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Park Events

Events & Activities at Big Basin

All events and activities are free. Day-use vehicle fee is $10.

Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation, Waddell Creek Association, and California State Parks.

 

NOVEMBER ACTIVITIES

Redwood Grove Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2 pm
AND Friday, November 24 Green Friday at 11 am and 2 pm
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? 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.

Exploring Big Basin
EVERY Tuesday at 9 am
Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, geology, history and more on these fun, varied hikes with Docent Diane Shaw. Hikes are 5-8 miles and last up to 5 hours. We go rain or shine, but strong winds may cancel. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Saturday, November 25 at 12 pm
AND Sunday, November 26 at 12 pm
Explore the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike will be tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park’s most scenic areas. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Snakes Alive!
Saturday, November 25 from 12-3 pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Sempervirens Room/Park Headquarters and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Stop by anytime to meet the snake and talk to Diane.

DECEMBER ACTIVITIES

Redwood Grove Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm
AND Friday, December 1 at 1 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.

Exploring Big Basin
EVERY Tuesday at 9 am
Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, geology, history and more on these fun, varied hikes with Docent Diane Shaw. Hikes are 5-8 miles and last up to 5 hours. We go rain or shine, but strong winds may cancel. Meet at Park Headquarters.

A Walk in the Past
Saturday, December 2 at 10 am
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, 2.5-hour walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, December 2 from 10-1
AND Sunday, December 10 from 9:30-12:30
AND Saturday, December 23 from 10-1
AND Saturday, December 30 from 10-1
AND Sunday, December 31 from 10-1
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. A Docent 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!

Felling the Giants!
Saturday, December 2 at 11:30 am
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! You get to use some tools too! Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Saturday, December 2 at 12 noon
AND Saturday, December 9 at 12 noon
AND Saturday, December 16 at 12 noon
AND Sunday, December 17 at 12 noon
AND Saturday, December 30 at 12 noon
Explore the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike will be tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park’s most scenic areas. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Outlook from Mt. McAbee
Sunday, December 3 at 10:30 am
AND Sunday, December 10 at 10:30 am
Join Docent Hal Anjo on a hike to McAbee Outlook. We'll stop at the top and enjoy the lovely ocean views, returning through a beautiful old-growth redwood forest. Learn about the different habitats as you watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view. Difficulty level is moderate. The hike is six miles and about three and a half hours. Bring plenty of water, snacks and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew
Saturday, December 9 at 9 am
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.

Meteor Trail Hike
Saturday, December 9 at 10:30 am
AND Saturday, December 23 at 10:30 am
Join Docent Peggy O’Shea on one of our most diverse hikes—by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Holiday Redwood Loop Walk: The Nutcracker
Saturday December 9 at 1 pm
Enjoy a festive walk in the famous old-growth redwoods at Big Basin with Docent Karen DeMello. We'll listen to the Nutcracker Suite and imagine the forest performing the ballet along the easy, level, half-mile Redwood Loop Trail. This walk is dedicated to the memory of Big Basin Docent Scott Peden. Dress warmly. 1-1/2 hours. If it's raining, we'll listen inside our warm Sempervirens Room. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Hidden Gems of Big Basin: Wildflowers and Other Beauties Hike
Saturday, December 16 at 10 am
There are many less-famous yet still beautiful plants in the redwood forest. Join Docent Diane Shaw on this 4-mile, 3-4-hour hike and meet some hidden gems of Big Basin! Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Hike to Buzzard’s Roost
Sunday, December 17 from 10-2
Develop your hiking muscles with this challenging 5-mile round trip to Buzzard’s Roost. Join Docent Steve Stolper for a hike to a dramatic rock formation with a commanding view of the park. We gain 1,200 feet in elevation on the way up. After a relaxed lunch on the rocks, we return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Sempervirens Falls Hike
Sunday, December 17 at 10:30 am
This beautiful hike takes you by Sempervirens Falls, old-growth redwoods, Ohlone grinding rocks, the birthplace of Big Basin and more! Join Docent Hal Anjo on this 4-mile, 3-hour hike. Bring water and snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Nature’s Reading Room
Saturday, December 23 from 1-3 pm
AND Sunday, December 31 from 1-3 pm
Come sit in our beautiful redwood Sempervirens Room (next to Park Headquarters), and choose a nature book or two to read with your family next to a roaring fire. Drop by anytime between 1:00-3:00 and Docent Norm Beeson will help you find the perfect book for your family to enjoy.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Sunday, December 24 at 10 am
On this dog-, stroller- and wheelchair-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 Diane Shaw. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Snakes Alive!
Saturday, December 30 from 12-3 pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Sempervirens Room at Park Headquarters and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Stop by anytime to meet the snake and talk to Diane.

