hiking

walking

forest

no dogs

birding

nature trips

views

trail running

river

wildlife

kid friendly

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, 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.

Love this trail , best for summers completed loop ,loop is close to 11 miles :-)

Love this trail. I've done it twice as a loop, both times starting on Skyline and finishing on Sunset, but I also did the just the Sunset part in the opposite direction on a backpacking trip. It's definitely a little tough to be doing all that downhill on Sunset as you finish out ten miles, but even so it's my preference to do it clockwise and approach the falls on the uphill. Very impressive and beautiful, and easier going up the steep waterfall sections than down.

Nice hike! Great views, redwoods, awesome scenery!

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail. It is actually 12.6miles not the 9.5 stated. There is currently a closed section of trail. Doing the Skyline trail first was well worth the waterfall approach!

The waterfall is very beautiful ... its an arduous hike but worth it!

I have done this hike both ways in the past month and believe it is more challenging with the falls on the second half of the hike.
The trail is mostly up hill for the last three mile or so in that direction.

I went on a Monday morning and it was pleasantly empty. I started with the sunset trail --> berry creek falls trail --> skyline to the sea trail. But next time I think I'll do the opposite so I can approach the waterfalls facing it. If you start with the sunset trail it's mostly uphill. When you reach golden falls you'd take stairs down following the water downstream towards silver falls. Then it's mostly downhill to berry creek falls. Then it's mostly uphill again on skyline to the sea trail back to headquarters. The Redwood trees are large and tall but not the biggest I've seen. I would say 3-4 litres of water is plenty and I had a subway sandwich about the 4th hour into the hike. Snacking on trail mix would have been nice. It took me 7 hours to complete with plenty of rest stops. Make sure to stretch your legs.

Looking forward to hiking here