Share:

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Start Exploring
Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Share:

Advertisement
  • Hiking along the Redwood Trail, Big Basin Redwood State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Father Of The Forest Tree, Big Basin Redwoods State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Mother Of The Forest Tree, Big Basin Redwoods State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Sequoia sempervirens is the scientific name for the coast redwood.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park Park Museum, at park headquarters. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Big Basin State Park museum.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Big Basin State park from the Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Looking Down On Big Basin from China Grade- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • The Skyline-To-The-Sea-Trail connects the park from the top of the Skyline ridge to the Pacific Ocean at Waddell Beach.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • View over the Santa Cruz Mountains from Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • A windsurfer preps at Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • A brown pelican takes flight at Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Dool Trail in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Trail cut into a fallen redwood at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Quiet and peaceful picnic areas are awaiting underneath the redwoods.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Redwood grove at Big Basin State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Big Basin State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Creeping Forest Trail in Big Basin State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • The winding Highway 239 near Big Basin State Park.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Waddell Beach.- Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Waddell Beach. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Preparing to windsurf at Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
  • Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Massive old-growth redwood forest. Abundant picnic areas.
Cons: 
Busy on weekends. Narrow and windy road.
Advertisement
Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Big Basin, California’s oldest State Park, is home to an impressive array of wildlife and pristine redwood groves. Although only 35 miles from San Jose, Big Basin State Park is a world away from the buzzing technology of Silicon Valley. 

Narrow roads that wind through the Santa Cruz Mountains give the park a secluded quality rarely experienced so near an urban center. In fact, cell reception is nonexistent; expect to disconnect and enjoy the solace for the duration of your trip. Likewise, a thick redwood canopy and the surrounding landscape disable most GPS devices, so be prepared with traditional orienteering tools if you venture out on the park’s 80 miles of hiking trails.

Approachable, family friendly trails such as Dool and Creeping Forest can be found near the well equipped day use picnic areas.  Gazos Picnic Area, across the Opal Creek Bridge, is removed from the noise and tourist action closer to the main gate. These nearly private sites feature potable water, picnic tables, fire pits and charcoal barbecues.

Big Basin State Park hosts a variety of camping options that include tent cabins, horse camps, walk-in tent sites and RV sites without hookups. Backcountry campsites are available along some of the more advanced routes such as the 30 mile Skyline to the Sea Trail. Dogs and fires are prohibited at trail camps. Reservations are recommended at all campsites during the drier summer months. Backcountry camps are closed November 1 through April 30.

Big Basin is a crumb-clean park, and the staff works very hard to keep the wildlife wild. The park’s free natural history museum allows you to get up close and personal with the animals that call Big Basin home. Firewood and sundries are available at the attached general store.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(18 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(100 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
53 Members
Who's Done It
94 Members
Submission by
Contributor
59 Adventures Explored
51 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info