JANUARY ACTIVITIES

FIRST DAY HIKES
MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2018
Start your year off right, with a rejuvenating visit to California’s oldest state park! Enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and connect with nature and our ancient redwoods.

Sempervirens Falls Hike
Sunday, January 14 at 9 am
This beautiful hike takes you by Sempervirens Falls, old-growth redwoods, Ohlone grinding rocks, the birthplace of Big Basin and more! Join Docent Tom Batley on this 4-mile, 3-hour hike. Bring water and snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Monday, January 1 from 9:30-12:30
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day 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!

Meteor Trail Hike
Monday, January 1 at 10:30 am
Join Docent Hal Anjo on one of our most diverse hikes—by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Monday, January 1 at 12 noon
Explore the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike is individually tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we'll choose from the many trails that explore our most scenic areas. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Redwood Grove Loop Walk
Monday, January 1 at 1 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. Heavy rain cancels.

JANUARY ACTIVITIES
 
Redwood Grove Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1 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.

Exploring Big Basin
EVERY Tuesday at 9 am
Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, geology, history and more on these fun, varied hikes with Docent Diane Shaw. Hikes are 5-8 miles and last up to 5 hours. We go rain or shine, but strong winds may cancel. Meet at Park Headquarters.

A Walk in the Past
Saturday, January 6 at 10 am
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, 2.5-hour walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, January 6 from 10-1
AND Saturday, January 13 from 9:30-12:30
AND Saturday, January 27 from 10-1
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. A Docent 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!

Felling the Giants
Saturday, January 6 at 11:30 am
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! You get to use some tools too! Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Saturday, January 6 at 12 noon
AND Sunday, January 7 at 12 noon
AND Saturday, January 20 at 12 noon
AND Sunday, January 21 at 12 noon
AND Saturday, January 27 at 12 noon
Explore the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike will be tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park’s most scenic areas. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Outlook from Mt. McAbee
Saturday, January 6 at 10:30 am
Join Docent Hal Anjo on a hike to McAbee Outlook. We'll stop at the top and enjoy the lovely ocean views, returning through a beautiful old-growth redwood forest. Learn about the different habitats as you watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view. Difficulty level is moderate. The hike is six miles and about three and a half hours. Bring plenty of water, snacks and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Sunday, January 7 at 10 am
AND Sunday, January 28 at 10 am
On this dog-, stroller- and wheelchair-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 Diane Shaw. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew
Saturday, January 13 at 9 am
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.

Meteor Trail Hike
Saturday, January 13 at 10:30 am
AND Sunday, January 21 at 10:30 am
Join a Big Basin Docent on one of our most diverse hikes—by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Snakes Alive!
Saturday, January 13 from 12-3 pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Sempervirens Room at Park Headquarters and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Stop by anytime to meet the snake and talk to Diane.

Berry Creek Falls Hike
Sunday, January 14 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.

Sempervirens Falls Hike
Sunday, January 14 at 10:30 am
This beautiful hike takes you by Sempervirens Falls, old-growth redwoods, Ohlone grinding rocks, the birthplace of Big Basin and more! Join Docent Hal Anjo on this 4-mile, 3-hour hike. Bring water and snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Hidden Gems of Big Basin: Wildflowers and Other Beauties Hike
Saturday, January 20 at 10 am
There are many less-famous yet still beautiful plants in the redwood forest. Join Docent Diane Shaw on this 4-mile, 3-4-hour hike and meet some hidden gems of Big Basin! Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

California State Parks Backpacking

Please click here for more information.






