hiking

no dogs

forest

walking

nature trips

views

birding

trail running

wildlife

river

kid friendly

waterfall

camping

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.

Amazing experience..trail runs along 3 burbling falls and the creek is always there to keep company.. I started on sunset trail and finished on skyline to sea trail..elevation changes are moderate..distance per the park rangers is 12miles, manageable in 5hrs at moderate pace with 3 short rests. Did not find water, restroom on the trail so prep before u enter. almost the entire hike is under shade so trail will be dark early in winter; start early to find easy parking at hq..walk alone to experience the silence.. try to align ur hike with a recent rainy / foggy spell to make the best of the forest.

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

Loved the trial. Awesome place! Awesome trail! Great environment

Nice hike, took us about 4 hours. Gorgeous waterfall, although there weren’t all that great of views outside of that, and part of the loop is closed.

One of the most satisfying hikes I've ever done. Agree with the counter-clockwise loop. Moderately trafficked, but for good reason. I've rarely had such close access to such cool falls. Was lucky enough to visit after a rain.

Incredible views among the immense height of the beautiful redwoods. The distance of the loop is decent for a full daytrip. The waterfalls are mesmerizing if you sit and relax by them for a break. There’s a point where you walk alongside the creek, which made the walk more comforting.

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

hiked this on 1/9/18 during rain storm. great raging waterfalls! plenty of banana slugs and newts so definitely watch your footsteps. really enjoyed this hike.

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

Great trail with several waterfalls. Definitely go counterclockwise to come back via sunset. Slight detour due to rain, so had to take fire road for a little bit. It is more like 11.5 miles round trip. Pretty strenuous with a 1 year old on my back.

beautiful trail, minus the gunshots from the range, and minus the mountain lion!! other than that great trail. Lol.

Very strenuous but rewarding hike. Note that the loop as plotted above does not include a waterfall (Berry Creek falls) but does get close by (add 2mi total out and back to see the falls as well).

hiking
16 days ago

It was a good work out trail and took us about 2hours and half on slow pace with my 9years old son. At the top, the view was so beautiful, absolutely worth to try this trail. We passed a couple of groups.

Hiking here is really awesome. I went during rainy time all over greenish and so cool to hike. Lot of redwood trees fell on pathway and they have created cave like structure in the path was good. To complete this trail it takes almost 5 hours.

backpacking
22 days ago

I did my first solo backpacking trip on this trail. The ascent to camp was what I’d consider moderate, starting on Skyline and gaining more elevation on Lane Hollow. My FitBit logged 252 flights climbed, but it was very much dispersed. I also logged 7.6 miles to camp, and 20 overall on this loop making it much longer than this says!

The descent was what I’d consider easy with no extended periods of incline or decline. It was very easy imon my knees and ankles with a pack.

Camp was lovely with six or so sites, a pit toilet, and a bear container for food. I didn’t filter water, but there are opportunities to do so.

The views are definitely on the way down on the Basin trail. The hike up and the campground are in pretty thick forest. I hiked for approximately seven hours with a 35 pound pack, just to give an idea of your timeline, and I am in fine hiking shape but otherwise, have had a very lazy season. I arrived at camp very early because I anticipated a more difficult hike.

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful trail. Will be back :)

Great trail from the past when I lived in HMB.

I think the trail was longer than 9 miles, about 11-ish miles long. It was very pleasant, not strenuous, so I didn't mind the distance. Saw many hilarious banana slugs and beautiful trees. The falls were georgeous. Air was very moisturizing. My skin felt so soft after the hike. A good workout and a facial in one! If you have an event the next day, do this hike. You will feel lighter with glowing skin the next day.

Some part of the trail is closed. I wish enter trail opens soon.

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