Monday, January 13, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Twenty
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin waterfall

What it's like:
This 11 mile loop descends through redwoods to 3 pretty waterfalls, then returns uphill through the gorgeous forest to the trailhead.

Why now:
Trails are dry and quiet.

If you can't make it this week:
Unless the trails are muddy or storm damaged, this is a wonderful hike any time. Waterfall volume peaks after a series of winter storms. Woodland wildflowers are usually most plentiful in June. Big Basin spills over with tourists in August, so be prepared for crowds then.

Insider tip:
Go winter camping at Big Basin! My family got together with friends and occupied two adjacent sites at Big Basin's Huckleberry Campground for New Year's Eve. It was shockingly cold (20 degrees colder than it was in SF -- a shivering 36 degrees overnight) so be sure to bring your four season tent and warm sleeping bags. Huckleberry Campground is tucked into a very quiet redwood forest along Sempervirens Creek, over a mile from the developed part of the park. It has private sites, flush toilets, and even coin-operated showers. From our cozy tent I heard owls hooting all night long. Big Basin Tent Cabins are also open in the winter!

Big Basin is hike number 38 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
Point Reyes Sky Loop. Hike through massive Douglas fir and young Bishop pines to the top of Mount Wittenberg on this 5 mile trek. Stay alert for animals -- I've seen a bobcat here -- maybe you'll catch a glimpse of a coyote.

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.


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