Explore the most popular hiking trails near Boulder Creek with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

If you want to spend an afternoon walking in the woods but nothing tiresome, this is your best choice. It is also kid-friendly.

Great day hike. Took us about 6hrs to complete, with a lunch stop at one of the waterfalls. Note there’s currently a detour around the Sunset-Dool leg, so just factor in another mile or so.

This is a beautiful trail. I would say more moderate than hard. We powered through in under 4 hours, but good trail to stop for lunch by the falls and enjoy the scenery.

MOSQUITO CITY! Be prepared! Arrived 8:45a on a Sunday. Plenty of parking, but lots of people milling around. Once I got on the trail, only encountered a few groups, mostly near the trailhead. Was glad I did the loop clockwise, so I was going downhill on Meteor trail, which was by far the prettiest part of the hike. It’s a narrow ravine full of ferns and a few Redwood groves. Kind of a fairyland, made more magical by the fact that I was all alone there. Except for the mosquitos. The rest of the hike was pleasant.

We finished nearly 12 miles in 4 hours, the elevation gain was less than 2000ft, it’s a moderate trail for regular hikers. It has beautiful redwood trees, falls and creeks along the way, 98% of the time we are in shade. I didn’t even need my sunglasses. It’s a great hike for the summer time.

It has many ups and downs. I got very tired during the last .5 miles.

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.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice trail but crowded and too much car noise on the weekend

Amazing. A must-do.

This is an absolutely fantastic trail. We started at the park headquarters and too skyline to the sea down to Waddle Beach for the first night. Second day we came back up to Sunset camp and finished the loop on sunset trail back to headquarters. Absolutely beautiful and worth doing the full loop to see all of the waterfalls!!

Hiked on July 4th. This trail was not crowded at all! Consider it as a hard hike and save energy to the second part. First part is downhill, second uphill.

Great way to escape the busy week days! Beautiful scenery and perfect weather. Bring plenty of water and snacks! Waterfalls were a sight to see as well as the banana slugs! Would definitely hike again, quick drive from the Bay Area!

Wonderful trail. The waterfalls is amazing! Some parts of the trail have been closed, but we found another way.

Great hike through some beautiful old growth redwood forest with some mixed chaparral as well. A little longer than advertised—I measured it on my GPS at 5.5 mi.

backpacking
18 days ago

Did this loop clockwise, and camped at Sunset Trail Camp. The whole experience was absolutely stunning, Berry Creek Falls are a sight to see and then as you travel up Berry Creek Falls trail you are gifted with even more beautiful falls. Sunset Trail offers a nice change of scenery as you get higher up in elevation. Overall it was an amazing experience.

backpacking
20 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.

hiking
21 days ago

I live out in the valley so I am not from the Bay Area.. the reason why I say this is because I want to warn everyone about the crazy Bay Area Drivers that will nearly run you off the road as you try to make your way up and down this mountain. It's a shame because the trail itself was nice but others are correct when they say it can be crowded. I would definitely recommend Yosemite or Kings Canyon over this. I will not be revisiting Big Basin simply because I don't want to deal with people tail gating and honking at me while I drive this windy, curvy steep road. Please use caution and take your time!

Nice hike. Went from East to West so uphill was more intense, but the path is nice and the view from the top is brilliant. A camera doesn't do the redwoods along the way justice.

Gorgeous

Great little hike with my kiddos this afternoon. Made it to the falls and back in about 2.5 hours. It can be done faster, we just stop a lot and explore and take photos along the way.

on Shadowbrook Trail

1 month ago

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

on Sequoia Trail

1 month ago

Super crowded, right next to the road.

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail to do with kids. We got to the falls, took Shadowtrail back down right into our camp, so maybe 4 miles total. Very do-able if you’ve got little ones.

A hard hike. Lot of uphill and downhill.
https://dheerajfavs.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/hiking-to-berry-creek-falls/

Nice easy trail - as evidenced by many families there on the weekends. Takes about an hour and change to make it up to the waterfall from the HQ. The waterfall isn’t that great but a nice marker to hike up to and take a light breather. It’s a nice day hike to try out in the Santa Clara / Cruz area.

I’d rate it around 3.5 but will round up for family-friendliness and decent parking availability for all.

Great hike. I would rate this as moderate though.

13miles hike Howard king trail was more brutal coming back but a great hike

Favorite Bay Area hike.

hiking
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

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