hiking

no dogs

forest

nature trips

walking

views

birding

trail running

wildlife

kid friendly

camping

river

waterfall

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, giant ancient coast redwood groves that are home to 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, old-growth redwood forest, more than 80 miles of paved roads and popular 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. Beautiful waterfalls, banana slugs, 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 entrances into Big Basin are windy roads. 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.

Go early by 8 or 9 to have the trail to yourself. We hiked all the way to the waterfall without seeing anyone and had the view on the lookout point to ourselves. Started to see a lot more hikers on our way back.

hiking
17 days ago

Started at HQ. easy walk to the Sempervirens Falls. From there we took the Sequoia Trail up the hill and across the 236 to skyline to sea. That was much prettier

The longest hike I have done till now and the most beautiful one too. Beautiful waterfalls. Gigantic redwoods. Silent nature.
Carry enough fluids and food. Sit near each waterfall, on the fallen redwoods and refuel yourself. Enjoyed this hike to the fullest. I will be going once again for this same hike soon.

Yes it runs next to a road. But as with most trails in a very busy Big Basin Park? If you want less people and/or cars? Early bird gets the worm :). I made this short little hike on a Monday morning at 8 am and I got to enjoy the falls and only saw one other person in the hour I was there. I was already back to my car at 11 am and planning my next trail as I noticed the crowds and car noise finally beginning to build

Probably the second hardest hike I have done. Not in terms of difficult and steepness, but rather in terms of mere length. Bring lots of water and start early. The view of the waterfalls (multiple water falls :)) is worth the hike! enjoy guys! :)

hiking
25 days ago

Large portion of the trail runs alongside the road which takes the serenity out of the hike whenever a car drives by. The second half after passing Shadowbrook trail was much better with road noise. Overall the hike was pleasant, and relaxing. Small detour to see the falls. I would rate this as an easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail to spend time on :)

walking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful, but then again so is almost all of Big Basin. It's a nice walk and the trees are a sight in themselves. There isn't anything especially striking throughout the path so not worth investing as a main event in your trip. However, for those only looking for an easy 30-45 min walk among some friendly giants, this path is absolutely for you.

Good workout! gains elevation at reasonable pace. Trail is pretty shady. No shade at the top. We hiked in March so was not that hot when we reached the top. Views are amazing once you get to the top.
Signs along the trail are not so clear, we got the trail info from info desk before starting. I have read reviews that if we get lost, it adds up few miles to your hike.
Did not see lot of people while on trail, not so crowded. Some parts of the trail are narrow but just walk carefully, its totally doable. Couple of big rocks which come in your way and you have to climb and get to the other side to continue. Loved the trail and will come back!

Will absolutely do this trail again, beautiful views and rewarding for the effort you put into it. Invigorating!

hiking
2 months ago

Probably closer to a 3.5. Nice hike for kids or someone just starting out hiking. Depends when you hit the trail. Going out very busy & some car noise from the road that runs next to the trail. Coming back however was much quieter so you could enjoy the Redwoods. Lots of places to stop and grab lunch

hiking
2 months ago

Really Nice hike - as always long and winding road to get there. Plenty of parking if you get there early (8am). Didn't see anyone the Skyline to the Sea trail & very peaceful. I went past meteor to add some miles. Middle ridge was a little disappointing - little busier and not much to see. Trail in good condition

Beautiful hike. Mainly under the shade of redwoods, but with occasional treks at higher elevations in the sun. Definitely wear layers!!! You can go from chilly to sweating in a heartbeat. Wear good hiking shoes or sneakers with traction; parts of the trail near the waterfalls are VERY slippery (it is quite damp down there, and you have to traverse up, down and across some very wet and muddy rocks). If you do the full loop, prepare for a long hike -- bring snacks and water, and start no later than 11am (especially in the winter when the days are shorter). NOTE: There were several detours along the way due to weather-damaged areas, and I'm pretty certain I did at least an extra mile or two because of them. Just be prepared!

2 months ago

There are two trails leading to Eagle rock. One through ‘lil basin campground entrance (no parking lot as such) & other one (much shorter paved trail) connects through Empire Grade road (near Lehi recreation park).
If it’s getting dark/too late, would suggest the shorter route otherwise, regular eagle rock trail is way amazing and recommended.

hiking
2 months ago

Super easy,fun trail for kids and families. Just being among redwoods is amazing.

trail running
2 months ago

Beautiful shady trail with great views of redwoods

on Redwood Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent warm up trail before embarking on some of the other trails at Big Basin. This is where you take all of your pictures with the huge old growth redwoods.

on Sequoia Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy trail with mellow elevation change. It took us 3 hours at a stroll. The waterfall halfway through is a nice snack break with a view. Highly recommended as an intro trail to Big Basin.

great hike ;babies in backpack
as well as an 8 year old.adults from 30 to 62.everybody enjoyed the hike and the view

Very nice trail with lots of vegetation. Waterfall is nothing special as you can see better ones on the Cataract Trail by Mt Tam. Parking is expensive, but staff is extremely friendly. I would recommend doing this at least once just to say you did it.

hiking
2 months ago

We did the hike up to Mt. McAbee viewpoint. It was okay, but the views weren't extraordinary.

hiking
2 months ago

Not too steep, tranquil, narrow road, connected to nice Middle Ridge Road

hiking
2 months ago

Sequoia Trail, Northern Escape Road, Redwood Trail totalling 6 miles. Trail map and signage could be better. Otherwise, we were awed to be among such beauty. Recommend for 7 and up.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy to follow the trail with visible signs. The complete loop is more about 4.5 miles.

2 months ago

Nice easy trail

Beautiful well maintained trail. Part of it was detoured which made it longer. Bring at least 2 Liters of water per person. We packed a light lunch which was nice to have near one of the falls. I have done Waddell Beach to the falls once and had no idea there's so many more falls going the top route!

My husband took me as a surprise, I had wished I had worn my neoprene socks because I ended up with blisters.

No dogs are allowed. However someone had a horse on the trail so at some parts where the trail was very skinny we had to dodge giant horse poo piles

Very nice hike.
Unfortunately day use is not allowed !
You have to have a reservation at the camp ground.

Fun trail with steep incline in forest of red woods. The entire trail is shaded

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