The Hike to Berry Creek Falls

090524010 Berry Creek Falls

Berry Creek Falls

090524005 Golden Cascade Golden Cascade

On Veteran’s Day, I went hiking in Big Basin Redwoods State Park to see the Berry Creek Falls.  This particular hike provides great photographic opportunities.

The hike is about 11 miles long with an elevation gain of 2000’.  There are several options to hike to the falls and my group chose the toughest (of course).  We hiked through incredible redwoods and along several creeks in order to reach the falls.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, just outside of Boulder Creek, CA and less than an hour from my house, consists of several different ecosystems and habitats. You can visit immense redwood forests, dense chaparral, beautiful creeks and interesting sandstone formations.  Also, it provides trails that take you from the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.  The park was created in 1902 and is the oldest of California’s state parks.

Berry Creek Falls actually consists of three falls. Heading uphill, the first falls is Berry Creek, the second is Silver Falls and the third is the Golden Cascade.  Surprisingly, there was plenty of water in all three falls.  Each of the falls is unique and I’ll let the photographs provide the descriptions.

I made the images in May 2009 and the amount of water going through them then and now is pretty much the same.  I fully expected that there would be little, if any water, due to the dryness of the last several years.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Photographing waterfalls in a manner that shows the flow of water is simple.  A tripod is required in order to ensure that the camera is still. I take my time composing the image so that I can create an interesting balance.  I use as large an aperture as possible to capture as much light as I can and I expose for about one second.  Obviously, I set the camera on manual so that I have complete control over the image that I create.  In my opinion, using automatic settings is letting the camera make the image, not the photographer.

Take the hike to Berry Creek Falls if you visit Santa Cruz.  Bring your tripod, camera and lunch and enjoy the falls and the redwoods at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.