Waddell Beach and Big Basin

Serena and I enjoyed a sunny and warm spring day at Waddell Beach and Big Basin State Park. We began with a trail run along the Skyline to the Sea Trail, travelling through lush meadows in full bloom and then redwood forest. I continued up the McCrary Ridge trail, which climbs steeply (very steeply in spots) to sweeping views of interior Big Basin, Chalk Mountain, Pine Mountain, and Waddell Beach. I continued on to the Howard King Trail, which is a classic Big Basin single track passing through many of the ecosystems of Big Basin, including pine forest, chaparral, deciduous woodland, and finishing with old growth redwoods near Waddell Creek. I made a quick excursion to see the gorgeous Berry Creek Falls and then continued down the Skyline to the Sea Trail to the start at Waddell Beach.

Waddell Beach as viewed from McCrary Ridge

Waddell Beach viewed from McCrary Ridge

Berry Creek falls with much less volume than February!

Berry Creek falls with much less volume than February!

Berry Creek falls had much less water than after the heavy rains in February, but this spectacular falls is a treat to see any time of the year. My route was basically a lollipop with the loop portion consisting of the McCrary Ridge Trail, Howard King Trail, and Skyline to the Sea. Total mileage including side excursions was 16+ miles. After the run, I utilized the natural ice bath in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean! We enjoyed the nice weather on the beach before heading to Pescadero for some hot artichoke garlic bread fresh out of the oven!

Serena running the Skyline to the Sea Trail

Serena running the Skyline to the Sea Trail

Gorgeous wildflower

Gorgeous wildflower

Redwoods, views, Rancho del Oso, and Waddell Beach photos after the jump!

Serena pauses for a photo on the run

Serena pauses for a photo on the run

Serena and a large redwood

Serena and a large redwood

Bridge across Waddell Creek

Bridge across Waddell Creek

Me amongst redwoods

Me amongst redwoods

McCrary Ridge with trail on the crest

McCrary Ridge with trail on the crest

Panorama from McCrary Ridge

Panorama from McCrary Ridge

Delightful single track on the Howard King Trail

Delightful single track on the Howard King Trail

Redwood sorrel in bloom

Redwood sorrel in bloom

Berry Creek Falls

Berry Creek Falls

Small cascade

Small cascade

Berry Creek Falls Close-up

Berry Creek Falls Close-up

See comparison with the falls after heavy rains in February.

Meadows and maple forest along Waddell Creek

Meadows and maple forest along Waddell Creek

Ice bath!

Ice bath!

Serena on Waddell Beach

Serena on Waddell Beach

View of McCrary Ridge from Rancho del Oso/Waddell Beach

View of McCrary Ridge from Rancho del Oso/Waddell Beach

Rancho del Oso

Rancho del Oso View

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2 thoughts on “Waddell Beach and Big Basin

  1. Thanks for the write up, I’ll be in Big Basin for a few nights this weekend and was trying to find an alternate route to return toward headquarters from a night at Twin Redwood camp. Was considering McCrary ridge as a possible route, but I like to pack heavy, especially in such a small park. Sounds like I should consider climbing Howard King instead.

  2. Pingback: Big Basin Loop Map « Leor Pantilat’s Blog

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