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

Hiking and Camping

Click here for information about guided hikes

Hiking on Your Own

Easy hiking:
Redwood Loop Trail
Maddock Cabin Site
Sequoia Trail

Moderate hiking:
Sequoia Trail

Strenuous hiking:
Berry Creek Falls

Other trails



Backpacking in Big Basin

Trail Map by mail

Trail maps may be purchased by mail by contacting the Mountain Parks Foundation at +1 831 335-3174. Trail maps may also be purchased at park headquarters when you arrive. Trail maps are not available for order via the internet.

Click here to download Skyline to the Sea trail camp information (Adobe PDF)

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Skyline to the Sea Trail Camps

The Skyline to the Sea Trail begins at Castle Rock State Park, passes though Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and ends 32 miles later at Waddell beach. There are two trail maps in a topographic format that cover the entire system and are available for purchase though the Mountain Parks Foundation (831-335-3174). There are also the Big Basin & Castle Rock Maps, which detail the trail in those respective parks. They may be obtained for $5.00 each from the Mountain Parks Foundation, 525 North Big Trees Park Rd., Felton Ca. 95018. We strongly recommend having these maps in your possession while planning your backpack trail camp trip! The elevation changes and mileage between trail camps vary. Trail camps are designed for en route camping, which means you must stay in a different trail camp each night of your trip. The maps will help you take all these factors into consideration prior to making your reservation.

There are 3 major starting points on the trail system: Castle Rock, Big Basin Headquarters and Waddell Beach. Depending on the section of trail and trail camps you plan on using one of these is likely to be your starting point. Each of these trail heads have somewhat different registration procedure

A Trail Camp Employee is on duty Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM.

Click here for complete camp fee information.

Starting Point: Castle Rock

Park your car in the parks parking lot off Highway 35 (approximately 3 miles south of the Highway 9 and Highway 35 junction). Use the self- registration "Iron Ranger" envelopes to register.

Starting Point: Big Basin Headquarters

Register, pay trail camp fees and get trail permit at Big Basin Park Headquarters (Headquarters) during office hours. When Headquarters is closed, use the "Iron Ranger." You will be directed where to park your vehicle.

Starting Point: Rancho Del Oso

Park entrance is on Highway 1, 4 miles north of Davenport. Trail head will be directly opposite the Waddell beach parking lot north of Waddell creek (Not the Rancho Del Oso Nature and history center entrance). You will find a closed gate with a privet Rd. (close the gate behind you) to office and parking area. Use "iron ranger" to register, follow posted written instructions.

Iron Ranger Self - registration procedures

If offices are closed and no staff is present, use the "iron ranger" envelopes to pay fees. You need to:

Bring EXACT CHANGE with you.

Use the name the reservation was made under on the envelopes.

Leave the envelope flap on the dash of your car.

Pay for second vehicle as posted.

Trail Camp Fees

Trail Camp Reservations are required as the camps often fill up, call
(831) 338-8861. Reservations are taken Monday though Saturday only from
10am to 5pm only. There is a one time non-refundable reservation fee of $8.00 After calling in your reservation, mail your $8.00 reservation fee to 21600 Big
Basin Way Boulder Creek, Ca. 95006. There is an additional camping fee is
$15.00 per site per night. This fee includes 1 vehicle and up to 6 people.
Any extra vehicles are $10.00 each.

Reservations are taken Monday through Friday only from 9am to 5pm only.



There are NO fires allowed in the trail camps. Backpack camp stoves only! (The only exception to this rule is the Castle Rock Camp where fires are allowed in the provided fire rings during the winter months. Also Castle Rock is only camp with picnic tables, normally December.- May).


Water is available ONLY at Castle Rock, Waterman Gap and Jay Camp. Bring your own water or a micro-filtration unit can be used to treat the creek water.


Dogs are welcome in the park but must be on a leash at all times. They are allowed in the picnic area, the campground area, and on paved roads only. Dogs are not allowed on any other trails or interior roads. They must be kept in the car or tent at night. They may not be left unattended.

Check at Park Headquarters for scheduled guided "dog walks." These informative group hikes give dog owners a chance to take their dogs along while learning about redwood ecology and park history.