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Sunset, Berry Creek Falls and Howard King Trail Loop [CLOSED]

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Sunset, Berry Creek Falls and Howard King Trail Loop [CLOSED] is a 10.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder Creek, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

Length 10.5 mi Elevation gain 2,785 ft Route type Loop
Backpacking Camping Hiking Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Closed No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

As of August 2020, this park is currently closed due to wildfire until further notice. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30009 As of Feb 05, 2020, users have reported that there are temporary closures in this area. Please consult the park's website before visiting.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (209)
Photos (2449)
Recordings (166)
Completed (602)
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Lana Luna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful Hike! Def recommend =)

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Rachael Byrne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail with a great chance to be immersed in the redwoods. The weather was super temperate for August and there was lots of shade all around. Although the park headquarters was crazy busy, and a few points around the trail too, there was still plenty of opportunity for alone time and miles of solitude. The waterfalls were flowing and I had only seen a couple other people at one of them. I did this trail plus a couple more miles on a detour for a total of 13 miles. Great spots to add some steps everywhere. Be mindful of the one way trail markers- Covid. But a lot of people were totally disregarding it. I started at 1500 and was back to my car at 1900. I ran a portion of the trail, but even without the running and the detour I think it’s definitely doable to finish the trail in less than the time posted. (I got there late after dealing with a road closure and detour and was determined to fit this trail in!) Take lots of water.

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Ajay Nair
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Finished this in 5 hours , the last 3 miles are continuous incline and will get you . Total was about 14.4 miles from the rangers office . You have to do the loop ie go one way . I started my hike late around 11 and finished by 4 . Did not see another hikes until the last 4 miles . Super shard

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Matthew Lietzke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

way longer than the previous recording. nearly 12 miles

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Laila Hashimi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

Great trail very hard hike it’s not for beginners take lots of water, lots of uphill it look us 6 hrs to complete the loop ,

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Brea Coffey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve taken. The park was pretty crowded, but there was plenty of room to practice social distancing. Took about 4.5hrs which included some stopes to enjoy the scenery. Well worth it if you make an entire day out of the hike. Plenty of shade and very well marked.

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Charles Mackey
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HikingGreat!

Solid hike. Only took a little over 4hrs with two snack stops.

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Rocky Flotte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! Easy going in but it was a challenge coming out after three hours of hiking in. Coming out is harder because of the escalation and dryness in the air. I started at 9:30 and ended that trail at 3:00ish took another 20 to 30 mins to get to my car.

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K Y
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020

The Howard King portion was very quiet and empty, then suddenly got very crowded once we hit Berry Creek Trail. Overall a beautiful hike.

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Stacey Garster
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful, however due to COVID they merged some trails for one way traffic and there was some storm damage as well. Total hike was more like 15 miles. Lots of incline. When you see the sign “Dangerous, very strenuous” That’s no joke. Great hike tho

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Stacey Garster
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Incline constant at times. Due to Covid mix of trails to form loop. Personal GPS clocked it at 15.5 miles 1046 ft of elevation Very strenuous is correct!

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Ryan Lee
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HikingBugsFeeRocky

The Sunset Trail is absolutely gorgeous. You'll get an amazing view of three separate waterfalls along the Berry Creek Trail. This hike is strenuous, so pack plenty of water!

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Alex N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail. Mostly shaded forest with some sunny areas and great views. Saw a snake, lizards, salamanders (in creek), and plenty of butterflies. $10 to park, and the Sunset trail is one way due to Covid so this loop has to be done clockwise. My phone tracked this as closer to 14 miles. Howard King trail: Trailhead is just into the Redwood trail start near the park HQ. I found the trail markings unclear to start so a map will help, but once you’re going it’s clear. Passed hardly anyone on this trail. Some overgrown areas and poison oak. Berry Creek Falls trail: Wonderful series of waterfalls. This trail was more crowded. Sunset: More great forest scenery. One way and pretty empty.

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Raul Rodriguez
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Hiking

Arrived on a Tuesday at 9:15am. Paid $10 parking fee. By the time my team and I was ready to begin it was 9:30am. Ended up finishing the trail in 5 hours and 30 minutes. Clocked a total of 13 miles, 3,000 ft elevation gain. In those 5 hours, ran into like 5 people. Very quiet and non-touristy tho it might be more crowded on a weekend. Howard King is really steep and we did have some difficulty with the signs. Ended up getting lost at the beginning for a bit since there are many trails one can take. But once on the trail, very clear and well maintained. Beautiful views of Pacifica beach (?), the countless acres of trees/nature, and water falls. Lots of trees, plants, banana slugs, and lizards. Would recommend to bring lots of water, snacks, and flashlights. Would not recommend doing it alone.

