Superlatives define Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. California’s oldest state park - covering more than 18,000 acres from sea level to more than 2,000 feet elevation - launched the state park movement in California. Big Basin’s biggest attraction – literally – is a rare stand of awe-inspiring, ancient coast redwoods that are among the tallest and oldest trees on Earth. Some measure close to 300 feet tall and 50 feet in circumference. Scientists estimate that these trees may range from 1,000 to 2,000 years old. Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, more than 80 miles of roads and trails, and a fascinating natural and cultural history have beckoned millions of visitors to Big Basin since 1902. Each season offers a different park experience. The intense greens of mosses contrast with the subtle colors of lichens and mushrooms during wet winters. Rushing waterfalls and wildflowers abound in the cool, foggy spring. Find a shady getaway from inland heat in summertime. Fall offers pleasant weather without storms, pests or extreme heat. The park is about 65 miles south of San Francisco. From Santa Cruz travel approx 25 miles northwest via Highways 9 and 236 to reach Park Headquarters. Park Headquarters is 9 miles north of the town of Boulder Creek on State Hwy 236. All roads into Big Basin are curvy. The Rancho Del Oso coastal unit of Big Basin is accessible on State Route 1, about 20 miles north of the city of Santa Cruz. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
This was a great hike that took my girlfriend and I about 3.5 hours. It was recommended to us by one of the guides at the main station. It has three sections of old growth Redwoods: one along the Dool Trail, one along the Meteor Trail and one along the Sequoia Trail. It is mostly shade covered except for a portion of the Middle Ridge Road but it's not much at all. The "sea view" is mediocre but you can see the canopy from the highest point of the hike which is cool.
This is quick little informational trail and is great to do before you go into the larger trails at Big Basin. Be sure to grab one of the little pamphlets on the way in so that you can follow along on the little stop points and learn about Redwoods, Douglas Firs and the Big Basin Redwood Forest. Highly recommend starting here.
was a great hike...all took about 3-4 hrs.
my only thing was most of the hike about the first 2hrs was a trail running along a road. we were able to see cars and people walking while on the trail...that kinda took the whole "in the wild" feel away at first...but the second half of the hike was really in the woods...when I hike I don't like to see a road..just woods...but overall was beautiful and recommend doing it.