Established all the way back in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the oldest park of its kind in California. Located around thirty miles north of Santa Cruz, you can enjoy the unforgettable experience of wandering through forests populated with giant redwood trees when you join one of the park's well-trodden hiking trails before heading to one of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park cabins.
Best Hiking Trails in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
With over 80 miles of hiking trails, there are plenty of paths for visitors to choose from before resting up for the night in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park hotels.
1. Redwood Loop Trail
An easy hiking trail suitable for visitors of all ages, the Redwood Loop Trail is less than a mile in length and yet still manages to take in many of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park's highlights, including the Father and Mother of the Forest - the largest trees in the park at 250 feet and 203 feet in height respectively.
2. Skyline to the Sea
If you enjoy big panoramic viewpoints, head out onto the four-mile Skyline to the Sea trail. This route takes you first to a viewing platform above the Sempervirens Falls, before following the path of Opal Creek past towering redwood trees.
3. Berry Creek Falls
The more demanding trail to Berry Creek Falls can take most of the day. Although it is only 10 miles in length, you gain over 2,000 feet in height as you make your way through the redwood forest, along streams and past waterfalls.
Best Family Activities in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Kids will love the chance to explore the unique environment of this California park, as well as enjoying the chance to stay in the forest itself in one of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park cabins
1. Rancho del Oso Nature and History Centre
Rancho del Oso is the coastal section of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and is home to an excellent visitor center with exhibits and activities relating to the area's cultural and natural heritage.
Many of the trails near the Big Basin Redwoods State Park cabins are also suitable for mountain bikes. The Skyline to the Sea trail is particularly popular with cyclists, but make sure you bring all your equipment with you. If you prefer to take things more steadily, horseback rides are also available in the nearby Rancho del Oso.
3. Guided hikes
Kids of all ages will get more out of their visit to Big Basin Redwoods State Park if you sign up for a guided hike with a local ranger, who can point out the best specimens of redwood trees, as well as other plants and animals.