The park features family and group camping, tent cabins, backpacking camps, hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. The park is open year round and reservations are encouraged during the summer.
The park has over 80 miles of trails. Be sure and pick up a map at park headquarters before your hike and take a look at the multimedia kiosk in the Sempervirens Room (next to park headquarters). There you will find great information, photos, and video of some of the most popular trails.
Some trails link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. The Skyline to the Sea Trail threads its way through the park along Waddell Creek to the beach and adjacent Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve, a freshwater marsh.
The park has a surprising number of waterfalls and a wide variety of environments from lush canyon bottoms to sparse chaparral-covered slopes. Many animals such as deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, an occasional bobcat, mountain lion, and many bird species--including California quail, egret, heron, hawk, owl, woodpecker, and the endangered marbled murrelet--call Big Basin home. And of course there are always plenty of banana slugs
Little Basin, once a retreat and campground for Hewlett Packard employees, is a 534-acre California State Parks campground that was recently added to Big Basin Redwoods State Park though a donation by the Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund. Though an innovative approach in park operations and a public/private partnership, Little Basin will be run by the long established non-profit management organization United Camps, Conferences, and Retreats (UCCR).
Beginning in the summer of 2011 Little Basin opened for reservations. Groups of four or more can camp in this majestic redwood forest with its expansive meadows. Just a short drive from the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Little Basin features beautiful group camping areas, exquisite redwood campsites, cabins, and miles of hiking trails.
For more information, visit the Little Basin website at www.littlebasin.org.
Seasons/Climate at Big Basin
Fall: Warm days to cold nights. There are occasional early storms with rain. Average highs range from the 60s to about 75, lows from the 50s to about 30. Quite possibly the best weather of the year!
Winter: Cold, overcast and rainy. Big Basin receives the majority of its average 48 inches of rain. Average temperatures from December through March range from highs in the 50s to lows in the 20s.
Spring: Spring: Cool with showers and morning and evening fog. Average daytime highs are in the 60s, lows in the 30s to 40s.
Summer: Summer: Warm with cool nights. Expect morning fog in early summer. Average highs range from 75 to 95, lows from the 40s to 50s.
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Please note: Big Basin Redwoods State Park closes at sunset.
Big Basin Needs You!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is looking for curious, caring individuals to become docent volunteers. You can be part of a team dedicated to helping the environment through education. Learn about the magnificent old-growth redwoods and Big Basin’s wonderful cultural history, then share your knowledge with the public. Training begins in April. Please contact the park at (831) 338-8883 for information and applications.
-Become part of a team dedicated to helping the environment through education
-Learn to lead guided walks for school groups and the general public
-Gain natural history knowledge of the coast redwoods and their ecosystem
-Share a part of yourself with the community
-Support California State Parks
Want to hike Big Basin’s Skyline to the Sea Trail from Big Basin to Waddell Beach but don’t have a car or would prefer to “go green”? For $2.00 each way, starting on March 15 and going through September 11, weekend bus service will allow hikers to catch a bus from downtown Santa Cruz to Big Basin, arriving at 9:45 am. The Skyline to the Sea Trail takes you from amazing coast redwoods to the beautiful Waddell Beach where a Santa Cruz Metro bus will be waiting, leaving at 5:15 pm to take you back to Santa Cruz.*
For those who would like to hike the Berry Creek Falls/ Skyline to the Sea trail loop or just spend the day hiking on some of Big Basin’s 81 miles of trails and return home later that day, the same bus will drop you off at park headquarters at 9:45 am and pick you up at 7:45 pm to start your journey home.
To confirm fares, schedule and route information, call Santa Cruz Metro, 831-425-8600 or visit their website, http://www.scmtd.com.
Looking for info in Little Basin?
The Big Basin History Project would like to hear from you if you have old photos, brochures, personal recollections, etc, of Big Basin and would like to share them with the park. Contact Susan Blake at email@example.com.