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Berry Creek Falls Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (51) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Great run for waterfalls, redwoods, enjoying the little creatures and plants around you, and not needing much sunscreen!


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Map Key

9.7

Miles

15.6

KM

84%

Runnable

1,286' 392 m

High

348' 106 m

Low

1,844' 562 m

Up

1,835' 559 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildlife

As of July 18, 2020 part of the Skyline to Sea Trail is closed due to a washout. There is a detour with signs taking you on the Middle Ridge Road to the Sunset Trail to the Skyline to the Sea Connector and back to the Skyline to Sea Trail. I'm unsure how long this will be in effect.

Overview

This shady loop winds through redwoods and brings you to four distinct waterfalls. If you listen as you run, you can enjoy the different sounds that water can make, whether in the trickling stream beside you or flowing down a waterfall. There are also ample opportunities to spot all kinds of mushrooms, to watch banana slugs trudging along with you, and to hear birds singing to each other above your head. If you are into big expansive vistas, which I am learning I am, this run may not make your favorite list as it only rises above tree line briefly once on the Sunset Trail.

Need to Know

Bring cash for the park fee of $10. Ask a park ranger in the visitor center for any trail closures.

Runner Notes

As Berry Creek Falls Trail rejoins Sunset Trail, there are two short steep rocky sections near the falls that can be slick when wet. Also, watch out for banana slugs sharing the trail as you run.

Description

For the most part, the trail is beautifully maintained and marked, although there are a few sections where you'll need to step over or duck under a fallen tree or two as you go.

The trail begins on the Skyline to the Sea Trail in the shade of the redwoods going mostly downhill. Early on, there is a partially hollowed-out tree that you can get inside. When I visited in early December 2017, there was a washout, so I had to follow signs taking me on the Middle Ridge Road to the Sunset Trail to the Skyline to the Sea Connector and back to the Skyline to Sea Trail.

Continuing on the Skyline to Sea Trail, the trail will go beside West Waddell Creek. I found this section of the trail had the most gorgeous mushrooms, though there were tons throughout.

Berry Creek Falls Trail is probably the most rewarding part of the loop as the trail begins to have some up and downs and brings you quickly from one waterfall to the next. At the first waterfall you reach, you can look down at the falls from the trail behind a wooden fence and there is a bench to sit and view it. If you position yourself correctly on a sunny day, you should be able to see a rainbow crossing it. The second waterfall is tall and narrow and you end up running right beside it to the top on some steep rocks with wires for you to hold onto. The third waterfall is quickly followed by the fourth waterfall, which is the widest one and falls over pink tinted rock.

As Berry Creek Falls Trail turns onto Sunset Trail, the trail goes upwards moderately steeply and eventually you break tree line and are rewarded with sunshine, though the view itself is not particularly stunning. The rest of the trail continues to be pretty well maintained with portions of flat and portions of uphill. On the day I did this run, it was the best day for banana slug viewing. I made sure to warn everyone I saw to watch their step! As the trail returns to the parking lot, it passes by some particularly large redwoods.

Flora & Fauna

Redwoods, banana slugs, squirrels, birds chirping, and tons of fungi can be found here!

Contacts

Shared By:

Danielle O'Farrell with improvements by Etunnel P and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 51 votes

#127

Overall
  4.7 from 51 votes
5 Star
73%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in California

#127

Overall
81 Views Last Month
16,268 Since May 24, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
57%
2%
38%
2%

Photos

West Waddell Creek trickles through a verdant forest in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
Jan 26, 2017 near Boulder…, CA
Fog drifts through the mountains on a rainy day in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
Jan 27, 2017 near La Honda, CA
Duck under a blowdown covered in beautiful shelf fungi
Jan 5, 2018 near Boulder…, CA
Hollowed out tree towards the start of the Skyline to Sea Trail
Jan 5, 2018 near Boulder…, CA
Berry Creek Falls is absolutely stunning in the spring.
May 29, 2017 near La Honda, CA
The old-growth redwood forests teem with life along the Berry Creek Falls Trail.
Jan 27, 2017 near La Honda, CA

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Bad / Closed 92 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Sep 9, 2018
Brad Metzler
Jun 2, 2018
Katherine Lai
Coastal Trail Run Race. Gazos Creek Rd., Berry Creek Falls loop, Middle Ridge Rd., Meteor Trail, Lane Camp Loop, & Creeping Forest Trail. 16.3mi — 3h 23m
Jun 2, 2018
Matt R.
10.1mi — 2h 22m
May 3, 2018
Travis McDevitt-Galles
Would do again
Apr 2, 2018
Bianca Gruben-Trejo
Nov 30, 2017
Dabing Huang
13.6mi
Jan 16, 2017
Tony Carrick
Howard King Trail