Walking Rancho Del Oso – Waddell Creek

Mike had spotted this park on our way south, so on our return home from Santa Cruz, we stopped at Rancho Del Oso. This is the back or ocean side of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

It’s a seasonal spot, but in October some of it was still accessible. The fog was clearing for this view taken from the Visitor Center. (Open on the weekends, 12-4pm.)

Rancho Del Osa viewAcross from the Visitor Center is a trailhead for the Marsh Trail through some lush riparian area around Waddell Creek.

TrailheadSince we haven’t had much rain yet, the path was still summer dry. A few boardwalks helped over what would be wetter areas.

Marsh Trail boardwalkA butterfly insisted on being noticed – and we did. I haven’t been able to identify – anyone? This was in a sunnier narrow part of the trail.

butterfly m butterfly 2 mOther parts were rich with horsetails

horsetailand sedges

sedge and boardwalkand spots with pines.

twisted tree cone close mand places to stop and listen to the birds.

Waddell benchFinally we came to the creek where the summer bridge had been removed – otherwise we could have hooked up to Waddell Beach. Oh well, on another time.

trail end in winterSee you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar

This area is not vehicle accessible from the main part of Big Basin. On Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz seventeen miles before Waddell Creek Bridge at Canyon Rd. Park Brochure. From Hwy 1 on the other side of the creek is access to the Skyline to the Sea Trail Rd.

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