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Skyline to the Sea and Meteor Trail Loop

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Skyline to the Sea and Meteor Trail Loop is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder Creek, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 879 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching






no dogs

Please note as of September 2019, approximately 1 mile of the Skyline to Sea Trail is closed south of Park Headquarters from the Hihn Hammond Connector Trail to the Sunset Connector Trail due to storm damage. There are detours in place. Meteor Trail is a great trail to wander among the giants at Big Basin Redwoods State Park without the crowds on the more popular trails. The Meteor Trail tracks Rodgers Creek up to Middle Ridge Road. In winter and early spring the creek burbles to life, making this one of the best riparian hikes at Big Basin. And on clear days, Ocean View Summit from Middle Ridge Road offers an expansive view all the way to the Pacific Ocean. One stop along the way -- Maddock Cabin Site -- offers an intriguing window on the lives of settlers who eked out a rough existence among the redwoods. The matriarch of the Maddock clan had two simple wishes for her children: that they get a good education and avoid being eaten by grizzly bears. The cabin's long gone but interpretive panels tell the Maddock family's story. At six miles, with a healthy climb to Middle Ridge, it's a nice workout without being especially strenuous.

1 day ago

The trail is well maintained and any fallen trees seem to be promptly chopped and redirected off the trail. It’s very well marked and easy to follow from the parking lot or connecting trails. We saw a ton of banana slugs and species of birds. Big Basin State Park has become very highly trafficked and it’s difficult to maintain social distance or get parking on weekends. This is great for the funding of this gorgeous state park, but be sure to come early!

This was definitely a good hike! I went clockwise. However, we didn't get to go to the Ocean View Summit because we weren't sure how far up we had to go from the trail. Now we know for next time if we take this same trail, we can go up and it won't be too far. It wasn't that bad of a hike and went by faster than I expected.

Loved this. Went counter clockwise. Think the other way would be pretty too but less of a challenge, maybe? Saw banana slugs, squirrels, lizards, and lots of birds.

We weren’t planning on doing this trail but by Big Basin had every other parking space blocked so by the time we found a spot we were over a mile away from the trailhead we wanted to hike. If you are hiking in Big Basin be aware if fills up quick with limited parking. Take a trail map when you pay for parking ($10). This trial was beautiful, lots of banana slugs, the trees are gorgeous. Beware that it’s a steady incline the whole way up. We cut the last 1.5 miles off because it was too exhausting, so we cut left to middleride to meteor instead of continuing to the camp.

2 months ago

Very peaceful trail. Went with my older parents and they enjoyed it. Lots of shade and a nice view of the ocean at the top if there’s not too much fog

4 months ago

Very green with lots of shade. It’s quite cold if you start early - we started the hike at around 10am when there’s no sun shine and it was freezing cold.

4 months ago

Kind of a boring trail... forget about the view of any sea.... don’t know why “sea” is in the name of the trail. Take me about 3 - 4 hours

Moderate hike, 5 miles round trip. Most of the hike is in the shade under redwood trees until you come to the sunny and sandy ridge. Beautiful, quiet hike with small stream.

5 months ago

5 months ago

Actually a 5.2 mile hike. Super nice. I did the loop clockwise which was slightly more challenging on the ascent but way more forgiving on the steady and very muddy decline. Went in the middle of January (presumably after a rain storm)

5 months ago

6 months ago

absolutely breathtaking. every moment of this hike was lovely. we went in Jan on a dry day and it was perfection!

Amazing trail. from headquarters head north on skyline to the sea trail. Go Meteor Trail then West Middle ridge Road. South on Dool Trail, you will head back to headquarters. There’s an Ocean View Summit on Middle Ridge Rd., incredible views from the top!

8 months ago

Solid, very easy trail. No real lookouts but nice

Awesome relaxing hike, enough climbing to keep you moving!

Two detours on this path. First half is all shade and second half was no to partial shade.

Beautiful trail, only saw a small handful of other groups. A couple of closures on the way, but nothing too derailing.

10 months ago

Great views of the redwoods as we started at the trailhead. Very shaded throughout the trail until you reach higher elevation. Its says the trail is 4 miles, however it was probably more like 7 miles round trip. There were a lot of butterflies along the trail and once you reach the summit the view however to the ocean was not visible. That was a little disappointing. Overall we enjoyed the hike.

Hiked from Big Basin State Part parking lot to Waddle beach. Nice hike. Google map says 9 miles but it’s 11.1miles. All shaded until the last 0.75 miles.

Don trail section to falls closed.

Fri Jun 28 2019

Such a cathartic trail. We were there on a Thursday in June, expecting tons of people, but passed only three other small parties outside a quarter mile of either end of the trailhead. Most folks tend to gravitate toward the falls which is great for those who want to take in the forest for the trees

Sun May 19 2019

Belle randonnée pas trop dure

Sat May 11 2019

Really nice, mostly shaded trail that's not too tough and well kept. There's no big view though due to the forest. There was also a lot of water in the streams, but I'm guessing that dries up later in the summer. I went on a sunny Saturday in mid-May yet, for some reason, the trail was almost empty. I was expecting it to be really crowded as this park is typically very popular.

Sun Jan 27 2019

Fun trail. Set out at 8:30am on Sunday. Hardly saw another sole until we were finishing up. Got to see lots of redwoods, which was cool being from MD. Decent elevation change enough to feel like you went on a hike but nothing too strenuous. Good for the six year old that was with us and the 55 year old who had never went on a hike before (although we had to take it a little slow for her). It was a great time.

Mon Dec 10 2018

Got there on Sunday, was not crowded at all. Gradual elevation may make you catch your breath. Overall a nice trail for getaway.

Sun Oct 14 2018

Beautiful morning hike. Definitely suggest going clockwise.

Mon Sep 03 2018

Get there early! I went on a holiday weekend and didn’t arrive until 1 pm, parking was full. Ended up being able to pay for a spot at a camping site thanks to the good graces of some campers but otherwise would’ve missed out on the park. This hike is nice trip through the redwoods with a rewarding desert like summit. Nice workout at a quick pace but not super challenging. Took me 2 hours.

Sat Jul 21 2018

Hard but great!

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