Various trails lead out from the center of the park to interesting areas of the park. Some of the most popular trails are listed here.
Redwood Trail ½-mile loop, self-guided nature trail, passing some of the tallest trees in the park, including Mother of the Forest.
Sequoia Trail 4 mile loop connecting with Skyline to the Sea Trail, passing Sempervirens Falls, Founders Monument, and Slippery Rock.
Maddocks Cabin Site 4-mile trail beginning on Skyline to the Sea Trail and returning on connecting trails, passing Maddocks Cabin Site, Opal Creek, and old-growth redwoods.
Berry Creek Falls 10.5 miles round-trip to the four cascades on Berry Creek, passing many of the largest redwoods.
Activities and Programs
Guided Nature Walks - Ranger led walks through the park to some of the most interesting features such as Chimney Tree, Opal Creek, and Ocean View Summit. Hikes vary in length.
Campfire Talks at the Campfire Center in afternoon or evening, programs vary.
Junior Rangers Ages 7-12 discover the secrets of the forest. Learn about plants and animals, play games. One hour.
Big Basin Nature Club Ages 3-6 and their families. Play, pretend, and explore the redwood forest. ½-hour.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park and other state and national parks have a Crumb Clean policy. The purpose of the program is to protect wildlife by keeping human food away from animals. Big Basin visitors are asked to store food in such a way that animals cannot get to it. This includes never feeding wildlife and properly disposing of all garbage - even crumbs.
Jays and ravens thrive on crumbs, increasing their populations above natural numbers in the park. These aggressive birds attack the eggs of endangered Marbled Murrelets which nest high atop the redwood canopy.
Big Basin Camping
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 25 miles north of Santa Cruz. Those seeking Big Basin Camping have choices from a variety of beautiful camping destinations set among the trees. Big Basin features three standard tent and RV campgrounds, one walk-in campground, two group camps, and a Hike n Bike campground. In addition, one of the campgrounds offers tent cabins.
Established in 1902 to become California's first state park, Big Basin is best known for its expansive groves of old-growth coast redwoods, it meandering creeks, and its many delightful trails. The weather ranges from cool and foggy to warm and sunny. Big Basin Camping is considered by many the premier destination in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Blooms Creek Campground enjoys the advantage of being within easy walking distance of the park center. Campsites are in two sections on either side of Blooms Creek.
Huckleberry Campground is spread along Sempervirens Creek 1½ miles from the park headquarters. Campsites are well separated among the trees.
Included in Huckleberry Campground is a tent-cabin area.
Sempervirens Campground is ¾-mile from the park headquarters at the confluence of Blooms Creek and Sempervirens Creek. Well-spaced campsites have spacious settings among the trees.
Wastahi Walk-in Campground is for tent camping only. No generators may be operated in the campground. Campsites are spread among the trees a short distance from a designated parking area.
Sky Meadow Group Camps each have space for up to 40 campers. Unlike most facilities in Big Basin, Sky Meadow Camps have pit toilets and no showers.
Sequoia Group Campground is ½-mile from the center of the park. Two group areas each can accommodate up to 50 people. Excellent camping amenities include make the sites popular destinations for groups.
Jay Trail Camp is a Hike and Bike site near Blooms Creek Campground.
Among the Many Popular Big Basin Trails
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Facilities
Park Headquarters - Open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Park staff can answer questions and assist with concerns. Trails maps for sale.
General Store 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM in summer. Hours vary other times of year. Closed December and January. Camping supplies, groceries.
Museum Open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Historic photographs, exhibits about redwood forest, plants and animals.
The nearest shopping outside the park is in Boulder Creek, about 9 miles from the park headquarters.
Big Basin Camping Headquarters
ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips
California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.