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 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike says:

    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.

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