Hike Date: July 22, 2009
Distance: 4.5 miles
Trail(s): Redwood Trail, Sequoia Trail, Shadowbrook Trail
Where’s it at? Santa Cruz Mountains, Hwy 236, Boulder Creek, CA


Big Basin Redwoods State Park was established in 1902 and preserves a gorgeous area of old growth Redwood Trees. There are a number of different groves of Redwoods here and visitors are treated to plenty of other flora and fauna including the Banana Slug. Activities in the park include hiking, camping, biking, backpacking, horesback riding, and wildlife viewing and photography. It is home to Berry Creek Falls, Sempervirens Falls, and the famous Mother Tree, a giant redwood viewed from the Redwood Loop Walk, among many other lesser-known attractions.

On this visit I parked at the park HQ and hiked counterclockwise on the Sequoia Trail. This is a single track trail travelling just far enough from the road to give serenity. It runs through a few of the hike in campgrounds shortly after starting. I then sidetracked on the Shadowbrook Trail to pay Sempervirens Falls a visit. There is a nice stairway and deck leading down to the falls and pool below. While it is a good view and nice thing to check out, these were not spectacular falls by any means when I visited. Perhaps a better show is presented after a good rain or in mid to late winter.

After the falls I got back to the Sequoia Trail and continued my counterclockwise hike. Eventually you end up at the Slippery Rock Trail, which is the steepest part of the hike up a solid rock floor. As the name suggests, it is fairly slippery, I’m sure it’s VERY slippery when it’s wet with rainfall, but on my trip it was pretty dry. I then hiked back to the HQ along Hwy 236 which I believe is still part of a loop formed by the Sequoia Trail.

After a quick lunch at the shop near the Headquarters, I decided to take the very scenic and serene Redwood Loop Trail to take in the giant Sequoias. There is a map available that allows you to view numbered sections and read along. Most of the trees are protected by a wooden fence so you can’t really get up too close to them, but close enough to take in the width and height of these amazing redwoods.

The best time to visit is probably Fall, unless waterfalls is your primary reason for visiting. The weather can get a little hot and humid, but it’s mostly shaded by tree canopy so would offer a good escape from inland bay area locations on a hot summer day.

Photos from Big Basin (click to enlarge)

Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin
Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin
Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin
Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin Hiking among Redwoods at Big Basin

Directions to Big Basin State Park


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