Explore the most popular Trail Running trails in Big Basin Redwoods State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiked from Big Basin State Part parking lot to Waddle beach. Nice hike. Google map says 9 miles but it’s 11.1miles. All shaded until the last 0.75 miles.

hiking
10 days ago

go clockwise

Part of Dool Trail is closed off currently. So that adds about a mile or so. It’s closer to 8 miles total. Has a little bit of everything like sun, shade, inclines, & declines. A great day hike.

Sequoia trail with many people heading to fall. Meteor trail is quiet with redwoods. Ocean view summit vista is fairly nice but biting flies.

Beautiful trail. Some open areas with no shade. Lots of bugs. Make sure to go to the ocean overlook toward the end after Meteor trail.

hiking
19 days ago

Not exactly the wilderness experience we were expecting. Even though the trail was lovely, we couldn't get into it because it ran along the road.

hiking
1 month ago

The redwoods are stunning and the trail was well marked/maintained. What I wish we knew before we went is that you MUST park at the information center and all hikes must start from that point. Other starting points for other hikes in this park are reserved for campers only, apparently. Therefore, you are somewhat limited in your trail options. It is the time of year when mosquitoes are out in full force, but they seemed extra prevalent on this hike. It is true that you walk along roads for part of the hike, but they are roads that only lead to campsites, not main roads, so there wasn’t a lot of car traffic to see/hear. Despite all of this, I really did enjoy the trail which I agree is moderate (although on the easier side).

This was a fun outing! Detour for a large part of the Dool trail, onto the sunset trail, to access this hike, but definitely a great little outing!

Amazing trip. Lots of bugs so bring bug spray.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was pretty moderate to easy. The waterfall was pretty but the trail was along side of the road almost the whole time. We had to walk threw a few camp sights right next to tents. As well as ended up walking threw a parking lot with trash cans mid hike.

Long strenuous climb up but rewarding at the top. Ate my lunch perched on a rock with the world at my feet.

I came in from Big Basin which has day use parking. This hike is pretty meh but the climb up to Buzzards Roost, although strenuous, is well worth the effort. Beautiful views and cool rocks to Scramble around on. Ate my lunch perched at the top. Only encountered two couples on a gorgeous July day.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked it at the end of June. Lots of wide and flat ground, beautiful redwoods, some wildflowers, and creek with little bridges. Also some good places to step into the creek if you’re so inclined. I did have to contend with mosquitos. Sewer manholes along part of the way, which I think is the reason it was flat.

trail running
bugs
closed
1 month ago

Amazing mini-thru-hike. Campsites have running potable water, Jay Camp HQ has all the amenities and fully stocked (beers!). The third day was by far the best part of the trail through beautiful redwood groves and the highlight Berry Creek Falls. Can't wait to do it again, next time with my kids. Mosquitos were pretty brutal (July) when standing/sitting still, so bring plenty of repellent!

backpacking
bugs
1 month ago

I completed this trail during the July 4th weekend. It was confusing to find the trail head at Saratoga Gap, and I almost took the wrong way. You have to cross the street after you park your car in the parking lot, and go straight, the trail head will be on your right side. The trail is relatively easy. The 1st day was the easiest, it took me 4.5 hrs to walk 6.1 miles from Saratoga Gap to Waterman Gap. The 2nd day, I think, was the most difficult one, from Waterman Gap to Jay Camp with some uphills. The last 5.2 miles on the 3rd day was mostly flat and downhill. Even though it was long (~13 miles), it was pretty easy. There were not much sceneries on the trail from Saratoga Gap to Jay Camp. I prefer the tall redwood trees in Big Basin.

How could a walk through the majestic redwoods be anything but a 5-star experience?! Could the signage have been better? Yes. But, have you ever seen great signage at a state or national park? We did the classic Skyline to the Sea hike over 3 days and 2 nights, starting at Castle Rock parking lot and ending at Waddell Beach. My wife and I both drove separate cars since there isn’t a public transit option, or a reliable taxi/Uber option from either location. After dropping off a car at Waddell we drove to Castle Rock to start the trip. Day one we hiked to Waterman Gap. The signage was pretty poor and confusing at times so think about downloading a GPS guide (we paid for All Trails pro) that works offline and talk to people on the trail if you have questions. From there we went to Jay Camp at the Big Basin headquarters. Both sites had bathrooms and potable water. The walk from Jay to Waddell Beach was incredible! So hard to put into words. Trekking through giant redwoods for hours, mostly under the shade, so much green! There were some fallen trees along the way but it was all manageable. The final 1.5 miles to Waddell Beach felt longer than it was because we were tired and the trail borders the edge of a rocky hillside. But coming around the corner to see the ocean and feel that cool breeze is worth every step. I’d highly recommend this hike to anyone with some backpacking experience. In total we probably did about 30-32 miles, but like I said the hike is easy to moderate, and the campsites have amenities to make things easier. Can’t wait to go explore the Santa Cruz Mountains again!

