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One of the best hikes I have ever done.

Many were saying to do this hike counter clockwise. The Ranger said to do it clockwise because of the stairs at Silver Falls. Glad we listened to the Ranger and went clockwise. Those stairs are steep, and glad we went up them instead of down. There was a sign warning of a strenuous 6 hour hike ahead at the beginning. I really didn't think it would be strenuous for me since I hike every weekend, but boy was I wrong. It was a little strenuous, especially the last 3-4 miles. My legs just ached at this point I really just had to push through. Beautiful hike and I would totally do it again. Took us about 6 hours, including a long hour break at the falls to eat and take pictures.

Went early on Sunday morning, 3/4. Take the unmarked trail to the left of the trailhead sign to go directly to Castle Rock. Didn't seem worth it to me, but to each their own. Some snow on the ground from yesterday's storm, with the sun melting snow in the trees. Wasn't expecting rain! Once I got to the falls I didn't need my raincoat. Despite the rain from yesterday, the falls were just more than a dribble. Nice hike on the Saratoga Gap side, but the Ridge trail gave much better views. It was more difficult with roots, steeper climbs, and boulders/rocks on the path, but worth it. Took me 3.5 hours with a lunch break. Nice area just west of Goat Rock to have a picnic. I hope to come back one day to do the Skyline to the Sea hike. Love having a wooded trail this close to home!

Nice hike, lots of lovely dogs, very pretty but not spectacular. I went during the week l, so there was plenty of parking and many times where I was alone on the trail.

12 days ago

One of my best hikes. Go during a weekday so you’ll have the trail for yourself - I barely saw anyone during the 3.5 hours I was on the trail. Beautiful waterfalls along the trail. NO restrooms were seen so keep that in mind.

Update 3/6/2018

All trails are open again, and equestrians appear to be using the trails. Nice and quiet on a Tuesday morning. Definitely prefer to park on the Gilroy side of the park and hike up Sprig Trail, then end with Merry Go Round Trail on the way back down. Old Mine Trail is worth it for the views.

March 2017

This is overall a great south county loop. It is a little crowded as far as other parks in this county go: on a Tuesday afternoon I passed a dozen people or so, including the people at the Sprig Recreation Area entrance, which is around the midpoint. This park is also a big horse riding area, but due to the recent rain, it is closed to equestrian traffic, so if you're a rule breaker like me it's a good time to let your dog off leash. This means a lot of the trails are very wide unfortunately. I love the cool, shady canopy and mix of redwoods and laurels on Sprig Trail, and the beautiful, rocky chaparral of Merry-Go-Round. I would recommend taking the loop in the opposite order the title suggests, starting with the Tan Oak Trail via Meadow Trail. The Tan Oak trail will take you to a junction with the Lower Miller Trail where you can see the really cool ruins of the Miller summer place. Legend says the park is haunted by the spirit of 19th century cattle baron Henry Miller's 8-year-old daughter, who fell from her horse and broke her neck while out on a ride. Then the Loop Trail Cut-Off will get you to Merry-Go-Round, which will descend the mountain toward the Santa Clara Valley. It is a more exposed fire road, which makes it nicer to do this direction, followed by the shady, winding climb of Sprig Trail back up to the entrance booth. Tie Camp Trail, which bisects the loop, is currently closed, as is a section of the Blackhawk Trail which is noted on the map.

This trail was challenging but very much worth it. Though it's marked as a 10 mile hike, my Apple watch indicated it's closer to 12. Allow yourself a good 5-6 hours to complete depending on your pace. When our group did the hike, we had to plow through it because we had a later start, plus it was raining and hailing pretty hard -- which made for a memorable experience. The views of the towering redwood trees are incredible and the waterfalls were running strong, you really feel like you're in another world. I would definitely come back and recommend for those looking for a good moderate-difficult hike!

Beautiful trail, with a few rocks to casually climb and get hidden gorgeous views:)
Trail itself is well maintained.

Gentle rise in elevation. Very peaceful

Many ups and downs. Great mountain views. Fun to watch rock climbing and bouldering.

Enjoyed mild hiking along the shock resistant trail surrounded by old redwoods and crystal clear creek..

Background info: I am not at my fittest but I love a challenge and I KNOW I can handle these types of hikes. I went at the end of February during a relatively dry winter in the morning (started at 8:30 AM and finished back at my car at 1:45 PM. I brought plenty of water (including a filtration system in case I ran out) and plenty of snacks.

