Hiking Big Ben Loop, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

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Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

The redwoods are always my favorite place to escape in inclement weather. There’s nothing quite like hiking under the protection of dense branches towering way above. My face loves being tickled by little bits of rain.

The Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a series of trails at the Fall Creek Unit. It’s part of Henry Cowell State Park, but more remote.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

When Wine Hiker heard that David Wherry, was coming to town, he made wine hiking plans, lickety split and invited Chasqui Mom  and me along! Rain days in the redwoods are my absolute favorite. The rain really transforms the trees into a magical wonderland.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

What started as a moderate 8-miler ended up being a moderate 13.5-miler, after a brief detour due to downed trail signs on the Big Ben Loop. We took a clockwise loop from the parking lot to Bennett Creek Trail.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

From Bennett Creek Trail, we passed the limekiln and headed up the Lost Empire Trail, past Lost Camp to Big Ben Trail. We then took Big Ben Trail, and namesake of the Big Ben Loop, down to Fall Creek Trail to the limekiln and re-traced our steps back.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

The Big Ben Loop trail at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park beat my expectations. We counted plenty of banana slugs. A precarious creek crossing kept us on our toes. Finishing off with wine and a picnic was the cherry on top for this rainy day hike.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Looking for other redwood hikes like the Big Ben Loop? Check out this list of best redwood hikes in the Bay Area.

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Hiking the Big Ben Loop at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

3 comments

  1. And a great time was had by all! Thanks for sharing your redwoods with me!

    1. Sure was great fun having you here, Dave! My door is always open, any time you venture out here.
      ~Russ

  2. You know, it’s one thing to see an occasional downed trail marker, but seeing all of them torn out is distressing. I surmise that Bolinas Syndrome has spread to the mountain hamlets of Santa Cruz. What these local vandals don’t consider is how their actions could acutely jeopardize the safety of all who walk these trails.

    Paulina, despite the extra unplanned mileage, I’m happy you enjoyed the day. You’re great company on the trail – thank you for being out there with me!

    Russ

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