Big Basin Redwoods State ParkLeave review
About Big Basin Redwoods State Park
In the heart of the Santa Cruz mountains you can find California’s oldest state park – Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It is home to the largest continuous stand of ancient Coastal Redwoods south of San Francisco. Some of the giant trees are more than 50 feet around and as tall as the Statue of Liberty. In addition to the beautiful, historic trees (some which predate the Roman Empire), the park offers insane views of the Pacific Ocean, thriving waterfalls, and a fascinating natural and cultural history.
Elevation in the park varies from sea level to above 2,000 feet and the natural features are diverse, ranging from lush canyons filled with giant redwoods to sparse chaparral-covered slopes. With over 18,000 acres of area to hike, bike and play in, there is no opportunity for boredom at Big Basin. Big Basin Redwoods state park camping offers 146 campsites, four group sites, tent cabins, backcountry trail camps, and horse camping. So what’re you waiting for? Book your Big Basin camping adventure!
Campgrounds in Big Basin Redwoods
Blooms Creek Campground offers a perfect Big Basin camping experience amongst the redwoods, provides many nearby hiking options, and multiple...
As Doc Holiday says, “I’ll be your Huckleberry. ” While he most likely wasn’t referring to this Big Basin camping site, this is not a spot to be...
No tent, no problem. These spacious cabins are the most luxurious place to stay on your next Big Basin Redwoods State Park camping adventure. The...
Hidden away about 1. 5 miles from the Big Basin Redwoods State Park headquarters, the Wastahi Campgrounds are quiet and beautifully forested to...
You might not be seeing too many skies or meadows with all of these ancient redwoods in the way, but this site offers the best of Big Basin camping...
Drop some Big Basin Redwoods knowledge on us.
This is a beautiful area with fantastic, long trails, so you can't go too wrong getting a campsite anywhere in Big Basin Redwood State Park. That said, site 60 in Huckleberry is right beside the parking lot and across from the bathrooms/dumpster, so I probably wouldn't pick it (or surrounding sites) again. It's also pretty close to the other sites, so you can hear their music/see their fire. Overall, more of a quick-and-dirty party site than a secluded getaway.
Also stayed in 122B - it was incredible! So much room to spread out amongst the trees, a good distance from neighbors, and backs up to the creek. The campground itself is pretty magical, nestled amongst the redwoods, plus several bathrooms and showers available.
Campsite 85 is uphill but definitely secluded and had lots of space for our kids to run around. First night was super buggy, second night wasn't. No issues with animals at night. Beautiful space to camp. Ranger programs, great gift and camp shop and cafe.
Stayed at campsite 1 on Labor Day weekend and the site was spacious and private. There were almost 40 of us and we had plenty of room! The only complaint I have is the toilets are very close to the hanging out area and we most definitely got a whiff of it the whole time. You can use the showers at any of the other campgrounds.
The tent cabins are perfect for winter camping weekends. It got pretty cold and rainy and the heater kept us nice and toasty. Beds were a bit hard, but not bad. We stayed in #16 which was great to hear the creek close by but was really muddy all around the site. Lots of trails in close distance, we even got to play a 'find-the-mushroom' game with the toddler which kept her going. Bathrooms close by had both hand dryers and soap, which is always nice. I would definitely return.
Beautiful campground, though some sites are small if trying to fit 2 tents in. Great restroom/shower amenities, and just a very short car ride to the park HQ where many of the popular trailheads are (can park at the HQ lot). My only knock against Big Basin is that it's one of the most popular and crowded state parks I've visited, so need to reserve very early in advance.
Spring is the best time to see the park's best-known waterfall, 70-foot-high Berry Creek Falls. This is also an 11-mile hike, so make time for it!
One cool thing to see is Chimney Tree, a living, growing redwood entirely hollow from top to bottom.
Are you a fan of the fungi? If so, make sure you go after a rain in the fall...you’ll see the little suckers popping out everywhere!
Be careful of the critters (raccoons and squirrels), they would love to eat your food.
Great for families, lots of short flat but fun hikes for small children. Campsites are large and many have good privacy. Blooms creek campgrounds are awesome. Family nature walk at 1pm and Jr. Ranger activity at 3pm daily.
Beautiful and well maintained camp - I stayed in the Sempervirens Loop, which was a little more private and quiet than the main camps, where there were a lot of families, etc.
There are loads of great hikes to take, for all persuasions, from very easy short loops to long, challenging hikes. Camp centre is well equipped: firewood for sale, a well stocked gift shop and small grocery/cafe with espresso, snacks and a small museum attached.
Showers are a quarter for two minutes, but beware - they aren't very warm!
This is a great place to stay a few nights, hike and check out the redwoods and the abundant wildlife. It's a beautiful place. Boulder Creek down the road is a very quaint mountain town, and worth a look as well.
Dates: November 18-22, 2016
Overall Experience: Extremely positive
We had never been here before, so we didn’t know what to expect, but I reserved a tent cabin instead of a tent-only site because heavy rain was projected for both Sat and Sun. Turned out to be a great decision as the tent cabin provided the perfect shelter to keep our supplies dry and served as a perfect home base for hiking as it lies in the middle of countless trails of differing difficulties.
My one criticism of site 11, in particular (Not sure if this is an issue with other sites in the campground), is that the heavy rain flooded most of our site making it unusable (you certainly wouldn’t be able to pitch a tent). But we found ways to deal with it.
Big Basin is stunning! I stayed in site 105 right by the entrance. I didn't mind the cars occasionally passing by but if you want peace and quiet you may want to pick sites closer to the creek. The only thing I didn't like about 105 is the driveway has a gutter and it scraped the bottom of my car so park on the side if you can or if you're in an SUV, you'll be fine. Besides that, I had an amazing experience and can't wait to go back!
Lovely campground - amazing to be able to sleep surrounded by giant redwoods. We came here on a rainy weekend in the fall and camped in the tent-only spot 61H. Though it's next to the restrooms, it was a quieter weekend so there wasn't too much noise or light distractions. And on that note, the restrooms were the cleanest I've seen of any campground!
However, beware if you're camping here during a particularly rainy period - we (along with most others in the campground) packed up a day early. Because the tent pitch areas are lower than surrounding areas, you may end up with your tent submerged in a few cm of water! I'm hoping to come back again to fully explore the Sea to Skyline trail.
History of Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Ohlone tribes that lived on the water courses which begin in Big Basin Redwoods State Park were the first inhabitants in this area. In 1769 the Portola Expedition “discovered” the redwoods in the south Santa Cruz Area and camped at the beginning of Waddell Creek. They were all mostly ill with scurvy, however the bountiful land produced berries which they attributed to their quick recovery. Thus they gave the valley the name, “Canada de la Salud” or Canyon of Health.
During the Spanish occupation of the area, Big Basin continued to serve as a refuge for the Ohlone Indians. They had an active resistance to the Spanish power which was led by Charquin, a leader of the Quiroste people in the area.
By the late 19th century, the redwood forests were gaining a type of international appreciation. A group of well known conservationists led the movement to create a recognized park and preserve the majestic forests. In 1902 the “California Redwood Park” was established on the 3,800 acres that is Big Basin.
In the following years, visitation grew steadily as park amenities were built. During the Great Depression era, the Civilian Conservation Corps whom were assigned to the area, built the amphitheater, trails and many buildings. The infrastructure, built then, still serves us today!