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Skyline to the Sea Trail

 4.6 (12)

25.4 Miles 40.9 Kilometers


93%

Runnable

1,910' 582 m

Ascent

-4,515' -1,376 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

2,623' 799 m

High

16' 5 m

Low

Shared By Miguel Vieira

Conditions


All Clear 70 days ago
Minor detour but well marked. History

Getting forecast...

An amazing run from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

Miguel Vieira

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Overview

This run takes you from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains through ancient redwood forests to windswept Waddell Beach on the Pacific Ocean.
Reservations are required for the trail camps. Some camps are closed during the winter.

Description

The trail starts across Skyline Boulevard from the Saratoga Gap parking lot. Note that there is no overnight parking allowed at Saratoga Gap and most parties doing the entire trail instead start from Castle Rock State Park.

The trail parallels State Route 9 through the forest for six miles, but there is little traffic noise. After six miles is Waterman Gap Trail, where most runners spend their first night.

After Waterman Gap, the trail crosses SR 9 and starts to parallel State Route 236, which is even less trafficked than SR 9. On this stretch of trail, you'll start to see your first old-growth redwood forests.

After you cross China Grade around eleven miles in, the forest gives way to open chaparral and you'll get some nice views of the surrounding mountains.

The trail turns south and descends toward cool and shady Opal Creek. The forest here has huge redwoods and an understory of sword fern.

On the second night, it's convenient to camp near the Big Basin Redwoods State Park headquarters, which has snacks, showers, and bathrooms. Jay Camp is preferred.

From the park headquarters, the trail turns west and follows Waddell Creek. Be sure to make the side trip to Berry Creek Falls around the nineteen-mile mark.

After the falls, head south and follow a dirt road down forested Waddell Creek canyon.

Pass Twin Redwoods Camp and, where the trail splits around mile 23.5, continue on the singletrack trail to the right. The dirt road to the left heads to the same place, but it's not as scenic.

The trail ends at Waddell Beach.

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May 5, 2018
Chris Leonetti
The sickest.

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 12 votes

#1

in San Jose

#349

Overall
  4.6 from 12 votes
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42%
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Rankings

#1

in San Jose

#59

in California

#349

Overall
268 Views Last Month
3,152 Since Jan 24, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

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Chris Leonetti
Sacramento, CA
Chris Leonetti   Sacramento, CA
Nice one. May 6, 2018

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