Got back on the trail yesterday at Big Basin Redwoods State Park (real life intervened last weekend so no dirt-trodding got done, alas). One place I hadn’t seen at Big Basin: the Meteor Trail, which is off the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail a couples mile north of the park headquarters. Meteor’s only about a mile long, but it tracks up a deep canyon that undoubtedly creates excellent flowing-water action during the rainy season. This time of year it’s bone dry, but also forest quiet: I saw nobody on it.
Meteor Trail ends at the Middle Ridge Fire Road, where you can either hang a left and head back toward the park HQ, or hang a right and head up to the Hollow Tree Trail. The closer to HQ, the more people, I figure, so I went the other way. Hollow Tree is a hidden gem: lots of hollowed out redwoods, as advertised, and lots of leaf-covered trail because hardly anybody uses it. Not quite as rich in ancient redwoods as other parts of the park, but I’d add it to the must-hike list (though certainly it’s best in the winter, too, as it also tracks a canyon creekbed).
Hollow Tree goes about 1.3 miles back to the Skyline-to-the Sea Trail, where you can hang a right and head back to the park HQ for about a seven-miler. The walk back offers constant reminders that Skyline-to-the-Sea is one of the top trails in the Bay Area. Simply gorgeous pretty much the whole way.
I’m trying a new video service called Vimeo to see if their video quality is any better than YouTube’s, which is particularly terrible at conveying what it looks like to walk in a forest. This one was a bit of a challenge because I didn’t see a soul for most of the hike, and having other hikers in your video automatically makes them at least a tad more interesting. I’m getting a little better at editing and placing titles and transitions. At some point I may have to invest in a real video camera instead of relying on the video function of my cheap digital camera. Here’s the vid:
Hiking at Big Basin Redwoods State Park from tom mangan on Vimeo.
My Big Basin links:
- Park profile, written for the Mercury News.
- Previous hikes
- Flickr pics.
Thats a nice area of Big Basin that gets far far less traffic than the Waddel Creek watershed. The Meteor/Hollow are a bit of an uphill slog, tho.
One advantage of removing the soundtrack: you can’t hear me gasping for breath.
Your old camera’s hanging in there just fine, by the way.
Every time I go to Big Basin I’m struck by the enduring magnificence of the place. There’s one giant ancient redwood off Skyline-to-the-Sea about a mile from the HQ, off trail just a bit, that seems to be almost as big as many of the giants along the Redwood Trail. Just standing there, no signs or anything. Big Basin’s full o’ trees like that.
I like you concept of using short videos from your hike. It gives a better feeling for the place than just a picture. And I agree, the Skyline-to-the-Sea is a gorgeous trail. I didn’t hike it at all in 2007 but given my penchant for overkill I have been on it 4 times in the last 6 weeks. And Big Basin with those redwood giants certainly is magnificent place. To hike the trails there makes me really thankful someone had the foresight to preserve the place way back when for posterity.
Tom, if you produced a piece for The WildeBeat you’d learn a lot about doing good audio. My offer still stands for you to make an appearance as a guest producer.
Big Basin is like my second home. I’ve been hiking there since high school. Not that I’m willing to admit exactly how long ago that was, but let’s just say it wasn’t yesterday. I’m going to do one of my Chalk Mt routes soon, so I’ll probably do a report. You should try the Basin trail sometime Tom. This is another underutilized trail, but it has some pretty good views from the sandstone.
I hiked up Hollow Tree to the Basin trail and then back to headquarters via Skyline to the Sea on July 4. Despite the holiday, I had Hollow Tree and Basin to myself except for a large group of Sierra Clubbers heading downhill near the top of Hollow Tree. It adds about five miles to your hike, but you get to stroll through all the different habitats Big Basin has to offer. Hollow Tree is as a pretty a streamside trail as there is.
Great to be able to visualize what you’re describing. Makes me miss California.
Just ran the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail last weekend. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Two issues: swarms of wasps (but I think this is only because there were lots of runner feet providing vibrations that apparently annoyed the wasps) and I fell and fractured my foot. However, I had never run this area before and I definitely want to come back when I’m done with the crutches. Report and some pics on my blog.
Vimeo is the best, you can actually watch the video fullscreen no problem. I like the vid, what did you edit with?
I used iMovie to edit. It’s kludgy at times but workable.