nature trips

no dogs


trail running



kid friendly


wild flowers

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. Dogs are only allowed on the paved trails.

Nice hike with a pretty view. It would be helpful if trails were marked more clearly. We got lost a few times

5 days ago

Great views, pretty steep climb for the last part of the hike. Would give it 5 stars but the trail markings were unclear and we ended up adding an extra 3 miles of hiking trying to find our way up to the top.

We have done this hike multiple times with our family (teenagers). The best route is Skyline To The Sea out and then Sunset back - you have a creek and redwoods most of the way out, and there is a nice rest spot with a bench before you climb rather than descend next to the falls. Check before you go - the Skyline To The Sea trail was washed out and closed for repairs the last time we went. This is my favorite hike in the Bay Area.

Amazing falls and landscapes.

6 days ago

6 days ago

6 days ago

on Redwood Trail

8 days ago

OK, I spent 15 minutes writing a review, then when I clicked "Upload Photos", it completely deleted the review I wrote. Not cool AllTrails! I will re-type the review and skip the photos.

I did the Berry Creek Falls loop on 6/13/2017. My iWatch measured it at 10.3 miles and it took me 4.5 hours with about a 15 minute stop at the falls for a snack. I recommend doing the loop "clockwise" for the views of the falls as you approach. Similar to Caliph below, I took I took Redwood Trail, to Dool, to Sunset, Sunset Connector, Skyline, Berry Creek Falls, back to Sunset. It is a bit difficult to find the Sunset Trailhead from the parking lot, it is not well marked.

I consider my self an advanced hiker, and I did NOT find this to be a "hard" or "strenuous" hike compared to hikes I've done in the Sierras or in Hawaii. The trails are wide and well-manicured and there are wooden bridges over all creeks. The downhill portions were as easy as it gets and the uphill portions were mostly gentle upgrade, "moderate" at most. The only strenuous portion was next to the waterfalls, and there are actual stairs along with a cable to grab onto.

Highlights were the falls themselves, not just Berry Creek Falls, but also Silver Falls, The Cascades, and Golden Falls. Also the redwoods! Many downed trees from the heavy winter this past year. The trail is mostly shady and out of the sun. I did not find the mosquitos to be bad at all.

I did this hike on a Tuesday afternoon. There was plenty of parking. I ran into a number of people on the trail, but not that many. I would definitely recommend going on a weekday if at all possible. Weekends might be a completely different experience.

A few other tidbits. There is no cell signal in Big Basin redwoods, so don't count on being able to make calls or send texts. There is a nice little general store that sells cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches, etc., good for pre or post hike if you didn't bring enough of your own food or drink.