Big Basin


Saturday, 27 June 2015

We wandered over to Linda’s Seabreeze cafe for breakfast. We thought we might stay another night here, but the motel is full, except for a $300 suite. That is to say, the motel is full.

Hmmm… what if we spent the day at Big Basin and the night at a really, really, really classy joint: home! The price is certainly right, the accommodations are predictably excellent, and we can go on to Monterey or Pacific Grove tomorrow. Talked ourselves into it.

Jacky’s leg is still causing trouble, so she entertained herself at park headquarters (liberally surrounded with redwoods, so she didn’t suffer from lack of scenery), while I went for a little hike. Maybe about 15 miles.


I continue to hope that someday, someone will explain why trees grow in spirals. Especially madrones.

I would also like to hear someone explain why madrone has only two syllables in Californiano pronunciation! This is Mexamerica, after all!


The usual trail to the Berry creek falls was busy, as expected for one of the most popular destinations in the park. I suppose it’s on the order of 9 miles round trip, default routes. Naturally, I wanted more distance and fewer people, so I took the Hihn-Hammond fire road, and Howard King trail, to the 1740′ high point Mt McAbee lookout, from where we can see the surf at Waddell beach! Nice.

It is a long way up this trail and a long way back down. Steep and difficult, as I explained to a group of up-bound lightweight hikers near the bottom of the grade. If they carried on, and I sincerely hope they did, they earned their beer this evening.


As for me, I crossed Waddell creek and went up the trail along Berry creek. As expected, lots of traffic, including several scout troops, some of them camping and doing Skyline to the Sea in three days.




Silver fall (above) is the first, and the prettiest. The trail ascends steeply to some indeterminate number of additional falls, which I believe are jointly known as golden falls.


Along part of the golden  falls, the trail is a series of steps, sometimes with cable railings.


This is the upper part of golden fall, probably the centerpiece of the attraction.


The creek above the fall. You can see how it gets the name golden.


I went on up, turned toward the trail camp, and on uphill on Anderson Landing fire road. This looks a lot like the Sierra Nevada. Eventually topped out at the junction with Gazos Creek road, which runs from the coast over the ridge and down to park headquarters.

At the junction of Gazos Creek and Johansen roads, the sign said 6.5 miles to park headquarters. It was 1:45, and I was supposed to meet Jacky at 3. Oop! 4 is more likely. No cell phone coverage, but she has years of experience in the matter of Dave being late to return.


While here, of course, I’m not going to waste opportunities to photograph interesting things, such as tree houses in private inholdings.


As I mentioned, the main trail to the falls was packed solid. On the route I chose, except for the Berry creek trail itself, and the area at park headquarters, I saw, let’s see: one equestrienne, one hiker, three cyclists.

I stopped one of the cyclists, asked him to let Jacky know that I would be closer 4 than 3 getting back down. And he did.

A great day, indeed!


One Response to “Big Basin”

  1. Sean A. Welch Says:

    The Madrone on my southern Oregon farm grows in a spiral because the wild honeysuckle vines grow around the trunk when the tree is small and force it into that shape. I actually have some with the honeysuckle vine imbedded into the wood.


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