Sep 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm #1279588David LutzMember
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
Does anyone know offhand the cumulative total elevation gain and loss on the skyline-to-the-sea trail in the Bay Area?
Thanks…Sep 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm #1781370Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Distance: 28 miles Saratoga Gap to Waddell Beach
Cumulative elevation gain: 2800 feet
Cumulative elevation loss: 5100 feetSep 21, 2011 at 7:48 am #1781556David LutzMember
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
Thanks Ken…….Sep 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm #1782309Jason GBPL Member
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
that seems high ken.. ive done it before and dont' remember that much uphill..Sep 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm #1782310
As someone who has done the hike, that sounds just about right. You start out at Hwy 9 and Hwy 35 and drop, and drop. However there are a few uphills. For those that have not done the hike, please keep in mind that you are hiking along Hwy 9 most of the way to Big Basin. The amount of car noise, garbage, and old cars along the route makes it rather unpleasant. That said, Big Basin to Hwy 1 which is about 12 miles is quite beautiful! Please keep in mind that your last 5 miles or so is on a multi use trail that you share with mountain bikes, horses and day hikers. Cell coverage at Waddell Crk is spotty depending on what carrier you have.Sep 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm #1782311
Dave, if you do decide to do the hike and need some shuttle help, I live fairly close and could help out depending on what weekend you chose. I would suggest hiking to the backpackers campground in Big Basin the first day and then from there hiking to Hwy 1 on the second day. Day 1 is a bit long, but not really hard.Sep 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm #1784167
I did a variation of this trip last weekend. Saturday was Castle Rock to Big Basin. Sunday Big Basin to Waddell Beach.
From Castle Rock I hiked: Saratoga Gap Trail —> Travertine Springs Trail —> Saratoga Toll Road —> Skyline to the Sea Connector —> Skyline to the Sea Trail to Big Basin
I'd read that the Saratoga Toll Road was confused by "No Trespassing" signs but I found it pretty easy. The signs pretty clearly mean "don't go up this scraggly old path off the main trail". This route avoids a large stretch of near-road hiking and I saw 0 people until I joined the S2S trail, just past Waterman Gap. The only thing I missed out on was the convenience of potable water at Waterman Gap Trail Camp. No big deal, but, if you take this route, filter water at the San Lorenzo River just as the Toll Road takes a hard left and widens (also just near the area where you start seeing "No Trespassing" signs). There really wasn't any water between that point and Big Basin.
This was my first time on this trail and I really enjoyed it. Easy navigation and easy terrain w/enough up to let you work a bit.
Keep your eyes peeled for rattle snakes in Castle Rock. I had one "whisper" in my ear from a rock face and another hiker said he almost stepped on one.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm #1784170
Ummmm there is a reason that there are no trespassing signs on the trail. A word of advice, stay on the trail unless you would like a gun pointed at you or worse, you get shot. Santa Cruz Mtns.=POTSep 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm #1784177
Yeah, I thought of that. However the trail is like a road at that point. It'd be hard not to stay on it. Also, I had my illusions of illegal grows dispelled when the only signs I saw were within 1/4 mile (most closer) of this scene:;)” height=”733″ src=”https://dpcr19kltm61a.cloudfront.net/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1317172664_49655.jpg” width=”550″ />
Not to take your warning lightly. The last thing I want to do is bump into cartel members while enjoying a beautiful Saturday hike. It just seemed like a really (really really) poor (unlikely) choice for a grow operation.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm #1784181
Love the pic Jim….I live in the Santa Cruz Mtns. Half of my post was kind of a joke, and the other half was kinda serious. I really feel the best part of the hike is from Big Basin HQ to when the trail opens up for multi use near Waddell Creek.
And yes, you hadit correct, Cartel membersSep 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm #1784183
I know my info is mostly unrelated to the question you asked, but, its fresh on my mind.
If you stay at Jay Camp (Big Basin) I recommend spot #5. A nice private dead-end spot down a narrow, winding, brush covered path. The rest of the spots were pretty exposed.
Also, I brought too much food. You have the opportunity to pig out at Big Basin.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm #1784186
and drink lots of beer!Sep 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm #1784195
Yeah I figured as much Ken. I just figured I'd say something since that actually *was* a concern of mine when I heard of the signs down there. Once I hit that spot I stopped thinking about it completely.
You're lucky to live up there. The whole Skyline ridge blows my mind every time I'm up there.
Here's a shot from my drive home:Sep 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm #1784203
And yes, I am quite lucky. I made the decision to move from SJ and move up here and I could not have made a better decision!
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