Looking for a great trail in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California? AllTrails has 31 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 16 moderate trails in Big Basin Redwoods State Park ranging from 1.7 to 24.6 miles and from 967 to 2,490 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

forest

no dogs

views

nature trips

wildlife

running

bird watching

walking

waterfall

wild flowers

camping

river

backpacking

kid friendly

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice trail, with a beautiful view on the sea shore on top of the mountain. Bring a lot of water. The descent is steep. Take your time.

Completed 7/22/2019. Parts of the trail were closed and we took a few detours to avoid closed portions. It was beautiful with an optional detour to view 3 waterfalls. Bathrooms available at the campground above the waterfalls. My group counted 74 banana slugs on the hike!

Awesome relaxing hike, enough climbing to keep you moving!

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful forest and nice trail

hiking
12 days ago

one of our fav park, nice not too buy trail, prefer clockwise. almost completely in shade, cost 10 to park at visitor center, nicer when earlier in the day with less crowd.

hiking
off trail
13 days ago

the 2nd half of the trail was close so we had to take a different route that wasn't very scenic

hiking
13 days ago

Shane, Heather,and Dad

amazing trail, this went from big basin HQ to Red Twinwoods trail camp. same path to Alder trail camp and Wadell Beach! path is loops through Mt McAbee

hiking
over grown
18 days ago

hard to see where trail turns off the road

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Not much going on here. The falls are ok but not spectacular. Definitely not worth the 10.5 mile hike.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

Didn’t see the day use warning on the other page for this hike (the other one adds in Pig Cutoff or something but it’s very similar) and ended up in campground reservation land. The friendly employee there said that the state doesn’t allow day use and campground to mingle, and she sent us to regular Big Basin entrance. She also said that this trail is all steep fire road and thus not very pleasant. She recommended the route to Buzzards Roost via Pine Creek Trail instead.

This is an OK loop; mostly in the trees and it didn't seem to have that much old growth redwoods - at least nothing spectacular. The waterfalls are nice but I was hoping to see less people because of the length of the loop. Ignore the closure of the skyline to the sea trail; its yet another bureaucratic state park closure for no reason. I think there is 2 trees downed on the trail that are easily bypassible.

Bday hike... I wanted to abuse my body and that’s exactly what I got out of this hike. My wife was kind enough to follow us to Waddell to drop off a car then drive us back to Castlerock, thanks hun. Started the hike at 6am and the main goal was to finish in time to catch the sunset at the beach which we accomplished, took us close to 11 hours. We averaged about 20 something minute miles with a quick stop at Waterman and a lunch break at headquarters. Met a few hikers on the way one of which seen a rattlesnake on the trail, supposedly shortly after we crossed paths, yikes. Also met a couple groups of backpackers doing the Skyline to Sea Trail as their 1st backpacking experience. Cheers to you guys and congratulations, Happy Trails! The scenery wasn’t as pretty IMHO but had a handful of spots to pull out the phone to take a flick. Vehicle noise was terrible along the trail but was an option to bail out in case of an emergency. Lots of poison oak/ivy so dress appropriately. No potable water at Castlerock or Waterman. We packed about 2 liters each and refilled at HQ. I brought a gravity filter just incase but wasn’t too confidant to try it at a couple creeks. On the last mile or so we were able to see the beach. It gave us instant energy and we started trail jogging a few hundred yards like fools. As soon as we crossed Highway 1 we walked to the sand, undressed and jumped into the Pacific. Body was instantly cleansed and felt so refreshing and gratifying. Ended the experience with a couple ice cold beers and a view of the sunset. PS: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do the whole hike in a day. Intrigue the mind and the body will follow.

Part of the trail was washed out so the detour made it a bit longer. Nice hike, lots of waterfalls, felt long tho

hiking
1 month ago

Although the air in Sept is dry, overall it's not bad.

Well maintained trail with lots of cover. Trail markers provided clear directions other than one spot (don’t take the bridge at mile 10, stay straight and head up). I did an out and back of first 10 miles and only saw two other people on the trail (granted it was a weekday). Large parking lot at start of trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike, but my AT app recoding is showing a mile more @ 13.5, than it’s listed for on AT (and my relatively accurate phone fitness app is showing 14.5). Not hard, but it is long. Trail was in good condition. Some minor rock scrabbling, some minor overgrowth in patches, lots of bugs btw Lane Camp and the Mill. Some pretty good overlooks of Big Basin valley along the Eastern side of the trail. Did it in 8 hrs with a 25 lb pack and two significant breaks (6.5 hr of actual walking time). Shade along the approach to the loop and its southern side but significant stretches of alternating full sun and dappled sun around the rest (from the 8oclock - 4oclock positions of the loop were a clock), glad I had my umbrella. The first chance for water this time of year was a bit downstream of the Johansen Mill and it was pretty stagnant.

We took the ridge trail down to the sea from the head quarters. It can be hard on your knees.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

I was really excited to do this loop. Long with lots of elevation gain. A perfect training hike for the Grand Canyon rim to rim hike I am doing in a month. The problem is that the connector trail is closed. Maybe reopening after summer. So after 13.5 miles I had to turn around and go back (I was hiking clockwise). Bummer. I enjoyed the first half of the hike.

Beautiful trail, only saw a small handful of other groups. A couple of closures on the way, but nothing too derailing.

Great views of the redwoods as we started at the trailhead. Very shaded throughout the trail until you reach higher elevation. Its says the trail is 4 miles, however it was probably more like 7 miles round trip. There were a lot of butterflies along the trail and once you reach the summit the view however to the ocean was not visible. That was a little disappointing. Overall we enjoyed the hike.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

The south side of the loop is where the waterfalls are. If you head west on this path you see the waterfalls from the bottom first. The whole trail is shaded and quite cool.

Good trail. Nice waterfalls.

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