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Silver Falls Hike Information

Silver Falls is just upstream from Berry Creek Falls. However, the stream that feeds Silver Falls is much smaller, so be sure to visit in the winter or spring after a good rainstorm.

Watch for:

Huckleberry bushes and ancient, old-growth redwoods as well as redwood seedlings in the understory.

Hiking Details for Silver Falls

Distance: 10 miles

Elevation change: 2100′ elevation gain

Hiking time: 7-8 hours

Trail surface: mixed

Best Season: Winter, spring (to see the waterfalls)

Managing agency: California Department of Parks and Recreation

Parking lot location: Click here for directions

Overview: From the park headquarters, follow the Sunset Trail to the Berry Creek Falls Trail to Silver Falls.

The trail begins among dense huckleberry along Opal Creek, and then climbs out of the basin and winds through old-growth redwood and tanoak forest. Due to a fire in 2008 which burned a large portion of the understory, you’ll notice many redwood seedlings and a more open feeling than you’ll find in other parts of the forest. Continue uphill past the beautiful Golden Cascade falls, following the Berry Creek Falls Trail. Watch your step at the top of Silver Creek falls; there is a chain to hold onto as you climb the rustic steps that have been carved into the rock.

You can retrace your steps back to park headquarters or, if you prefer, continue on Berry Creek Falls trail to the Skyline to the Sea trail and back to the visitors center.

Directions to the Silver Falls Hike

The park is 25 miles northwest of Santa Cruz via Highways 9 and 236 and about 65 miles south of San Francisco. All roads into Big Basin are curvy. From Hwy 9 in the town of Boulder Creek, turn north onto Hwy 236 and Park Headquarters is 9 miles down the highway.

More about Big Basin State Park

Founded in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the oldest state park in California. In May of 1900, a meeting was held at Stanford University to discuss the land, which was threatened by logging. As a result of that meeting, a group of businessmen, journalists, environmentalists, and politicians founded the Sempervirons Club. The club worked with the state legislature to approve a bill to purchase the land, which became known as California Redwood Park (the name changed to Big Basin Redwoods State Park in 1927). Over the years, the Sempirvirens Club has continued to push for conservation and land aquisition in the area, and has worked to develop the park and its trails, campsites, and picnic areas.

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