The hike: First, starting off in the morning is such a smart thing to do as you avoid the crowds. I noticed toward the end of my hike the trails started to get more populated and I had to dodge people coming down as I went up. I love hiking to get away from the city and people so I enjoyed the first-half of this hike. Due to closed trails, this route took longer (but it was expected after reading other reviews). Yes, there are times when the incline gets you huffing and puffing (at least me), but totally doable. I enjoyed traveling along multiple water sources due to comfort and security should I run out of water. There is a sign that recommends you bring at least 3 liters of water for the entire duration but I think that is playing it safe. At one point you dramatically burst out of the trees and shade and end up exposed to the elements along a cliff. Personally, I enjoyed this area as it gave me the opportunity to soak in the sun and relax for a quick minute. I didn't take many breaks so I was able to complete this hike relatively quickly. I don't believe this hike is "family-friendly" but it is appropriate for those who can care for themselves. There are times where a parent having to watch for their own safety in addition to the safety of their child makes it not suitable for young children. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

Wet nice spot to hike, the views are incredible at some points, there is a look out deck about 2 miles in, and if u go a little further, there’s a huge rock on the edge of the cliff if ur brave enough to climb and sit and take an amazing photo..definitely would return here.

This is my favorite hike in Santa Cruz

Beautiful nature. A touching calmness.

Great hike. Do it early to avoid the crowds.

Waterfalls were beautiful even without much rain so far. I would recommend starting this hike early in the morning. The redwoods were amazing.

Beautiful trail, but could be better marked. Fortunately, I passed just enough people on a late Sunday afternoon to assure me I was going the right way!

Great hike! Crowded! Parking is hard because the lot is small. Had to park down the road. If you follow the suggested route, the first part is paved and relatively flat, the way back is more challenging with some uphills. Trails well marked, easy to follow. Love the dogs!!

1 month ago

Great hike! Great work out! Lots of people on the weekends. Parking is difficult and had to park a mile out. Waterfall was low on water :(

It’s a great hike I did today and the falls are amazing

The hike and weather was beautiful today 2/10/18. A few big inclines but our 9 year old was able to manage with a few breaks. Although I didnt use this app to record my hike, our loop was 5.02 miles. I gave it 2 stars because it's an overpopulated trail. Lots of groups, bikers, runners and lots lot lots of dogs off leash, even though dogs must be kept on leash. There was a park ranger ticketing people who had dogs were off leash. The parking lot and surrounding area was jammed packed. Even though the trail is beautiful, I wouldn't be back.

1 month ago

A great 10.5-mile hike through the redwoods that seems more moderate than strenuous except for the distance. Elevation gains are gradual, so even though the total gain was 2,400 feet it seemed less. The climax of the hike is a series of small falls that make up the silver falls and the single long Berry Creek Falls. Since they are roughly half way around the loop they offer a respite and have areas to enjoy a picnic. We went in February and only saw two other people along the hike, but I imagine in the spring and summer crowds may make that a little less peaceful. While the distance is listed as 9.5 miles it was actually 10.5 as a section of the skyline-to-the-sea trail was closed and the detour added about a mile. It does not look like the closed section will open anytime soon. The path was well marked and mostly dirt. Any type of shoe will be fine for this hike.

This is the biggest camping area ever I been before , Big basin Redwood is amazing place to camp or hiking place, me and my family come here almost once month and each time we reserved for three nights, my kids always enjoy in the amazing forest.

Parking was a little bit challenge when I arrived this morning. Maybe because it's a weekend. its a great place to hike.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike! We did the 10 miles loop and saw so many water falls. It was well worth the it. Girls trip!

After taking a slight detour on to to castle rock trail, we headed back to Saratoga gap trail then on to goat rock trail. Tried to go on a side trail (climbers only trail) seen on this map to bypass backtracking but it is apparently private property— there was even a sketchy red sign saying people should “heed the warnings”.. didn’t risk it. We went left at the fork on Saratoga to castle rock falls first, then back around down (or up rather) ridge trail. Overall, great hike!

Have to say I really love this trail! It should be my favorite trail so far. This distance is a little bit challenge for my boyfriend. But I want him to exercise more, so it’s good for us. View is super nice! Hope we can go for a hike here very often!

Great trail! Beautiful the whole time. Not easy but moderate :)

Some sections were closed so it ended up 10.3 miles

We did the sunset trail to the falls I recommend the way

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