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hiking
13 days ago

Today I made the loop. Falls were beautiful due to recent rains. Few(3) fallen trees blocked the trail but feasible to sneak into it. I made clockwise loop like many which was strenuous.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Great trail for intermediate mountain biking. A few tough spots but well worth the ride to Berry Creek falls. Saw plenty of friendly hikers and a few other bikers.

Hike was better than I expected. Even though it is not a rain season, still pretty good waterfalls. Curiously my GPS showed roundtrip to be just under 15 miles. Not sure how to account for discrepancy.

Some pictures:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsFqQSk

Resumed hiking after 2 years with this one. We also followed counter clockwise. About 4 hours we completed with few stops. It was difficult but I was able to complete. falls, birds, redwoods and you will enjoy.

great hike!

9/29/18 Did the loop as a day trip. 7 hours of walking, an hour of lunch and yoga and an hour of taking photos and just enjoying log sitting.
Clockwise is the way to go - esp for water. Plenty at camp, lily pad, piute, gem and grouse. Nothing between gem and grouse on main trail.
No insects just golden ferns, mushrooms and beauty ❤️

hiking
2 months ago

A bit tough. I’d take everyone’s advice and do counterclockwise, we unfortunately did the opposite per the rangers suggestion and we only saw one other couple doing it this way. Much easier doing it counterclockwise and I know why now. Beautiful place and waterfalls are amazing to see.

Went counterclockwise for the loop. Labor Day weekend was quite busy, but we found a great spot overlooking Gem Lake. Several good dayhikes are possible from Gem. Scarce mosquitos this time of year. The lake water is very cold and refreshing, and tastes good once filtered. No complaints other than the holiday crowd.

There is a good amount of elevation to climb towards Gem Lake from both directions. Be prepared to rest and catch your breath (you’re well above a mile up) if you have to.

backpacking
3 months ago

We did the lower part of the loop--Crabtree to Grouse Lake to just before the turnoff to Gem Lake, and then back. This would be a great hike except that on Labor Day weekend there was no water in any of the creeks (Lily, Piute, or Cherry).The only source of water between Crabtree and Gem Lake was Grouse Lake, and it had been badly fouled by cattle. I was really glad to have a good water filter but the filter was completely clogged after several uses. On the plus side, there were no mosquitoes--not a one.

Cool place for some backpacking. Parking can be brutal. Somewhat, busy, from the amount of cars you see, but hiking wise, it’s isn’t that bad. Started our hike at 10:45am and made it to Gem Lake by 3:15pm. Found a great spot and it wasn’t too crowded. NO MOSQUITOES AT ALL, so that was awesome. We did the hike clock-wise and this is what I would recommend for everyone wanting to the the loop.

on Berry Creek Falls Loop

3 months ago

Bring water and look out for banana slugs! Great hike.

Started early and by the time we reached it was around 7:15 am and cold. Very few cars were parked due to the cold I guess. Found initially little confusing where the trail started and took us some time to get on the trail. As per the review I read by lots of hikers we wanted to do the anti clock wise hike but came across a detour sign asking us the go on the clock wise direction. We ended up doing that and did not encounter any one until we reached the falls and decided to try the other side to get back to the parking when saw few people coming from the counter clockwise side of the trail. There was no issue with the trail not sure why they had put a detour sign. Took 5 1/2 hrs for us to finish the trail.

We did this 20 mile loop, counter clockwise, in one day. It was a long day (took us about 9.5 hours to complete) but definitely doable.

We were surprised to see lots of cows grazing around Bell Meadow and near Grouse Lake as well. Just a heads up as we were a bit startled the first time we came across them. We saw lots of mosquitos as Grouse, but the rest of the trail was pretty free of them.

We also struggled with trail markers after about the 7th mile out. We got a little turned around on our way back, at around mile 14. The trail is very dry and dusty this time of year, but the sky was clear (no smoke!) and the scenery is truly breathtaking.

So gorgeous! Tough hike but a good one!

hiking
3 months ago

I took the advice here and went early, parking lot at 8 and also took the trail counter clockwise
I only saw three peoples going down and lots of birds! At the falls it began to seem like a freeway but still very beautiful and cool on a hot day.
Took me a little over 4 1/2 hours - I’m older and moderately fit.
Would totally recommend this hike.
Also bring $10 cash if you get there before the park opens to pay for parking - I didn’t have change so then for $20 from me.

The lakes and creeks were teeming with mosquitoes. Even with deet and smokey campfires, I got about fifty bites, mostly near the creek crossing where we camped around mile 6.

Gem lake (10mi) was free of mosquitoes around 1pm and was lovely to swim in. I expect it would have been a nice place to camp without getting eaten so badly.

Grouse Lake (15mi) was also not too bad, but still not great.

Lots of horse poop on the trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

*As of August 10th, 2018 there was no water at the falls or next to the second Ojitos camp

Started at the coast in Limekiln State Park and followed the Twin Peak/Cone Peak Loop. Camped at the first Ojitos Camp which was definitely an adventure to get down. Poison oak everywhere, but never really that hard to get along the path without touching it. ~10-15 trees to climb over or under. Campground could fit up to 2-3 tents optimistically but a nice place to stay the night and no one around. Water disappears and reappears as you make your way to the falls along the creek bed (perhaps the coolest part of the hike), but falls were completely dry. It wasn’t too hard to get to the base of them (path off to the left), but we decided not to continue onwards.

Flies were prevalent anytime there was light in the sky, but after the sunset they disappeared almost immediately and they didn’t really bite, just wanted to climb up your nose. Mosquitos around only near twilight and early morning. Would definitely do again to check out the waterfall in the spring.

Strenuous but great! Really beautiful waterfalls

Wonderful trail for all experience levels. Some friends and I went on a two night backpacking trip this past weekend and enjoyed the scenery regardless of the smoke from the fires nearby. Hope to go again soon when fire season is over.

hiking
4 months ago

By far it was a beautiful view. I was amazed every corner I turned. The waterfall was beautiful. I went during rainy season so I saw multiples falls. The cave, WOW!!! You have to be there to know what I felt. We took the bear gulch trail!!!! Very nice..

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

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
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

We left the trail at 4.3 miles and climbed north up to the ridge then west over one false summit and another bump or two to Deadwood Peak. I’d call it an easy class 2 route though the climb was definitely strep and strenuous at times. (The track for this hike shows a shorter, more direct, and I think easier route to the summit than we took.). On the small summit there was a pile of rocks but we did not notice a summit marker or journal box. From Deadwood we did the easy 1/3 mile walk over to the next unnamed high point to the west, which according to summit journal notes, appears to sometimes get confused for the 100’ higher Deadwood Peak. We then descended back to the Grouse Lake Trail from the saddle between there and Deadwood. This was a very nice hike with spectacular scenery and impressive wildflowers in mid July. Remote and lightly traveled compared to most hikes around Tahoe. Though not an OGUL peak, Deadwood is a challenging, scenic and very worthy climb. Highly recommended.

hiking
4 months 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
4 months ago

Beautiful! Bring water, bring a flashlight, bring sunscreen. Wonder start through oaks aplenty. Then, up and up and up! Then down, down, and down, to the caves. I didn't bring a flashlight, so I went back up the Balconies Trail. It was pretty hot, but I made. This is a majestic national park. Thank you Senator Boxer and President Obama. One more note, you drive through Monterrey County wine country to get to the park!

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.

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