with some interesting views.

bella passeggiata ragazzi consigliatissima a tutti!!

Nice hike for those who want lots of wildlife and ocean scenery. Started before sunrise and by the time I was back the lot was very full. Recommend getting there early.

Creek offers a scenic streams of water

Complaints of the trail not being maintained are exaggerated. I’ve hiked these trails for decades and they are fine. You’re in the outdoors, expect some overhanging plants. Once you are on the ridge, you are on an old dirt road with tons of ups and downs, very much like a fire road trail. The ridge isn’t especially pretty, but incredible views and you can watch planes take off from SFO. No dogs or bikes, that’s a good thing.

Hey there! Anyone know if the trail is open? I went by today and the road was closed...


My friend and I hiked this trail in 8 hours and 31 minutes. It was fun. The trail is 30 miles. Keep in mind my friend and I took a wrong turn which cost us valuable time. We could have hiked this trail in 8 hours if we had not wasted half an hour looking for the right path. We were racing the sun since we did it in January. The park ranger in Big Basin said we might be hiking in the dark and the risk factor was very high. We proved him wrong and finished 40 minutes before sunset.

Clear skies, very windy, great views of the Bay and the ocean. Some incline and some decline but plenty of gentle grade.

great views along the way, and great payoff at the waterfall along the beach. be careful on the climb down to the beach.

Great hike. It is neat to see the Elk herds. Worth the trip.

This hike is awesome. Great ocean views, lakes, forest, waterfalls. It is one of my favorite local hikes. Well worth the trip even though it’s pretty heavily trafficked.

Very nice hike. Lots of different bird species spotted; woodpeckers, blue jays, hawks. Great views from the top of the Canyon View trail. Small trout spotted in the Calaveras Creek. We went first week of January. No rain, but somewhat windy and cold.

7 days ago

Very popular. Beautiful but lots of people.

7 days ago

Great walk. Somehow in hilly SF, there are a lot of flat nature hikes and walks. This one has more incline which is nice. I suggest walking there and back rather than walking the loop so you can enjoy the coastal breathtaking views instead of the road. We decided to not turnaround or take the loop and instead we kept walking to Baker Beach, then through the Presidio and finally into the Marina for lunch. It took about 2 hours 15 mins or 7 miles and my Fitbit recorded I burned 780 calories!

It was a blast and we were exhausted after, but I couldn’t believe all the fantastic views we had! After, we Lyfted back to our car, but we could have Scooted or Jump Biked because the ride was through the Presidio and neighborhood streets. Excellent trek!

Started early for this hike: on road by 6 on the trail by 730. Easy parking early ona. Cold winter's day but easy to imagine the town fills up fast under different circumstances. I took the Matt Davis trail up to the inn and then the old fire road to the fern trail. Nothing to challenging I may try to attack it from the willow camp trail next time since it's more challenging. Beautiful views, lots of clearly marked trails, hard to get lost.

9 days ago

Beautiful views of ocean and bridge and lots of fun landmarks to see. We did this hike as the loop, part of which is the road, and if we did it again, would stick to an out and back on the coastal trail- this is where the best views were and felt more like a hike (vs. a walk along the road). Detour to labyrinth/beach was worth the stairs!

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