Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Big Basin Redwoods State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike! Beautiful trails, changing terrain. Completed in 3.5 hours at moderate pace.

There’s currently a minor detour to Sunset that is very well signposted. Does not significantly change the walk. I set off around 16:30 on a day when it was 30C+ in the Bay and it was very cool. Finished up the whole loop in a little over 3h at a steady pace uphill and jogging on the downhill sections. Anti-clockwise is ideal for a later start in the day as you get the uphill out of the way early (in shade) and top out into some afternoon sun before gently descending down Johansen Road which is a wide road and also fairly well shaded with occasional breaks for sun. Where Johansen joins Creek Road there’s an absolutely stunning tree house very visible from the road. Shortly you descend to Berry Creek Falls at the lowest point on the trail which threads around some beautiful old growth redwoods by a stream for a few km before a fairly steady uphill back to the Visitor Center. Highly recommended with very little to say against it. A few more exposed sections would be nice but the terrain is already varied.

22 days ago

I spent two days, and extended the loop further south. With a backcountry permit, parking is required at Jay camp, just a short walk to headquarters. I was able to enjoy the redwood loop both at the beginning and the end of the trip. Day one went up skyline, then hollow tree trail, circled around to Sunset Camp. Great location to set up the tent then enjoy all the remaining daylight at the falls along west berry creek. Then day two takes you by the falls again, soaking in the morning sunlight of the trails. I continued to Berry Creek falls and stopped for breakfast. Had the place to myself on Tuesday morning. Plan to spend all the time you can along this trail, every step is time worthwhile. I then continued south on skyline, took McCrary Ridge up, then Howard King to bring me back. McCrary is a 1,700 ft climb in 3 miles, and exposed for a good portion, be prepared. Ocean views along most of the trail. In all, I extended the total to about 20 miles with about 4,000 ft. Great alternative to the full Skyline to Sea if you are limited on time or don’t want to coordinate a ride.

Amazing hike. One of my all time favorites.

Fantastic hike. I did this in about 3 hours with some running involved. Great trees, water, well established trail.

I had to crush it so I didn’t have time to really enjoy it, but a great hike!!

Beautiful hike, changing scenery throughout. Make sure to bring lots of water and snacks.

Hiked the full trail with friends on Mother’s Day weekend. Well exceeded expectations. Despite the number of people out and about, much of the trail did not seem crowded except at the falls and at the beginning of the trail. The Falls were an excellent respite and the right intervals for a little rest stop. So many other trails to do next time.

on Shadowbrook Trail

1 month ago

Short and accessible. Uncrowded compared to the others, beautiful groves and creeks.

There are a few trail closures right now so the route is a little different, but the ranger at the headquarters gave us a map and indicated the route to take to see all the falls. The altered route is just over 11 miles.

It was a very nice hike and especially pleasant for a real hot day since the vast majority of the trail is shaded by the trees. Really nice views of a few different waterfalls, wildlife (we saw a lizard, snake, and banana slugs)! Parts of the trail can be pretty busy (but that could have been due to the holiday), but if you do the whole loop most of the time you have the trail to yourself. Not particularly difficult as far as elevation climbs go which made the 11 miles feel much shorter. I would recommend if you're looking for something for an entire day but not something that is too strenuous.

Very nice trail.
We made it clockwise and wasn't bad.
It is more like 7.5 miles not 6.1 but we didn't really care.
Combination of dense shade with sunny portions on top, sequoia, just bushes, something for everyone.
No ocean view as it was lots of fog over it.

1 month ago

This a great hike with just enough elevation to give you a great workout. It isn’t super crowded so you’ll find yourself pretty alone most of the hike if you start off early enough. Pretty shady and simply beautiful

It was my first ever backcountry camping hike and boy did I pick a winner. Sat by the falls and made myself some coffee while listening to the rush of water and watching the trees. This is your classic redwood hike among the trees, it will not disappoint!

Also watch out for ticks!

Fun hike. I love hiking in the redwoods and seeing the waterfalls and full creek beds. Banana slugs and salamanders were in abundance. We checked in with the ranger before the hike, and she gave us a hi-lighted map showing detours due to trail closures. Current hike is smidgen over 11. Go early (we were in the trail by 8:45), have a nice lunch at the waterfalls and enjoy the beautiful California redwoods.

The longest hike I have done till now and the most beautiful one too. Beautiful waterfalls. Gigantic redwoods. Silent nature.
Carry enough fluids and food. Sit near each waterfall, on the fallen redwoods and refuel yourself. Enjoyed this hike to the fullest. I will be going once again for this same hike soon.

Probably the second hardest hike I have done. Not in terms of difficult and steepness, but rather in terms of mere length. Bring lots of water and start early. The view of the waterfalls (multiple water falls :)) is worth the hike! enjoy guys! :)

4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful, but then again so is almost all of Big Basin. It's a nice walk and the trees are a sight in themselves. There isn't anything especially striking throughout the path so not worth investing as a main event in your trip. However, for those only looking for an easy 30-45 min walk among some friendly giants, this path is absolutely for you.

Good workout! gains elevation at reasonable pace. Trail is pretty shady. No shade at the top. We hiked in March so was not that hot when we reached the top. Views are amazing once you get to the top.
Signs along the trail are not so clear, we got the trail info from info desk before starting. I have read reviews that if we get lost, it adds up few miles to your hike.
Did not see lot of people while on trail, not so crowded. Some parts of the trail are narrow but just walk carefully, its totally doable. Couple of big rocks which come in your way and you have to climb and get to the other side to continue. Loved the trail and will come back!

Will absolutely do this trail again, beautiful views and rewarding for the effort you put into it. Invigorating!

Beautiful hike. Mainly under the shade of redwoods, but with occasional treks at higher elevations in the sun. Definitely wear layers!!! You can go from chilly to sweating in a heartbeat. Wear good hiking shoes or sneakers with traction; parts of the trail near the waterfalls are VERY slippery (it is quite damp down there, and you have to traverse up, down and across some very wet and muddy rocks). If you do the full loop, prepare for a long hike -- bring snacks and water, and start no later than 11am (especially in the winter when the days are shorter). NOTE: There were several detours along the way due to weather-damaged areas, and I'm pretty certain I did at least an extra mile or two because of them. Just be prepared!

5 months ago

Super easy,fun trail for kids and families. Just being among redwoods is amazing.

5 months ago

Excellent warm up trail before embarking on some of the other trails at Big Basin. This is where you take all of your pictures with the huge old growth redwoods.

great hike ;babies in backpack
as well as an 8 year old.adults from 30 to 62.everybody enjoyed the hike and the view

Very nice trail with lots of vegetation. Waterfall is nothing special as you can see better ones on the Cataract Trail by Mt Tam. Parking is expensive, but staff is extremely friendly. I would recommend doing this at least once just to say you did it.

Beautiful well maintained trail. Part of it was detoured which made it longer. Bring at least 2 Liters of water per person. We packed a light lunch which was nice to have near one of the falls. I have done Waddell Beach to the falls once and had no idea there's so many more falls going the top route!

My husband took me as a surprise, I had wished I had worn my neoprene socks because I ended up with blisters.

No dogs are allowed. However someone had a horse on the trail so at some parts where the trail was very skinny we had to dodge giant horse poo piles

Very nice hike.
Unfortunately day use is not allowed !
You have to have a reservation at the camp ground.

beautiful trail, minus the gunshots from the range, and minus the mountain lion!! other than that great trail. Lol.

6 months ago

It was a good work out trail and took us about 2hours and half on slow pace with my 9years old son. At the top, the view was so beautiful, absolutely worth to try this trail. We passed a couple of groups.

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