An easy to moderate hike in the Big Basin SP, if you don't want to do the more popular and hence crowded waterfall loop. We did this on a hot day when temperature was touching high 90's. Good thing about this loop is its mostly shaded, expect for a short stretch near the ocean view summit.
The loop starts near the parking area & visitor center. It can be a bit confusing since there can by multiple points of entry depending on where you park, but as long as you get to the Skyline to Sea trail, you will be good. Once on the Skyline to Sea you have to bear north. Note : this is in opposite direction to the waterfall loop where the chances are most other are heading to.
For anti clockwise loop (which we did) - Continue on the Skyline to Sea trail once you hit the fork with Dool trail. The trail will hit the road soon after the fork. Just cross the road and the trail continues on the other side. Again continue on Skyline to Sea trail at the fork with Creeping forest trail.
The trail is level with not much elevation change until the Meteor Trail. The fork with Meteor Trail is at about 2.2 miles. At this point we take the Meteor Trail going NW. The trail climbs steadily among some nice redwood scenery and a creek running parallel to the trail. This stretch is about a mile and Meteor Trail ends on its intersection with Middle Ridge Road which runs North-South.
We decided to head back by taking a left (south) on Middle Ridge Road (unpaved wide trail). Road keeps climbing and we hit a open patch. This is a view point where we get a glimpse of the ocean on the right past the mountains and valleys. The road starts going downhill from here.
At around 4.5 mile mark of the loop we hit the fork with Dool Trail. We decided to take Dool Trail for our last stretch. Its gets steeper downhill from this point. The trail is narrow with lots of roots sticking out. This is probably going to be a challenging stretch after heavy rains. After about 1 mile, Dool trail ends at the Skyline to Sea Trail (the fork that we saw in the beginning). Just bear left and continue on Skyline To Sea Trail following directions to the Park Headquarters.