When visiting Half Moon Bay, one of the most glorious ways to spend time is hiking in the hills or along the ocean. If you’re a woodsy person and love nothing more than spending an entire day on the trail exploring a new ecosystem, then the Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the best imaginable way for you to pass your time. Just over an hour from Half Moon Bay, this makes for a wonderful day trip into the Northern California mountains. Be sure to pack all the provisions you’ll need for your day of hiking like sunscreen, layers, plenty of food and water, and whatever other safety gear you feel is a necessary for a day of successful exploration.
About Big Basin
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s oldest state park, having been established in 1902. It is the site of the largest continuous string of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco, making it quite a unique site for the Half Moon Bay area, and well worth the visit. With mountainous terrain that boasts over 80 miles of trails, and elevations reaching over 2,000 feet — quite high for coastal mountains! Aside from the famously rare Redwoods, you can also count on seeing conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats found along the many streams and rivers in the park.
Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
This trail has a reputation for being among the most epic hikes in the entire Bay Area. Though on the longer side of 10.5 miles with the average walker clocking in around 6 hours, it has the most breathtaking scenery around. Taking hikers up in elevation at least 1,000 feet, you will spend most of your hike along Berry Creek through a stunning old-growth redwood grove. Not only will you enjoy the huge trees, creekside habitats, and climbing through the mountains, but you will be blown away by a series of waterfalls tucked into a narrow and deep gorge cut through the park by Berry Creek.
Other Trails in Big Basin
If you’re heading out to the park with kids, consider the Redwood Trail for an easy half-mile walk through an area that is known as the Mother of the Forest for having some of its tallest trees. The Sequoia Trail is another popular one, taking about 3 hours to hike 4 miles and has many great landmarks along the way like Sempervirens Falls, Founder Monument, and Slippery Rock. There are loads of both out-and-back trails as well as loop trails to choose from when you make the trip out to Big Basin.
The Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a tremendous way to spend your time in these mountains, but should only be approached by serious hikers and prepared outdoorsmen. It will take the better part of a day, and require proper fitness and supplies. While its beauty awaits you, don’t take the challenge lightly.
If you’re considering planning a trip to the area soon, definitely consider downloading our free vacation guide for more ideas on things to see and do in and around Half Moon Bay.