An almost totally enclosed trail. Almost no poison oak and the trails are single track, mostly well kept, except for a few somewhat treacherous portions. Hike is hard on the "Wimble Scale." Plan on no less than two large water bottles and several snacks. The 11.5 mile hike will take 6 or 7 hours and involve about 600 feet of climb.
In the spring, there is a profusion of flowers, and you can expect to see more than a dozen small waterfalls beside the four large waterfalls: Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls, Cascade Falls, and Golden Falls.
Click on the pictures for a larger, 300dpi version.
|[left] Dirk, Kathy, Steve, Catherine, and Mike (not pictured) arrived at about 10:00 AM for the 7 hour hike.
Dirk's foot was still hurting, so he borrowed one of Kathy's walking sticks. Not having done this hike before, Kathy, Dirk and Michael leave their lunches in the car, and take only enough water for what is expected to be a three or four hour hike.
One the whole, the hike was just beautiful. The streams were flowing well, and the spring flowers were well in bloom. We stopped on several occasions to admire the streams with their small falls, One small fall [below, left] was a rock wall covered in mosses, lichens, and flowering plants. The small stream just dripped over the plants. It was stunning.
The trails were single track or wider [center left: Kathy and Catherine], and there was virtually no poison oak. We encountered probably less than a dozen people on the hike down to the falls. One of two girls we encountered was provocatively dressed in shorts and a bikini top. We had expected the day to be cool, but it was well warm enough for shorts.
We reached what we thought was the washed out end of the trail. In fact, a half dozen other people were standing around wondering what to do. Steve hiked up what appeared to be the washed out trail to see if we could get beyond the problem, while Dirk and Catherine forded the stream on a fallen redwood log. Fortunately the trail continued on the other side of the log.
When we reached the first of the falls, we decided it was well worth the long hike to get there. Berry Creek Falls is over 60 feet hight, and the other falls are also each tens of feet high.
The stream over Berry Creek Falls was running more water than Steve had seen previously. Even though the stream itself is somewhat small, the effect of the water going over the rock cliff faces is spectacular.
There were dozens of people in the area, including a few bicyclists, almost all of whom came via a different route than us. There were, of course, the usual Bozos who ignored the signs and decided to climb into the pool below the falls.
Unfortunately, Michael thought he had a 36 exposure roll in his camera, and had been taking lots of pictures of the flowers in the area, knowing he had plenty of film left for the falls. It was rather disappointing and embarassing to find out he really had a 24 exposure roll, and he ran out of film before we even reached the falls.
Michael had muscle cramps beginning about 2 hours from the end of the hike, and two others got blisters from the hike. But, where normally we encourage whining on hikes (it's a good place to get it out of your system), Steve had already told us a story that placed all our little problems in perspective.
He told of one trip on this trail where he was three or more miles from the end when darkness came, and he had to literally feel his way back, using the light from his watch at one point to read the outline of letters on a trail marker.
But better than that, he broke his ankle on one trip and had to hike the six miles back, including up and back down again the most treacherous part of the hike.