The Skyline to the Sea Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in the Bay Area. Descending through wilderness old growth, passing by Berry Creek Falls, and ending at Waddell Beach.
Established in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods is California’s oldest state park. In the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, its biggest attractions—literally—are its ancient coast redwoods. Some of these giants are more than 50 feet around and as tall as the Statue of Liberty. At 1,000 to 2,500 years old, some may predate the Roman Empire. The park also offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, and a fascinating natural and cultural history.
Home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, park vegetation consists of old-growth and recovering redwood forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats.
This route is very difficult to navigate. You must have a printed map and read all sign posts carefully, referring back to your map to make sure you have not veered off track. I wasted several miles and hours not taking this advice.
- Near: Santa Cruz, CA
- Distance: 20 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1300 ft
- Hike Time: 2 days
- Difficulty: 7/10
- Trail Condition: mostly well maintained trail
- Permits: Waddell Beach Ranger Station 831-338-8861
- GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
- GPX File Download (Loop Trail): >>CLICK HERE<<
- Dog Friendly: No
- Kid Friendly: Yes
Getting to the trail head:
From Los Gatos – Hwy 17 (south) to Hwy 236 (north) to trail head.
Trail Detail (Loop)
Trail Profile (Loop)