It is summer, and with summer comes either hiking early or hiking shady in order to avoid the heat. A whole host of excellent choices for the latter exist in the Santa Cruz mountains, full of redwoods with a nice dose of hilly hiking.
Today we went to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, a great choice for the summer due to nice shady trails (but also awesome in the winter/springtime when the rain has been falling so you can really enjoy those waterfalls!) You can find the full Map/Brochure here, but we took a short-ish route today represented below:
The park was a little busier than last time, so we ended up parking in the additional parking located a little way up North Escape Road.
Our route today started from the North Escape Road/Gazos Creek Road bridge access on to Skyline to the Sea Trail, following this upwards past the Maddock Family Cabin Site until it meets Meteor Trail. Turn left here, following Meteor Trail until it joins Middle Ridge Road. Turn left, following it upwards until you reach a point marked as Ocean View Summit. A slight detour from the trail at this point offers a peek at the ocean through a gap in the mountains. Continue to follow Middle Ridge Road down until it meets up with Gazos Creek Road, turn left, and follow this road back to the start at the bridge over Opal Creek that takes you back to North Escape Road.
Simples! Well recommended as a nice, short, but slightly challenging hike – it definitely isn’t flat! We really enjoyed it!
As you can see from the chart at the bottom, the route starts off nice and flat-ish, but then involves some steep segments (way to work those glutes!), and a steady downhill on nice flat roads. The uphill is totally worth it though, as you reach this sandstone ridge at the top:
Wonderful……… and at Ocean View Summit, you can just about see the water through the gap:
One final picture of an orangey grin selfie, taken while having a snack on a nice sandstone plateau at the top:
One happy hiker!