I can say with confidence that it’s possible to hike the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail in a single day, if one were so inclined. A month ago Stephanie dropped me off at the Saratoga Gap trailhead just after 8 in the morning, snapped a few photos (to help search-and-rescue identify my body), and then drove off in the direction of Pescadero to spend the day studying.

Nine hours later I emerged from the wilderness, on a bluff facing the Pacific just before sunset. Stephanie met me at the end with a sandwich and bubbly water. The signs say the trail is 29.5 miles long, but common wisdom (and recent GPS data) suggests it’s closer to 25. Given my usual pace of 3 miles per hour, plus a short break for lunch and an unanticipated ford of Waddell Creek, 25 miles seems reasonable.

Which makes this trek the farthest I’ve hiked in a single day, eclipsing the two days in a row that I hiked close to 23 miles on the PCT (over 11 hours carrying a 30-pound pack). To day hike any farther, I’m going to need longer days (and longer trails).

View of the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail
Skyline-to-the-Sea trail in Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Update: On April 30, 2016, I rehiked the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail with Danny, and we completed it in 8 hours and 18 minutes (including a short break at Big Basin)! His Runkeeper app recorded a distance of 27 miles, so now I don’t know what to think. Maybe I already had a marathon in my pocket before tackling the Ohlone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Ohlone for sure, but do it soon!

Basically, you did a marathon. Very cool!

Yes, almost nearly a marathon, just walking. The Ohlone is up next.


Email (optional)

Blog (optional)