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Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
August 12, 2006
Big Basin

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10A.M. August 12, 2006
Big Basin  
Santa Cruz County


The Place

Established in 1902, California's oldest State Park, it is home to
the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. Big Basin has been a favorite Wild Recovery. We've had meetings there in May 2004, July 2002, and September 2001. Cool Redwoods are always inviting in the Summer heat.

Getting There

Take 280 north from San Jose. From there take the 85 freeway south. Exit 85 at Saratoga Avenue. Turn right and head west on Saratoga Avenue. Watch for the Hwy 9 sign and don't miss the right turn that takes you through downtown Saratoga and then begins to climb into the mountains. Stay on 9 (there is a stop sign at the crest were it crosses Hwy 35 continue going straight) as it winds through the mountains. Miles later, at a second stop sign, you will then see the sign for Hwy 236/Big Basin. Go straight onto Hwy 236 and continue on this road for 9 miles until you come to Park Headquarters. Turn right into the parking area. We will meet at the Campfire Center, which is on the left just after entering the parking lot.

Drive time from San Jose is about 1 hour 40 minutes. Parking is $6 (day use fee for the State Park).


Walking the Walk

We will start our hike down the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail and pass through old-growth redwood forest with multiple stream crossings and ancient redwoods. This section of the trail climbs gently for the first mile, and then drops 1,000' over three miles as it follows Waddell Creek. We will then hike up the Berry Creek Falls trail which will take us to three waterfalls:

  1. Berry Creek Falls, a 70' waterfall framed by a canyon and complete with ferns, redwoods, and the sound of rushing water.
  2. Sliver Falls, a beautiful free fall enclosed by a bowl of redwoods,
  3. Golden Cascade Falls, a gorgeous cascade over gold sandstone.

Leaving the last of the falls, we will emerge out of the redwoods into a recovering burn area, with young Tanoak, Manzanita, and Pine. We will have the meeting at Sunset camp and take the Sunset trail back to the parking lot.

This is a Level 4 hike. It is 11 miles with a 1,000' change in elevation.


Know Before You Go

This is a long hike; prepare to return to the parking lot around 6pm. Bring lots of water (3+ liters). Insect repellent is recommended.

Sorry, no dogs.

For more information contact your host, Jimmy C . It's always good to check back here for last-minute updates too.

Text version of this page for quick printing without the pictures

Wild Recovery Meetings  |  What to Wear & Bring  |  Trail Maps/ Park Info
What is Wild Recovery?  |  NA Online Resources  |  Contact Us