Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Shadowbrook Falls is considered the premier falls in the park and an easy drive along Sky Meadow Road. Unfortunately the falls are not wheelchair accessible. The trail down to the falls is steep and comprised of wide steps made of tree logs that controls water runoff.  While each step landing is several feet long, the steps looked to vary from 6 to 10 inches tall making it nearly impossible to negotiate. I would have liked to photograph the falls but my philosophy is pick your battles and enjoy your successes.

We did a short hike through Jay Camp to get to the Sequoia Trail but turned out to be more effort that it was worth. Much of the trail is lose sand and narrow making it difficult to negotiate. This area is sparse with trees and the area seemed dry and dusty. We were also only able to hike a short distance along Sequoia Trail before we found it impassable. With big front casters and large rear drive tires on my electric wheelchair I can handle moderately difficult terrain, so when I say impassable, I mean impassable.

Sequoia Trail from Jay Camp up to Slippery Rock is not accessible, neither is Shadowbrook Trail from Sempervirens Campground. Although at Huckleberry Campground you can hike a short distance along Shadowbrook Trail. We didn’t try to hike around the trails to the north of Opal Creek since the park rangers said much of the area is undeveloped and not often maintained by park maintenance.

If this is your first time venturing into natures challenges, remember always to be prepared.  Water, snacks, a flashlight and a compass will be your best friends. Be able to identify Poison Oak, Poison Ivy, ticks and Rattlesnakes. And above all, never leave your camera, tripod and Strobe at your campsite.

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