Westridge Loop – Big Basin

I saw the West Ridge from the McCrary Ridge-Howard King Trail loop I did a couple weeks ago and really wanted to come back to run it. I was expecting a moderately steep climb up to a ridge followed by 5 miles of easier running on top of the ridge to Chalk Mountain. I got a lot more than I bargained for. The hill up to the ridge on the Clark Connector is very steep, but it doesn’t really stop there. More steep ascents and descents follow along an old logging road that religiously follows the crest and therefore entails needless steep ups and steep downs. However, the ocean vistas and panoramas of interior Big Basin State Park are fantastic. From Chalk Mountain, I took the Chalk Mountain and Whitehouse Canyon gravel roads to the Henry Creek Trail. A little ways down the Henry Creek Trail there is an unsigned and unmarked single track pathway that drops off the left and conveniently ends at the top of Berry Creek Falls Trail. This was actually my first time running down the Berry Creek Falls trail and it was interesting to experience the waterfalls from this perspective. I finished out the run with 7 miles along the Skyline to the Sea for a 16 mile total.

Waddell Beach from the Clark Connector Trail

Waddell Beach from the Clark Connector Trail

Canopy and fresh grass near Waddell Creek

Canopy and fresh grass near Waddell Creek

View from Chalk Mountain

View from Chalk Mountain

Photos of steep climbs, views, and Golden Cascade after the jump!

Steep climb up to the Westridge

Steep climb up to the Westridge

Ocean views from the Westridge trail

Ocean views from the Westridge trail

Chalk Mountain from the Westridge

Chalk Mountain from the Westridge

It looks steep, but it was actually steeper!

It looks steep, but it was actually steeper!

Steep and eroded with not a switchback in sight!

Steep and eroded with not a switchback in sight!

Panorama of interior Big Basin

Panorama of interior Big Basin

Ano Nuevo from Chalk Mountain

Ano Nuevo from Chalk Mountain

Waddell Creek Canyon

Waddell Creek Canyon

Lower Golden Cascade

Lower Golden Cascade

Golden Cascade

Golden Cascade

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