Hiking Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Reaching the Pacific Ocean makes this a must-do for frequent visitors. Though 20 miles may seem excessive for a day hike, 75 percent of this route follows Skyline-to-the-Sea (STS), a relatively easy trail, on which a 3 - 3.5 mph average hiking rate is realistic. Leave early and pack a decent lunch.
From headquarters, connect to Howard King trail through Skyline-to-the-Sea. Climb two miles to Mt. McAbee. Take McCrary Ridge trail, enjoying the overview of Basin before plunging 1,500 feet through mixed evergreen forest to STS. Follow Waddell Creek to Horse Camp, looking for cranes and crayfish along the way. A paved road bordering a protected freshwater marsh leads to the ocean. Replenish your water supply at Horse Camp and follow STS back to headquarters. The first 7 miles is dirt road shared with bikers and equestrians; the remaining 5.5 miles is bottom-of-the-valley trail through the heart of Basin's old-growth redwood forest. Give yourself 4 - 4.5 hours to get back.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication