Home to the largest continuous stand of ancient redwoods south of San Francisco, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers and explorers alike. Located off of Highway 1 just 20 miles north of Santa Cruz, this site is California’s oldest state park in existence today. Established in 1902, this park features ancient redwood trees taller than the Statue of Liberty and older than the Roman Empire in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The campground features 142 campsites underneath the redwoods, and tent cabins equipped with wooden stoves, two double-sized beds and an outdoor picnic table. Each cabin can sleep up to four people. On the coastal side of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, reservations can be made for guests to camp overnight with their horses. Backpacking trips are offered by the California State Parks Backpacking Adventures Program. These overnight excursions are led by park interpretive specialists and are offered during the summertime. There are 5 back-country trail camps within Big Basin Redwoods State Park that require reservations.
There are additional back-country trail camps in surrounding State Parks that can link to Big Basin such as Castle Rock State Park and Butano State Park. The Skyline to the Sea Trail begins at Castle Rock State Park and ends at Rancho Del Oso and Waddell State Beach. The park has various waterfalls and a unique ecosystem of lush redwood forest mixed with conifer, oaks and more. Wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and bobcats are visible during certain times of the year. Bicycles are permitted on all fire roads and the lower portion of the Skyline to the Sea Trail from the base of Berry Creek Falls to the Rancho del Oso ranger office. Visit the Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center located on the coastal portion of the park for information on Big Basin Redwoods State Park’s origins and creatures native to the land. Free programs are available throughout the year including guided tours, holiday celebrations, children’s activities, and more.