Just finished this 3 day backpacking trip. I give it very mixed review. The first day out of Castle Rock state park was pretty. Enjoyed the horizon view to sea and hill tops. Lots of tall coastal red woods. As you approach Waterman gap camp ground the hiking is very close to a road which ruined the outdoor experience for me. The sounds of motorcycles racing up and down made me feel as though I was next to the freeway. This may of been particularly bad because it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Second day we hiked to Big Basin headquarters (Jay camp). We practically followed the road the entire way. Passing next to homes and backyards. Once we made it to headquarters we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and pushed on to Sunset campsite. This is were it was really pretty. We passed 3 waterfalls and enjoyed a very private camping experience. Saw a bunch of banana slugs. Last day headed out to Waddel beach. It was a beautiful hike and slightly downhill for a very easy hike. My recommendation would be to start at Jay camp (Headquarters) hike to sunset and out the next day only making this a one night trip and about 12 mile trip.

Did this as an overnight starting at Saratoga Gap. Scenery is beautiful, we had minimal vehicle noise and encountered few other hikers until we were in Big Basin. Stopped at park HQ to refill water, grab some lunch and rest before wrapping up the day with Berry Creek, Silver & Cascade falls on our way up (and up, and up) to Sunset Camp. Second day was gorgeous. Went back down to the falls and enjoyed them in the morning light then linked back up to S2S trail, following the creek most of the way. A quick 6ish miles from our campsite to Waddell Beach. Great hike and I’d do it again for sure, though it’d probably be better broken up staying at Jay Camp and doing the falls and finishing up on the second day (couldn’t grab a reservation for Jay though) That last push up the falls on stairs with cables to Sunset Camp was pretty rough after a 22+ mile day!

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Such a cathartic trail. We were there on a Thursday in June, expecting tons of people, but passed only three other small parties outside a quarter mile of either end of the trailhead. Most folks tend to gravitate toward the falls which is great for those who want to take in the forest for the trees

hiking
1 month ago

Good sweat, straight up until you reach the fire road. Check the forecast, if it’s clear you can see 360 degrees and the ocean below. Gorgeous hike and not too busy for a Saturday if you go early.

hiking
1 month ago

The first section of the trail was in a beautiful Redwood forrest which was rather peaceful and serene. We only saw 3 people on this part of the trail however this section is only about a mile and a half and then you come out of the forrest onto a dirt road. This later section of the trail was basically just hiking on an old dirt road so not as aesthetically appealing. Nice view from up top and a good solid day hike. I would consider this more a moderate day hike than hard as listed.

hiking
2 months ago

Very chill trail. Went solo! A lot of facilities on the way (benches, bathrooma, showers). Insects and nature encountered were stunning (watch out for those banana slugs).

Different terrains. The meteor trail is awesome! Very light traffic and you can hear your echo in the dense redwoods. Dont expect a great ocean view from the too though

This isn't the most scenic trail for the most part but definitely iconic and was part of my bucket list. 1. The first part of the trail until waterman gap trail was quite meh. Runs too close to the road and wasn't very pretty. 2. About a mile after waterman gap, it got quite foggy and the trees were dripping so it was a very pleasant and interesting experience throughout the major incline. 3. After the intersection with China grade road, it gets a bit exposed with some sweeping mountain views. I got lost at the bridge crossing and took the wrong trail across the bridge and had to come back when I realized after about a mile. You're supposed to go straight and cross the highway and not go across the bridge. 4. Soon after the views when you go down the steepest part, is about 3 miles flat in big basin which has a few redwood groves and overall pleasant along the creek until the part hq. 5. After the park hq, it is a bumpy tide down to berry creek falls (the falls are the best part of the hike. I'd go until silver falls if you have energy because that's the best part of the forest). This is also the toughest part of the hike which is Rocky and narrow but has the most traffic. 6. From there on to Waddell creek it's straightforward and uneventful for the most part except the last incline to the beach which was quite overgrown and had lots of poison oak. I'd wear full pants. The beach is just gorgeous. Probably one of the most beautiful along highway 1 with lots of surfers. I did this as a day hike and it took me about 10 hours including a big break at the hq. I hitchhiked from the highway to Santa Cruz and took an uber back to the Saratoga Gap. Don't expect data to be working at the beach to call an uber and the phone booth at the beach was broken too.

hiking
2 months ago

Th redwoods were great and the trail was well maintained. As far as the trail goes for hikes it was okay.

hiking
2 months ago

You must stop at headquarters and pay $10 fee for day use. Then they will advise you on trails and where to start. Not to hard. Went counterclockwise. It’s just above a road and goes through several campsites. Waterfall was very beautiful. We sidetracked a bit, but was able to backtrack to finish trail. We were able to see several banana slugs.

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