Superlatives define Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. California’s oldest state park - covering more than 18,000 acres from sea level to more than 2,000 feet elevation - launched the state park movement in California. Big Basin’s biggest attraction – literally – is a rare stand of awe-inspiring, ancient coast redwoods that are among the tallest and oldest trees on Earth. Some measure close to 300 feet tall and 50 feet in circumference. Scientists estimate that these trees may range from 1,000 to 2,000 years old. Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, more than 80 miles of roads and trails, and a fascinating natural and cultural history have beckoned millions of visitors to Big Basin since 1902. Each season offers a different park experience. The intense greens of mosses contrast with the subtle colors of lichens and mushrooms during wet winters. Rushing waterfalls and wildflowers abound in the cool, foggy spring. Find a shady getaway from inland heat in summertime. Fall offers pleasant weather without storms, pests or extreme heat. The park is about 65 miles south of San Francisco. From Santa Cruz travel approx 25 miles northwest via Highways 9 and 236 to reach Park Headquarters. Park Headquarters is 9 miles north of the town of Boulder Creek on State Hwy 236. All roads into Big Basin are curvy. The Rancho Del Oso coastal unit of Big Basin is accessible on State Route 1, about 20 miles north of the city of Santa Cruz. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
Not your typical Redwood hike with meandering creeks, ferns, sorrel and the like, but still a great trail. Howard King Trail is all about the beautiful views of the surrounding hills and a vista point with a bench looking out to Waddell Beach. On a clear day, you can actually see the waves crashing! With the popular Berry Creek Falls loop closed, this is the only way to see Berry Creek Falls without breaking the rules. The trail is well-marked with signs saying "Berry Creek Falls Detour". This descent from the overlook to the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail junction is a large change in elevation, and it is quite grueling ascending those switchbacks on the return trip.
Not bad, nice hike. Waterfalls are about 2-3' tall. There's better trails in the area. Still with checking out.