Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

On the far northeastern tip of Big Basin Redwoods State Park you will find Waterman Gap Trail Camp. This primitive six-space campsite is only accessible by hiking 6.5 miles via the Skyline to Sea Trail from Saratoga Gap or 9.5 miles from Big Basin Headquarters. Potable water and restrooms are the only amenities you can expect to find here.

The parks promote the Leave No Trace ethic, so you must pack out everything you pack in. There are no fires allowed here, but camp stoves are okay. Each camp space can hold up to six people, and you are allowed to reserve two spaces. This campsite is closed from December 1 to April 30. 

While camp spaces 2, 3, and 4 are marked, they are not well defined, so use your best judgment when setting up camp. Sites 1, 5, and 6 are a little more private. You must reserve any of the trail camps in Big Basin or Castle Rock State Parks ahead of time. There is an $8 reservation fee for each trail camp location, and the site fee is $15 per night. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Reservation Fee


Restrooms and potable water.


No fires.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Managed by

California State Parks

Reservation phone number

1 (831) 338-8861


Flushing toilets
Potable water


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Big Basin is closed indefinitely due to the August 2020 lightning fire; see the Big Basin page for details.
The hike from Castle Rock State Park main entrance to Waterman Gap Trail Camp had some beautiful views, but be aware that for quite a while you can hear gun shots from a nearby artillery range as well as road noise, especially at the camp site. Also, there are 2 routes to take once you reach the intersection of Saratoga Toll Road Trail (STRT) and Beekhuis Road: if you go toward hwy 9, you follow 9 and hear road noise. If you continue on STRT, it's about 5 miles longer (15 miles instead of about 10). Road noise continues from Waterman Gap to the Ridge Trail/236 intersection, which is at least 3 miles.
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