Sitting around Berkeley on a Saturday afternoon, Jeb, Adam and I wondered what to do. We decided to take BART to Fremont, a $40 Uber split 3 ways to Saratoga, and hike the Skyline to Sea Trail. As of time of writing (2020) BART now goes all the way to San Jose, so the Uber would likely be cheaper. You could probably take transit all the way to Saratoga, but I wasnt as pro transit and anti uber back in 2017.
We approached the trailhead just as the sun was setting. Unfortunately the last mile or two of the road was closed, so we hike through the woods around it. Then a short hitch in a convertible and we were at the trailhead. It is times like these when you experience the intoxicating freedom of traveling without an automobile.
Since the hike was a last minute decision and we started rather late, coupled with the fact that it was Jeb’s first backpacking trip, we decided to get some miles in the first night. The first half of the trail is very close to a road which is rather unfortunate, but it beats road walking for sure. We got about 10 miles in the first night, leaving twenty miles for Sunday.
The second day went very smoothly. Soon, the trail veered away from the road and it took a gentle downhill most of the way to the ocean. We did a small resupply at the visitor center, and then made our way to the beautiful Berry Creek Falls. From there it was just a few miles downhill to the ocean.
The ocean was an epic ending to the hike. From there we hitchhiked back to San Francisco on Hwy 1. Overall I would highly recommend this trip to anyone in the Bay Area. Unfortunately much of Big Basin State Park burned down in the 2020 fires, but hopefully it will reopen soon.
It was my first time doing a truly ultralight trip. I felt like my backpack was comically light and I was floating down the trail. I was able to fit everything into a 20 dollar backpack about the size of a school backpack. Perfect for stealth camping!