Meteor Trail isn't on the way to any spectacular waterfalls, so it's a great place to wander among the giants at Big Basin Redwoods State Park without the crowds on the more popular trails.
The Meteor Trail tracks Rodgers Creek up to Middle Ridge Road. In winter and early spring the creek burbles to life, making this one of the best riparian hikes at Big Basin. And on clear days, Ocean View Summit from Middle Ridge Road offers an expansive view all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
One stop along the way -- Maddock Cabin Site -- offers an intriguing window on the lives of settlers who eked out a rough existence among the redwoods. The matriarch of the Maddock clan had two simple wishes for her children: that they get a good education and avoid being eaten by grizzly bears. The cabin's long gone but interpretive panels tell the Maddock family's story.
At six miles with a healthy climb to Middle Ridge, it's a nice workout without being especially strenuous.
Best time to go: winter and spring are tops, but summer and fall are pretty good too.
Watch for banana slugs but don't touch them; contact with human skin is hazardous to their health.
Bring enough water and snacks to keep your energy up on the climb up to Middle Ridge.
Big Basin contact: 831-338-8860
Parking fees: $10/vehicle
Dogs: Not allowed on trails
Driving directions: Take Highway 17 south to Mount Hermon Road. Stay on this road as it goes through the city of Scotts Valley. Mount Hermon Road ends at an intersection with Graham Hill Road. Turn right. You will immediately come to another lighted intersection (Highway 9). Turn right again. Take California Highway 9 to Boulder Creek and head west on Highway 236 for nine miles to the park entrance; continue to park headquarters.
I love the diversity of the forest as you hike along this trail. The ups & downs may be tough for the faint of heart, but it's worth it if for nothing but the section where you are walking along Roger's Creek. The clover carpet is cool & everything is so peaceful. The open area opposite the starting point is cool as well, great views of the whole basin can be had. I can't wait to go back! Visited on May 05, 2012