Big Basin Redwoods State Park

5:50 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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I just spent a week with extended family (my parents, all my siblings, most of the grandkids) in Menlo Park, CA where my brother's family lives.  We had a really nice 10 1/2 mile day hike in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, in the Santa Cruz mountains about an hour and a half from silicon valley.  It is apparently California's oldest state park.  We hiked a loop that went to Berry Creek Falls, characterized as 'strenuous' (it was) but really manageable.  Our ten year old was fine, took about four hours.

the drive in and out is very twisty, not a great situation for anyone who gets carsick.  the temperature at the lower and very shaded elevations, the places that are the best conditions for redwoods, are markedly cooler.  no really huge elevation changes, though there are some steady ups and downs, and a short stint of stairs near the falls that were not terribly long but pretty steep.  the trails could lend themselves to a 2-3 day hike and some nice camping if you start up high and drop down to the ocean - or if you are really masochistic, start at the ocean and head upward, where you could probably catch a few thousand feet of elevation gain.    


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11:09 a.m. on January 1, 2014 (EST)
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Grand, old trees!!  I drove through Sequoia in 1988.  I was awed by the size of those trees.

1:33 a.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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Be Strong, you never know who you are inspiring!

11:15 a.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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Big Basin has several backcountry campgrounds. The Skyline to the Sea trail starts at Saratoga Gap (where Hwy 9 crosses Skyline road), then drops through Big Basin, eventually ending at the Pacific Ocean - usually done as a 3 day hike, though it is a fun day hike (supposedly it is all down hill, except people forget that the 8 mile section just before you enter Big Basin gains 800 feet).

Up to about 10 years ago, there was a lot of off-trail hiking. However, there are large "agricultural" plantations now, defended by folks with AK47s, in the back sections (California's largest cash product). Even the rangers do not go off trail any more. If you stay on the many miles of maintained trails, though, Big Basin is one of the most beautiful of the redwoods parks.

The Boy Scout Council I work with has a camp at the northwest corner of Big Basin - again with lots of majestic trees.

3:04 p.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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Farms will increase in size....Washington, Colorado.......

September 17, 2014
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