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Absolutely no trail signs in the entire park. Gorgeous views that are well worth it, but be prepared to face some confusion and frustration along the way, especially if planning an overnight backpacking trip. Breathtaking views of the ocean, but definitely wouldn’t recommend for the faint of heart. Very thin, relatively unmaintained trail carved into the side of various mountains right above the ocean. Spectacular but terrifying at times.

Strenuous but great! Really beautiful waterfalls

hiking
3 days ago

Good moderate trail with some inclines on the track. Some beautiful scenes of the Forrest on the way.

The views are incredible but prepare for 3+ hr hike round trip. We are two in shape guys and it took us a while... Route is very sunny - take the shade when you can get it. Views are incredible though - totally worth it.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. Definitely moderate if you’re just doing Miners Trail. If you add in the Corcoran Trail the difficulty and work out goes up.

backpacking
7 days ago

Perfect Beginner Backpacker 3-Day Trip.

Don’t camp in your car the night before hitting the trail. Ranger Rick didn’t like that at all. Otherwise the trail follows a highway for the first two days. The second day you stop by Big Basin HQ where you can reload on any food or gear you may need. Even have showers. Third day you leave the highway sounds and follow a creek that leads to the ocean. This is the most rewarding and beautiful day. (Camped at Waterman Gap and Jay Camp)

Apparently the shuttle no longer exists. We hitchhiked to downtown Santa Cruz and then 50$ Uber’d to our car at Castle Rock State Park.

Weather was never permitting long sleeves, even at night. The shade under the tree groves was perfect, no chance of getting sunburned. Mosquitoes were heavy though and had to remain in our tents any time we weren’t moving.

Amazing views! We actually took the Coast Trail onto a beach that had a few caves. We hung out in a cave while watching the waves, whales, and seals. Beautiful hike the entire way to the beach. Definitely worth it. And definitely going again. Was an amazing date location!

Good hike , view was disappointing

Beautiful hike! Done this twice now. Just take lotsa water in summer

Hike was beautiful! We took Harkins Ridge down and Whittemore Gulch back up and managed to be in the shade a majority of the time.

hiking
17 days ago

Started from Skyline Blvd, arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday and the parking lot was full. However, the trails were fairly quiet, garbage free and sparcely populated. Whittemore Gulch Trail was beautiful: Redwoods, shady, ferns, etc, but all downhill. Harkins Ridge was a killer. STEEP uphill and in the sun. Not pleasant at all. Did see two little foxes running across the trail.

challenging and worth the effort. we went up the paved way and my 7 year old made it up with me. once you get up to the top the old Nike missle post and buildings are great to look at and take pictures of. the view of course is a awesome.

Almbique loop goes on and on

The climb out is ennervating

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked the loop, counterclockwise, last week (07/21) and started about 06:07am and finished back to car at 09:43am, which included at 15/20 minute break at Berry Falls. I've done this hike in the past couple years ago.

GAIS GPS clocked in at 10:55 miles roundtrip, while the Apple Watch clocked in at 10.46miles.

You'll be mostly in the shade. There are some section of the trail that are closed so watch for the detour signs. Can't miss them. A lot of up/downs. If you start counter-clockwise, you'll be mostly going down, or up gradual inclines but nothing too crazy. The last three miles is mostly up, but gradual.

Overall, nice hike through the redwood and peaceful and calm (as I was there pretty early). Go early if you can. It's nice and peaceful early in the morning when it's quiet.

Quite strenuous loop, considering few closures along the hike. Get early to avoid the crowd. 3 waterfalls along.

Beautiful dense trees once you finally arrive at Vicente flats. There is no water or signs to let you know you have arrived at Vicente flats. We kind of lost the trail for come peak when we went looking for a place to set up camp in Vicente flats.

We headed up on a Friday at 12:17 and was hit with lots of sun. The hike up could of been planned a lot better but, the views were just beautiful and took our mind off of the uphill hike with our 35lb packs for our age and circumstances I think we did just fine. Took us about 4hrs to reach Vicente flats.

We hit Espinoza camp first and next was the creek. We were so was so happy to find the small creek along the way, it was very refreshing.

When we arrived at Vicente flats about 3 miles up from the creek there wasn’t anyone there besides 1 small group, the next day heading out so many backpackers passed us. Some looked exhausted and not prepared and still had at least 4 Miles to go. I hope they all did well. Please bring plenty of water and bug repellent for those pesky flies!!!

Lots of poison oak everywhere so wear long pants or be like me and get it on your legs, thanks goodness I didn’t have a - bad reaction besides rashes.

Go do yourself a favor and get yourself some hiking poles, they def made the difference and kept me steady on those narrow trails with my heavy pack on.

