On Saturday October 1, Santa Cruz Group hike leader Steve Bakaley joined a group of Sierra Club members on a 12.5 mile hike on some of the trails in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The trails were reopened in July 2022 after severe damage led to their closure following the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in the summer of 2020.

Every year from 1985 through 2020, Steve led an annual 11 mile hike through Big Basin that included the Sunset, Berry Creek, and Skyline-to-the-Sea trails and the major waterfalls. Those three trails were obliterated by the CZU Fire in the summer of 2020. As of this writing, the falls remain inaccessible.

In 1989, Steve married his wife, Marjie, in the park's amphitheater which, except for a few of the log benches, was similarly obliterated by the fire (see photo). While it was heartening to see life returning to the park, it was also saddening for Steve to see the damage and to realize that, for the remainder of his own life, these familiar trails would not look the same as they were before the fire.

More information about park trails can be found at https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=540 

Big Basin Montage

(Clockwise from Top Left) View of the park in October, 2022; Remaining seats in the amphitheater; Along the Dool Trail; Contrast between forest floor and trees.  PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEVE BAKALEY