 

Annual Events

Romance in the Redwoods
Saturday February 10, 2018 at 11:30am
On this easy 2 hour walk you will learn about the courtship behaviors of some of the park's most fascinating plants and animals. Join us and discover how banana slugs, redwood trees and more celebrate love in the wild! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Rancho del Oso - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Salamander Saturday
Saturday March 3, 2018 from Noon to 4pm
Join us as the “Ranch of the Bear” becomes “Ranch of the Newt,” celebrating our amphibian friends that make their way from beneath rocks and under logs to the creeks, wetlands and puddles of the park.  Participate in our annual celebration honoring the often overlooked, but heroically well adapted amphibian. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Ranger led salamander hike will start at 3pm on the mile long Marsh Trail. This free event is appropriate for all ages. Rancho del Oso is the coastal portion of Big Basin, located off Highway 1 in Davenport. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov.

Rancho del Oso - Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Wildflower Weekend
Saturday May 5, 2018 from 10am to 4 pm
Sunday May 6, 2018 from 10am to 4 pm
Guided hikes at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday
Rancho del Oso’s annual Wildflower Weekend event displays over 80 plants in bloom including species found in the Waddell Valley, the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The 10am hike is a moderately paced 4.5-mile hike along the Marsh Trail to the Skyline to the Sea Bypass Trail. The 1pm hike is a 1-mile wildflower excursion through multiple habitats along the Hoover Nature Trail. Rancho del Oso is the coastal portion of Big Basin, located off Highway 1 in Davenport. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov.

Mother’s Day Walk: Women of Big Basin
Sunday May 13, 2018 at 1pm
Celebrate Mother’s Day in the park by honoring the spirited women who lived in, worked in and fought for Big Basin throughout its history.  Living history reenactments bring you back in time where you will meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock; Josephine McCrackin, the “Savior of the Redwoods” and Harriet “Petey” Weaver, the first female Ranger. Stroll through the magnificent redwoods on this 0.5 mile, 1 hour guided walk. Meet at Park Headquarters. This walk is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

The Men of Big Basin—A Father’s Day Special Event
Sunday June 17, 2018 at 1pm
Celebrate Father’s Day by honoring some of the remarkable men who lived in, worked in and fought for Big Basin. Living history re-enactments bring you back in time where you will meet pioneer settlers, Big Basin founders and early park rangers. Stroll through the magnificent redwoods on this half mile, 1.5 hour guided walk. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Fourth of July Weekend Celebration and Talent Show!
Saturday July 7, 2018 at 7pm
Come and celebrate Independence Day with a campfire, sing-a-long and talent show! If you have a skit, poem, song or a talent you would like to share, sign up at headquarters in advance. All 3-5 minute presentations should be appropriate for all ages. Fire lighting and marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 7 pm; program begins at 7:30 pm.

Tales of the Basin—A Storytelling Weekend Event
Saturday July 28, 2018 - Various times and locations.
The oral storytelling tradition comes to life with the ancient redwood forest as a backdrop. Events throughout the weekend include Big Basin Nature Tails for children of all ages, guided walks that spin a yarn along the trail and a Storyteller Showcase in the historic Campfire Center. Presented in collaboration with South Bay Storytellers and Listeners.

Big Basin Founders’ Day and Redwood Jubilee
Saturday September 29, 2018 from 9am to 8pm
Celebrate our wild heritage with a melodrama, historic hikes and games for kids as we honor the visionaries, valued workers and visitors that have shaped the character of Big Basin over the past 100+ years. Revel in the beauty of the majestic old growth redwoods that inspired the movement to Save the Trees! 

The Missing Arm
Saturday October 20, 2018; Registration begins at 6:30pm
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. The silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail begin at 7 pm. Enjoy the redwoods on a fall night with music, storytelling and “Ranger Apples” around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters (registration opens at 6:30 pm).