Waddell Creek/Berry Falls Mtn Bike Ride

This ride starts at Waddell Creek/Beach, which is roughly half-way between Santa Cruz and San Gregorio.

This ride had been suggested by some friends as a great "family" outing, and is apparently done by a few tour operators.  In a nutshell it's a 6 mile out-and-back (12 miles total) with a 1 mile hike (on foot) to the Berry Falls, shown at the bottom of this page.  The entire ride takes place within Big Basin State Park, one of California's most popular.

The first mile or so is improved one-lane dirt and, unfortunately, had a fair amount of car traffic on July 5th, when we rode it.  Once you get a mile in, however, you're auto-free, which is more of a blessing than normal when you're on one-lane road, especially if you've got kids with you!
Entrance to Waddell Creek/Berry Falls trail Cruising down the dirt highway!
The start of the ride, just past the ranger station & store at Waddell Beach. If it weren't for the occasional car, the first mile would be completely care-free.
Stay to the left! Almost looks like a flat version of Old La Honda
There are a couple of times when you might get confused about which way to go...make sure you don't pick a path marked "private." If this weren't flat, you could swear it's Old La Honda road in Woodside!
It gets narrow at times, but at least cars can't get past! ford the stream...
The first stretch of "singletrack", caused by a washout.  Be thankful; it means the cars can't get past this point. You get to make a choice here...you can hike through the creek (ride if you're adventurous)...
...or take the bridge across! One of the few real hills on the ride
Or choose the high road and take the bridge! While the course isn't super-challenging as far as hills go, there are a couple that require more than a small amount of effort.
Another narrow spot on the trail Traffic!
Another washout, although the remaining trail is quite rideable. You do need to watch out for other cyclists, hikers and equestrians.
Bikerack at trail end; you hike in from here to the falls. Trail across the river to the falls
If you want to see Berry Falls, this is as far as you can go with your bike.  You need to bring your own lock and cable! The trail up to Berry Falls leads across the creek here and goes up and downhill (not much chance to rest!) for about half a mile.
Approaching Berry Falls
Approaching Berry Falls, above, and what it looks like close-up on the right. It's pretty impressive in July...one wonders what it must be like in the winter after a heavy rain!
Berry Falls

Last updated 05/06/05