Big Basin Redwoods State Park

If you are the type of person that loves the outdoors and marvels at the majesty of centuries-old redwood trees, then Big Basin Redwoods State Park is definitely the place for you! Located south of the Bay Area in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this state park is California’s oldest, earning its designation in 1902. Among many other outstanding sights, this park also features the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwood tress south of San Francisco. Covering more than 18,000 acres, this park is also home to many other majestic tree varieties, but none command the awe and respect that our state’s towering redwoods do and this is one of the best places to walk among them.

There are many different kinds of activities for those who love the outdoors, including camping, biking, backpacking, horse riding and picnicking but hiking is far and away the most popular activity here. There are many hiking trails that meander through the park, ranging from easy, with gentle ascents and descents, to strenuous paths designed for the experienced hiker. No matter which type of hiking suits you and your lifestyle, you can expect to witness many different natural wonders, including:

  • The aforementioned old-growth redwoods
  • One or more truly spectacular waterfalls (See official website for information about which trails pass near one or more.)
  • Birds, mammals and other forest creatures in their natural habitat
  • Pristine Pacific coast forestland
  • Reptiles, birds, plants and insects found in no or few other places
  • A smile on your face that simply will not go away!

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is also one of the best places in central California to go camping, with many different options available, such as:

  • 146 family campsites, complete with piped drinking water, restrooms and showers
  • 4 group campsites, which can accommodate groups up to 50 people (with the possibility of combining two sites for groups up to 100)
  • Tent cabins for those who want a sturdier roof over their heads
  • Backcountry trail camps
  • Horse camps
  • Other campsites off the beaten path for experienced hikers

There are many different activities available at this state park, depending on the time of year, weather and other factors. If Big Basin redwoods State Park sounds like your kind of place, your best bet is to visit the official sites at and You will find a wealth of information on both sites for planning your trip, how to get the most out of your experience and special events. If you crave the stillness of a redwood forest but it seems a world away from the concrete jungle of San Francisco and the Bay Area, that stillness is a lot closer than you think! Just head south for an hour or two and see the original skyscrapers down in Big Basin. You will definitely be glad you did!