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Friday, May 12, 2006


The Water Falls at Big Basin State Park, California

Berry Creek Falls * Golden Cascade Falls * Silver Falls

Spring is the time to visit the water falls at Big Basin State Park. During winter months the trails get too muddy and impassable at points because of damaged foot bridges, mud slides, and fallen trees. Once the rains and the storms are over work begins to repair the trails. JHL and I went there a few days back and saw trail crews working hard. But the Skyline to Sea Trail to Berry Creek Falls was open, and so was the mile-long trail from Berry Creek to Golden Cascade and Silver Falls.

The Sunset Trail from Silver Falls makes it possible to do a loop instead of returning via Skyline to Sea Trail. The total distance for the loop--Park Headquarters to Berry Creek and returning via Sunset Trail is about 11.5 miles. There is a sign in the park that alerts visitors that it is a strenuous hike and time required is 6 hours.

Berry Creek Falls

Golden Cascade Falls

Silver Falls

It was just the right time when Joanne and I did the hike. Sunny but not too warm, and the falls were at their best. Took us a little under 5 hours to do the loop. Although we had done it a few years back it was a rewarding experience to see Berry Creek Falls when it came into view as we turned a corner. Worth the time and effort. We sat on a bench facing the water falls and had a picnic lunch: chicken-apple sausage; potatoes and onions roasted with sage, rosemary and garlic; steamed spears of asparagus rolled in a vinaigrette dressing; an Australian wine (Penfolds Shiraz-Mouvedre); coffee, strawberries, and home made pound cake. All felt right with the world.

As the days get warmer the flow of water will slow down. By mid-June the falls will lose their charm and warm temperature will make the hike more demanding. Time to visit is now.


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