For the girl we saw hiking by herself with the satchel & basic backpack, you are my hero!! Looks like she hiked all over that moutain by herself! Way to go!!!

Oh one more thing - you can park at the bottoms of trail head we had no problem

Arrived at 8:45a on Sunday and found the lot closest to HQ already full. Per the recommendation of the Park Aide, I hiked this trail counter-clockwise and was I glad I did since I was fresh and going downhill through the gorgeous upper part of Sunset trail as it winds through redwood groves. Most of the Berry Creek Falls trail is also very pretty. Completed the hike in 5.5 hours with a brief layover at the falls and numerous photo stops. There’s a big tree across Berry Creek Falls Trail right at the juncture with Sunset Trail, so it looks like the Berry Creek Falls trail is closed. But it’s not.

hiking
24 days ago

Truly beautiful Hike. I started around 5:30AM. Saw the forest wake up as I made my way to Berry Creek Falls. I recommend doing this counter clockwise as well. The uphill on the return is long but gradual. I did the 10.5 + detours within 4 hours, that included pit stop for photos and snacks. Doing it that early I did not run into anyone till I was pretty much back at Park Headquarters. It was truly epic. Highly recommend it.

Good workout. Nice views. Suggest getting there early (before 10am) if you want convenient parking and a peaceful hike.

Epic! Long hike. My device clocked 10.5 miles and I completed within 4 hours. That is including pit stops for lunch, photos and to catch breath.

I suggest counter clockwise for this hike. Pro tip: For parking when you come late, go past the first parking (which is generally full) and then head towards north of the park. There again, you will find cars to be full but there is a road on the left which has wooden bridge. People ignore it cause wooden bridge is meant for pedestrians, cyclists etc. But cars can go on it. After that you will be many more parking spots near the camp ground. Also you will be able to jump start your hike as one of the entry point is there itself. Take the dool trail and see signs for sunset trail detour.

The hike despite being long doesn't have much elevation gain. Sunset trail has couple of ups and downs but very doable. Skyline to sea trail has constant elevation but its not steep. So this hike is between moderate to strenuous. Make sure you get something to eat and 2 plus liter of water.

This trail is one of my favorites not to much hills, nice smooth stroller accessible all the way to Kelham beach To access the beach stay to the right when you meet the coast trail and go down when you get to the giant tree. you can't miss it.
Bring extra water. it's long but not too difficult.
Have fun

hiking
28 days ago

Started from the Higgins Road Trailhead. Nice mix of shady forest and great views.

hiking
29 days ago

Great day hike. Took us about 6hrs to complete, with a lunch stop at one of the waterfalls. Note there’s currently a detour around the Sunset-Dool leg, so just factor in another mile or so.

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful easy “hike”. Really a walk. Gorgeous secluded beaches. Entertaining sea lion colony. Well worth it.

This is a beautiful trail. I would say more moderate than hard. We powered through in under 4 hours, but good trail to stop for lunch by the falls and enjoy the scenery.

We finished nearly 12 miles in 4 hours, the elevation gain was less than 2000ft, it’s a moderate trail for regular hikers. It has beautiful redwood trees, falls and creeks along the way, 98% of the time we are in shade. I didn’t even need my sunglasses. It’s a great hike for the summer time.

Did this again on weekend of 6-29-18. Has become my early season Sierra stretch out. Really nice and bugs not bad. No trail hassle with deadfalls, but make sure you get into your trail camps early to get a decent pitch area. Not a solitude destination with road noise and weekend campers at Big Basin, but a great trek nonetheless.

this trail has beautiful views of the coast. the hike uphill is quite a good workout! i agree with other reviewers, do this trail clockwise. turn left first. this gives you a lot more shade during the hike up.

It's straight up from the sea to Espinoza campsite, took us almost three hours to there, with overnight packs and being a bit out of shape. Beautiful views of the shore and mountains. From there to Vicente Flats took another 45 minutes at a brisker pace, that section being much flatter. I wore shorts and didn't get poison oaked, since it was not overhanging the trail much, and I kept my eyes open to sidestep it. Vicente Flats is a great campground, a few bugs, but tall redwoods and lovely setting. Hung our food from a tree on account of mice and chipmunks. There was water from a brook just uphill from Espinoza camp, also water at the creek at Vicente, and if you hike past Vicente on the trail to Cone Peak Road there were multiple stream crossings within a half mile of the campground (July 2018). Next day hiked up the very steep trail to the road. I sat under an oak tree on the road while my pal summited Cone (3 hours round trip from road to Cone summit), but bring water if you're doing Cone, he found none on the way up there.

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