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.

1 day ago

8 days ago

9 days ago

It's a good hiking trail. Those who love the forest will appreciate and enjoy it beauty, warmth and appeals. The map issued by the park is relatively useless but trail signs are more helpful is directions. I enjoyed my hike there...

My favorite hike/trail in the bay area. Moderate difficulty (not sure why it's rated hard), can be done in less than 2.5 hours if your are in reasonably good shape like I would like to believe I am in. Gorgeous redwoods, but waterfalls are kind of wimpy this time of year. If you want to avoid weekend crowds, start just before sunrise. I usually see less than a dozen people and only at the very end of my hike.

Took Shadowbrook trail after Sequoia trail > Sempervirens falls. Much prettier than Sequoia trail as you're not alongside a road the whole time. Did get a bit turned around at the campsites but overall an easyish trek.