California flag
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California
BigBasin.org - the only site for complete, current park information

Activities and Programs

If you love birds and butterflies CLICK HERE for information

Little Basin

Weddings and other special events

Rancho Del Oso Activities

Teachers
and others interested in Redwood Forest ecology will want to check out these links

Volunteer
Interested in joining the docent team at Big Basin? Click here for information

Big Basin has a full schedule of activities during the summer and on weekends during the fall, winter, and spring as staff allows. See park activities flyers posted at park headquarters and around the park or call +1 (831) 338-8883 for additional information. Program times subject to change.

Year Round Activities

Be sure to visit our Nature Museum, located across the street from Headquarters (follow the crosswalk from Headquarters). It’s open year-round, from 8-5. Discover Big Basin’s amazing natural resources!

Redwood Loop Trail
Naturalist Guided Walk
March through November:
Saturdays and Sundays 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM

On this easy, level, half-mile walk you will learn astonishing facts about the ancient redwood environment and see the tallest, most rare and most fascinating trees in Big Basin. Park docent-interpretive naturalists engage young and old alike with colorful park history, redwood reproduction and animal stories as you explore the mysteries of the forest. Meet the Mother of the Forest, the Father of the Forest, the Santa Clara, Animal and Chimney Trees, and more. Don't miss this informative walk on this historic trail! One hour. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. FREE

Docent Training
Join a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team of volunteer naturalists and park staff dedicated to helping the environment through education at Big Basin Redwoods State Park . Become a Big Basin Docent and learn to educate and inspire others to appreciate and protect our parks.

Big Basin Docents will be trained in redwood ecology, local history, and the art of public speaking. Docents lead guided walks, host the museum, and share their own interests and skills with the park and its visitors.

Docent training will be held at Big Basin in spring of 2010. While training is conducted every other year, we are always interested in meeting potential docents and finding ways to incorporate them into our program. 

Minimum requirements: Must be at least 16 years of age and be able to volunteer a minimum of six hours per month. A curious spirit and open mind are plusses!

Please call Susan Blake for information and applications at (831) 338-8883.

Click here for more information about becoming a docent at Big Basin.

RANCHO DEL OSO NATURE AND HISTORY CENTER

Located 16 miles north of Santa Cruz along Highway One, at the coastal side of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. (831) 427-2288

MARCH ACTIVITIES

Big Basin Needs You! Become a Volunteer!
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 March. 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

Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Berry Creek Falls Hike
Sunday, March 9 at 9:30 am
Travel deep into the heart of Big Basin as you experience a wide range of habitats on this moderate to strenuous 11-mile-loop hike. Wind through shady redwood canyons and climb dry ridges as you hike to the jewel of Big Basin—65-foot Berry Creek Falls. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Docent Bill Rhoades will guide you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Winter Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, March 15 at 10:00 am
Sunday, March 16 at 10:00 am
Flowers in the winter? Fall rains bring a whole new blooming season upon us—many plants survived through the long, hot, dry summer just waiting for the cooler, wetter months to return and refresh them. Lichens, mosses and many chaparral plants just begin blooming this time of year! Join docent Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Big Basin’s flowering plants. You’ll also visit several historical spots within the park. Saturday’s walk is a leisurely four-mile, four-hour amble that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed five-mile, five-hour amble that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin!
Sunday, March 16 at 12:00 noon
On this 4-hour, 4-mile leisurely hike with docent Barry Grimm we’ll traverse old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir forest in some of the park’s most scenic backcountry. We’ll look at the forest in new ways and share our findings. Compact digital cameras are encouraged to help us share what we see. This hike is suitable for adults and young adults who are diligent hikers. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. Heavy rain cancels.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, March 22 from 9:00-12:00 noon
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day (and year!) in Big Basin. Docent Norm Beeson will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity!

A Walk in the Past
Sunday, March 23 at 10:00 am
No Safeway? No Home Depot? No Pharmacy? How did the Ohlone Indians survive? Take a walk with Docent Diane Shaw and learn about some of the plants the Ohlones used for food, tools and medicine. This is a 4-mile, 3.5-hour walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, March 29 from 9:00-12:00 noon
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day (and year!) in Big Basin. Docent Kathy Willott will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity!

What's that Bird?
Saturday, March 29 at 10:00 am
This easy, one-mile stroll with docent Karen DeMello will introduce you to the birds of the redwood forest. Beginner birders are welcomed! Bring binoculars if you have them–but they’re not required. Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Saturday, March 29 at 1:30 pm
On this dog-friendly walk, we travel on North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We'll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun, easy, three-mile, two-hour roundtrip walk with docent Elise Scripps and her dogs Brie and Peanut. Dogs are not required, but they’re welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin!
Sunday, March 30 at 12:00 noon
On this 4-hour, 4-mile leisurely hike with docent Barry Grimm we’ll traverse old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir forest in some of the park’s most scenic backcountry. We’ll look at the forest in new ways and share our findings. Compact digital cameras are encouraged to help us share what we see. This hike is suitable for adults and young adults who are diligent hikers. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. Heavy rain cancels.