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alexandra courtis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020
Hiking

first things first, the views on this trail are out of this world...there are so many sights to take your breath away. the trail is also clearly labeled w/ample shade and cute benches (+ spots by the waterfalls) to take breaks and soak in the beauty. with that said, the difficulty level is not a joke. although it is def technically demanding in terms of footwork + obstacles (tree roots, fallen logs, rocks, caked mud slides etc) what we found the most challenging was the sheer number of repeating uphill-downhill stretches. in terms of directionality we did the one-way route that Big Basin has set up for COVID social distancing which is not 100% what is listed here...includes Skyline to Sea and extra fire trails to get you to Berry Falls. a final tip is that I'd recommend *not* driving up to the park from Saratoga...that "road" is super sketchy and basically a 1 car lane open to two way travel + trucks w/lots of blind turns. your safer and faster bet is driving up via Boulder Creek.

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Chelsea Poteet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020

Got to the parking lot at 7:30am, I was the second car there. Barely saw a soul on the trail. I clocked it at 13.7 miles... and be warned that Howard King trail is quite steep. Gorgeous views, well kept trail, 10/10 would recommend

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Alisa Timofeeva
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking

Used to be a great place for all nature lovers, now is completely ruined with crowds of tourons. If you want to experience human stupidity and selfishness at its worst this is the place to be. We met at least 3 parties listening to loud shitty music while on trail, numerous of people climbing over the fence and blocking the view of waterfalls for everyone as if anyone on this planet cares about their shitty selfies taken with their shitty phones. I hope when covid is over these shitheads are back to where they belong to: shopping malls and Disneyland. Park would be so much better without them!

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Tina Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 12, 2020
Hiking

I was here in 6/11/20. The park is finally open back. $10 parking fee. Since the COVID has caused most of the trails to be one way. It made the distance of waterfalls loop trail became few miles longer. Great workout, my clocked was 12 miles, 3,000 feet of the elevation change, and finished in 6 hours. I was worried in the first mile,but when I followed the sign said “ONE WAY “it became much easier, since only one way to go. It was gorgeous but definitely challenging. The Berry Creek falls, Sempervirens falls, Silver falls, and Golden falls are spectacular view. Stunning views of ancient redwoods, and thousands of ferns lining on the forest floor. It was not “strenuous“but hiking boots, mosquito spray, plenty water, food are good for this hike. This is the place to take a lot of pictures.... leave only footprints. Happy hike folks.

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Thomas Pham
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Great workout. I clocked closer to 12 miles and finished in 4.5hrs. Park just reopened and I believe are limiting parking spots.

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Arun Sood
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Hiking

First of all, the 10.5 miles noted here I believe is inaccurate. The Apple watch noted 15.1 miles at the end, and I followed the map the entire time. The trail itself was fairly uneventful. At first you descend down through the forest, then you come to the waterfall which is indeed beautiful, then a grueling uphill back to the start through more forest. Nearly zero views on this hike as you're in the trees for the vast majority. Wouldn't go back for it again. Three stars just for the waterfalls, otherwise it would be a 2.

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A Ham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 2, 2020
HikingFee

Lots of redwoods! The beginning of the loop is a bit hard to follow with so many signs, but easy to follow once you get past all the shorter trails. Go early, as the parking lot was packed by noon. Moderate pace was able to finish the loop in 3.5 hours despite signs saying 6 hour. Don’t be discouraged by the “strenuous” signs!! $10 parking fee (but keep the receipt because you can use it all day at any California State Park).

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John Mann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 25, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful:-) Went on a Saturday morning. Blessed with only a few folks on the trail. Finished around 1430-parking lot packed by this time. My advice is to go early if you enjoy solitude. Many slugs, salamanders, and a variety of mushrooms were seen on the route.

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Patricia Gonzales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 23, 2020
Hiking

Amazing trail. Moderate effort. Clear signs to the falls. Trail from skyline to sea trail then looped around to sunset trail took us 4.5 hours.

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Zahra Sayyid
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HikingFee
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Tim Sanford
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Hiking

Did this one in the fall with a friend, wonderful trail.

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Julian Müller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 26, 2020
HikingMuddy

Beautiful trail this time of year with gushing waterfalls and lush vegetation. We were grateful for good hiking boots and poles in a few muddy spots, especially on the steeper sections.

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Krassimir Piperkov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 16, 2019
Hiking

In the redwoods 90%. Well cleared. Good views above the waterfall along the ridge. Strenuous 2-3 mile climb.

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Ryan Whiteside
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 23, 2019
Hiking

This is an OK loop; mostly in the trees and it didn't seem to have that much old growth redwoods - at least nothing spectacular. The waterfalls are nice but I was hoping to see less people because of the length of the loop. Ignore the closure of the skyline to the sea trail; its yet another bureaucratic state park closure for no reason. I think there is 2 trees downed on the trail that are easily bypassible.

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