Lower Golden Cascade – Big Basin Redwoods

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Lower Golden Cascade is a small peaceful waterfall in Big Basin Redwoods State Park,
California

The Berry Creek Falls trail is my favorite hike in Big Basin Redwoods. It’s one of the best (and one of the few) places to find waterfalls in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The most well known are the eponymous Berry Creek Falls, and Upper Golden Cascade. Berry Creek Falls gets renown because it’s a classic type of waterfall, and has a relatively long drop. Upper Golden is adored because of its irregularity: large sheet flow over oddly golden stone. (As an aside, the orange color comes from brown algae living in the porous stone). But the lower section of Golden Cascade was a surprise favorite for me. I loved the surrounding setting. It’s more like an intimate scene from a fairy-tale than a grand majestic vista. We stopped here for an extended lunch break, and I took my time poking around. The more I looked, the more I saw. I love the ferns that adorn the cliff’s overhang. I love massive roots that appear to hold the precipice together. The whole setting was an escape from reality, and I didn’t want to leave.

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