APRIL ACTIVITIES

Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, April 5 from 9:00-12:00 noon
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day (and year!) in Big Basin. Docent Norm Beeson will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity!

Hike to Buzzard’s Roost
Sunday, April 6 at 10:00 am
Develop your hiking muscles with this challenging 5-mile round trip to Buzzard’s Roost with docent Steve Stolper. We’ll gain 1,200 feet in elevation as we hike to a dramatic rock formation with a commanding view of the park. After a relaxed lunch on the rocks, we’ll return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin!
Sunday, April 6 at 12:00 noon
On this 4-hour, 4-mile leisurely hike with docent Barry Grimm we’ll traverse old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir forest in some of the park’s most scenic backcountry. We’ll look at the forest in new ways and share our findings. Compact digital cameras are encouraged to help us share what we see. This hike is suitable for adults and young adults who are diligent hikers. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. Heavy rain cancels.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew!
Saturday, April 12 at 9:00 am (must be 18 years of age or older)
Since 1969 the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew has helped make it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park. The Trail Crew meets the second Saturday of each month, rain or shine. A typical workday lasts until mid-afternoon. Please bring your own work gloves, lunch and water. Join us for a unique perspective of Big Basin, a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests, and the satisfaction of participating in a vital part of the park's ability to educate and inspire the public! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Shadowbrook Stroll
Saturday, April 12 at 10:00 am
Join docent Peggy O’Shea as she guides you on a less-traveled trail that takes you by Union Creek, to the Sempervirens Falls and back through the redwoods. This is a four-mile, 3.5-hour hike. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Berry Creek Falls Hike
Sunday, April 13 at 9:30 am
Travel deep into the heart of Big Basin as you experience a wide range of habitats on this moderate to strenuous 11-mile-loop hike. Wind through shady redwood canyons and climb dry ridges as you hike to the jewel of Big Basin—65-foot Berry Creek Falls. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Docent Bill Rhoades will guide you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Bug Hunt
Sunday, April 13 at 11:00 am
Join us for a two-hour Bug Hunt in the Big Basin headquarters area. See some incredible little creatures close up! Bring your sharp eyes and a hand lens, binoculars and camera if you have any, or just catch a magnified look on Docent Scott Peden’s camera. Rain or strong wind cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, April 19 at 10:00 am
Sunday, April 20 at 10:00 am
Join docent Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Big Basin’s flowering plants. You’ll also visit several historical spots within the park. Saturday’s walk is a leisurely four-mile, four-hour amble that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed five-mile, five-hour amble that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Shadowbrook Stroll
Saturday, April 19 at 10:30 am
Join docent Peggy O’Shea as she guides you on a less-traveled trail that takes you by Union Creek, to the Sempervirens Falls and back through the redwoods. This is a four-mile, 3.5-hour hike. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Saturday, April 19 at 1:30 pm
On this dog-friendly walk, we travel on North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We'll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun, easy, three-mile, two-hour roundtrip walk with docent Elise Scripps and her dogs Brie and Peanut. Dogs are not required, but they’re welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Hike to Ocean View Summit

Sunday, April 20 at 10:30 am
Escape the crowds on this 6-mile loop through shaded forest to a hilltop view of the coast. We climb the Meteor Trail through the trees, gaining 600 feet before emerging at Ocean View Summit. After a relaxed lunch we descend back into the forest and return to headquarters. Bring *at least* one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. This hike lead by docent Steve Stolper runs rain or shine. Meet at Park Headquarters.

In the Shadows of the Ancients
Saturday, April 26 at 10:00 am
Meander along North Escape Road with docent Kathy Willott and discover the ancient redwoods and the flowers, ferns and other plants that exist around the corners and within the hidden crevices of the redwood forest. This hike will be about 5.5 miles roundtrip and last four hours. Please bring lunch and water. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin!
Saturday, April 26 at 12:00 noon
On this 4-hour, 4-mile leisurely hike with docent Barry Grimm we’ll traverse old-growth redwood and Douglas-fir forest in some of the park’s most scenic backcountry. We’ll look at the forest in new ways and share our findings. Compact digital cameras are encouraged to help us share what we see. This hike is suitable for adults and young adults who are diligent hikers. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. Heavy rain cancels.

A Walk in the Past
Sunday, April 27 at 12:00 noon
No Safeway? No Home Depot? No Pharmacy? How did the Ohlone Indians survive? Take a walk with docent Eva Fewel and learn about some of the plants the Ohlones used for food, tools and medicine. This is a 4-mile, 3.5-hour walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Felling the Giants
Sunday, April 27 at 1:00 pm
Logging was the major industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over 50 years. How did lumbermen cut down these tall, tall trees? What was life like in a logging camp? What tools did they use? Join docent Paul Fewel as he tells stories of the logging days and demonstrates how loggers were able to fell these giants—without chainsaws! Meet at Park Headquarters.