Saturday April 18

Weather forecast
  1. There is a way to hike from Sam McDonald Park in the hills behind San Mateo all the way to Waddell Beach via Pescadero Creek Park, Portola Redwoods Park and Big Basin Park.
  2. A slightly shorter one-way hike is from Portola Redwoods Park to Big Basin
  3. A more relaxed (tround-trip) hike is from Waddell Beach to the Berry Falls and back to Waddell Beach.
  4. (I originally also listed the option of hiking from Big Basin headquarters to Waddell Beach, but it sounds like a lot of driving to achieve little more than the previous one).

Here is the current headcount

  1. 6am-7pm: From San McDonald to Waddell Beach: Luca, piero
  2. 8am-7pm: From Portola Redwoods Park to Waddell Beach: Xenia, Isa
  3. 8am-2pm: From Portola Redwoods Park back to Portola Park: Nicole, Marc
  4. 10am-6pm from Waddell Beach (going in the opposite direction): Marlene, Sofia, Sid, Rohit

1. Long strenuous hike (start from Sam McDonald Park and walk south to Waddell Beach): Luca, piero

2. Intermediate strenuous hike (start from Portola Redwoods Park and meet the previous hikers along the road): Xenia, Isa (and first half also Nicole, Marc)

This map shows where we meet:

Instructions that i emailed to the "intermediate strenuous hikers":

If you can start from Portola Redwoods at 8am, we'll meet around 10am.

First of all, these are pictures of the very same hike you're going to do: It will help you if you print the various reference points.

To get to Portola Redwoods you need to take Hwy 9 to Hwy 35, turn left on Alpine Rd and left again to Portola Redwoods. All the way to the end. Pay the $6 fee at the visitor center and park at the last parking lot (200 meters later) where the paved road is closed. Walk the paved road to the end (it's called Service Rd). This bridge will probably be out: Good luck wading the creek. When Service Rd meets Old Haul Rd, cross Old Haul Rd and look for this sign: This trail goes up. There are a couple of junctions. Follow signs for Big Basin. I will be coming up from the trail to your right. We should have walkie talkie connection somewhere up this hill. If not, take a lunch break when you hit the next big road: You can't miss this sign. DO NOT take this road, neither right nor left. If we haven't met yet, just wait. At this point you should be two hours into the hike. More than you want to know here:

3. Shorter flatter hike (start from Waddell Beach and walk north to the right of Waddell Creek until you reach the Berry Falls or until you reach the hikers coming from the other side or until you get tired): everybody else



Directions for the "Waddell Beach hikers":

Take 92 west to Hwy 1 and drive south past Ano Nuevo. Watch for a sign that says Rancho del Oso on your left: It is not very visible. Waddell Beach is on the right. There is a parking lot for hikers at the gate for Rancho del Oso (next to the sign).

Park and start hiking on the paved road towards Rancho del Oso. At Rancho del Oso there is a ranger station, which seems to be always closed. If it is open, they never have maps, but you can try. Then you cross another gate and you're on a horse trail.

When you get to this sign you can ignore the arrow and continue straight (they want hikers out of the way so they don't interfere with horses but the hiker's trail is significantly longer).

This page has pictures. Stop when you reach Berry Falls. We should reach the falls in about 8 hours, i.e. around 2-3pm. From Waddell Beach it should take you less than 3 hours. If you feel like, i recommend hiking up the Sunset trail to Silver Falls and Golden Cascade (we'll be coming down that trail). If you want to see Silver Falls and Golden Cascade, you have to look at (start from the bottom).

After the fact: How it went