Big Basin Redwoods State Park is one of my go to hikes when I’m bumming around the Bay Area on the weekends. I never really venture away from the Berry Creek Falls loop though. It’s such a good one.
When my friend Brie vetoed Berry Creek Falls in favor of the Dool-Middle Ridge-Meteor-Sequoia Loop, I was skeptical.
This trail begins at Big Basin park headquarters. In fact, it shares the same trailhead as the Skyline to the Sea trail. You don’t stay on this trail for very long though. Where it splits to go to Berry Creek Falls, we head left towards the Dool trail.
The trail slowly begins to climb out of the redwood forest. Then suddenly, you’re in the chaparral. It’s much warmer here, by a good 5-10 degrees, and much drier too.
There’s a tiny detour to check out the Ocean View, but it’s quite disappointing since we’re not at the highest point on the trail. It’s cool if you want to see the ocean though, if you can even see it through the fog.
From the Dool trail, we take the Middle Ridge trail, which is really a fire road. This takes us back into the redwood forest.
From here, the redwood forest only gets better. Once we hop off the Middle Ridge trail onto the Meteor trail, it is magical. This section is densely filled with redwoods, and arguably the most scenic spot on this whole loop.
The Meteor trail ends at a large sandstone slab with no clear trail. The only way to go is down. If it has rained recently, this slab is very slippery. Use caution.
At the bottom of this trail, you can see Sempervirens Falls across the road. It’s a small, but beautiful waterfall.
To finish the hike, retrace your steps across the road and take the Sequoia trail. It should only get busier here from here on out; you’re close to park headquarters and campgrounds.
For this hike, start early. Big Basin gets busy fast and the early bird gets the trail to themselves. Total mileage was 6.1 miles with about 1500 feet of elevation gain.
Gear for hiking Big Basin Redwoods State Park
All photos in this post were snapped on the Meteor and Sequoia trails.