Photos by Neil Mishalov
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately 23 miles northwest of the city of Santa Cruz, California, and about 80 miles southwest of my home in Berkeley, California. In January, 1983, a group of friends joined with me to celebrate my 40th birthday; we ran 36 miles on the “Skyline to the Sea” trail, from Castle Rock State Park, through Big Basin State Park, and finished at the Pacific Ocean. This outing, part of which is on the “Skyline to the Sea” trail, was somewhat less strenuous. I joined the Stanford University Outing Club and we hiked about 11.5 miles through many magnificent stands of Redwood trees.
Redwood trees have grown and prospered throughout much of Europe, Asia and North America since the warm moist Mesozoic Era over 160 million years ago. Climatic changes gradually restricted their range so that now only three types of redwoods remain. Dawn Redwoods are found only in a remote section of central China. The giant sequoia is limited to scattered groves on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens, is confined to a narrow coastal strip from Central California into Southern Oregon. This region corresponds to the coastal fog belt upon whose moisture these giants depend during the dry summer season.
Big Basin Redwood State Park is a home to the coast redwood <Sequoia sempervirens>. The park was established in 1902 as the California Redwood Park; this is the oldest state park in California. Its original 3,800 acres have been increased over the years, and now Big Basin has grown to over 18,000 acres.
Some hike factoids and statistics: Time on the trail: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Number of hikers: 13. Distance covered: 11.5 miles. Total ascent: 2,360 feet. Maximum elevation: 1,300 feet. Route: Big Basin Park Headquarters => Skyline to the Sea Trail => Timms Creek Trail => Sunset Trail => Berry Creek Falls Trail => Skyline to the Sea Trail => Big Basin Park Headquarters.
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|Big Basin Redwoods State Park was established in 1902; it is the oldest state park in California||The hiking group. Craig Foster, the fearless leader of this hike, is in the center of the photo wearing shorts and a hat||The coast redwood "Sequoia Sempervirens," was the star attraction of this hike|
|Coming in a distant second in star quality was the Banana Slug (Ariolimax californicus). It is found on moist forest floors of the Pacific coast of California. It is also the campus mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz||A Banana Slug||We descended a trail adjacent to four waterfalls. This one was the highest: The Golden waterfall|
|The group had lunch at the Golden waterfall||Then we descended down to the Cascade Falls||The fourth and the largest of the waterfalls was the Berry Creek Falls|
|The Berry Creek Falls||Redwood trees and sunlight||I-chun adjacent to a large and ancient redwood tree|
|Redwoods||On the trail||Redwood tree|
|Life and death||Fallen Redwood tree||Moving down the trail|
|These trees are magnificent||Redwood forest||Goodbye to Big Basin Redwoods State Park...until the next time|
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This page created on 5 April 2004, and all photographs copyright 2004, by Neil Mishalov email@example.com