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.

10 hours ago

Good hike. Good shade. There are some good up hills on the way in.

18 hours ago

I did this in a counterclockwise loop. A lot of uphill for the first half of the hike, especially right before the connection to the Ridge Trail. First half of the trail was shaded with gorgeous redwoods and a stream running alongside. Halfway through is Ocean View Summit and it's worth the wait. Overall, a great hike if you want to get outside of the Big Basin crowds and experience the magical redwoods in (mostly) solitude.

19 hours ago

Nice hike with a pretty view. It would be helpful if trails were marked more clearly. We got lost a few times

7 days ago

Great views, pretty steep climb for the last part of the hike. Would give it 5 stars but the trail markings were unclear and we ended up adding an extra 3 miles of hiking trying to find our way up to the top.

We have done this hike multiple times with our family (teenagers). The best route is Skyline To The Sea out and then Sunset back - you have a creek and redwoods most of the way out, and there is a nice rest spot with a bench before you climb rather than descend next to the falls. Check before you go - the Skyline To The Sea trail was washed out and closed for repairs the last time we went. This is my favorite hike in the Bay Area.

Amazing falls and landscapes.

8 days ago