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Activities and Programs

These activities begin at Big Basin Redwoods State Park main entrance located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 (831) 338-8883.  For activities at the Rancho del Oso location located off Highway 1, click here.

SEPTEMBER ACTIVITIES AT BIG BASIN REDWOODS STATE PARK


Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday in September at 11 am and 2 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.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Monday, September 1 at 10 am
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 Micki Downs and her dog Spock. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin!
Monday, September 1 at 12 pm
Saturday, September 6 at 12 pm
Sunday, September 7 at 12 pm
Sunday, September 14 at 12 pm
Sunday, September 21 at 12 pm
Sunday, September 28 at 12 pm
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.

Coffee Talk and Crafts
Saturday, September 6 from 9-12
AND Saturday, September 27 from 9-12
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 Kathy Willott will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And there’s a fun craft activity for the kids!

Twilight Hike
Saturday, September 6 at 6:30 pm
Saturday, September 13 at 6:30 pm
Saturday, September 20 at 6:30 pm
Join us for an easy, level walk for the whole family. Experience the turning of the day into night in the forest, and learn about the critters that are just becoming active as the sun goes down. This is a 1.5-hour, half-mile walk. Meet at Park Headquarters. Wheelchair/stroller accessible. Bring a flashlight. Sorry, no dogs on the trail.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew
Saturday, September 13 at 9 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. Check www.bigbasintrailcrew.org to confirm dates and time.

Shadowbrook Stroll
Saturday, September 13 at 10:30 am
Join Docent Hal Anjo as he 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, September 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 guides you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

A Walk in the Past
Sunday, September 14 at 11:30 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.

Felling the Giants
Sunday, September 14 at 12:30 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.

Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, September 20 at 10 am
AND Sunday, September 21 at 10 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 walk that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed five-mile, five-hour walk that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Snakes Alive!
Saturday, September 20 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 Old Lodge, across the street from the Nature Lodge/Museum, and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Diane will give a talk about snakes at 12:30, or stop by anytime to meet the snakes and talk to Diane. Snake crafts for the kids too!


BYOB Hike
Sunday, September 28 at 7:30 am
Join docent Kathy Willott for a BYOB hike to Buzzard’s Roost. That’s Bring Your Own Breakfast. We’ll take an early hike in hopes of seeing things that might be hiding later in the day and share our findings as we go. Bring water and something to eat at the top. But please, eat something before you come! One shouldn’t hike on an empty stomach! Hikers should be able to do a steady uphill grade for 2.5 miles (elevation gain about 1,200 ft.), but we’ll go at a pace that allows us to enjoy what we see. Good walking shoes and layers. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Pioneers of Big Basin
Sunday, September 28 at 1 pm
Join Docent Hal Anjo on an easy three-mile, three-hour round trip to the site of the Maddock Cabin. Enjoy a beautiful walk through the redwoods and hear stories of the early settlers and their life deep in the forest. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2 pm (except only 11 am on Saturday, Sept. 27)
AND Monday, September 1 at 11 am and 2 pm
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 Headquarters.

Junior Rangers
Saturdays at 1:30 pm (except for Special Event September 27)
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, habitats, and more. This one-hour program is for kids ages 7-12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child at the Nature Lodge 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.

Big Basin Nature Club
Saturdays at 3 pm (except for Special Event September 27)
This fun program is for children ages 3-6 and their families. Pretend, play, sing and explore! This half-hour program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest. Meet at the Nature Lodge.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation. Visit us on the web at www.mountainparks.org or www.parks.ca.gov

Annual Events for 2014

Romance in the Redwoods Walk - Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
On this easy, 2-hour walk you'll 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!

Mother's Day Walk -  Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Celebrate the women of Big Basin and Mother's Day by honoring the spirited women who lived, worked and fought for Big Basin.  Stroller and wheelchair accessible.

Father's Day Walk -  Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 1:00p.m. 
Celebrate Father's Day by honoring some of the remarkable men who lived, work and fought for Big Basin.  Stroller and wheelchair accessible.

July 25-27, 2014, Various times and locations throughout the weekend.
Storytelling weekend presented in collaboration with South Bay Storytellers. 

Big Basin “Nature Tails”
Saturday, July 26 at 4:30 pm

A world of animal songs and stories presented for children of all ages by local storytellers. Meet at the Campfire Center.

Storytellers’ Showcase Campfire!
Saturday, July 26 at 6:30 pm

Sit back and experience an old-fashioned evening steeped in the oral tradition, as our guest storytellers weave their yarns in our historic amphitheater. Meet at the Campfire Center. The evening begins with fire lighting and marshmallow roasting at 6:30, and storytelling at 7:00.

Big Basin Founders’ Day and Redwood Jubilee
Saturday, September 27, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Celebrate anniversary of California's oldest state park. Enjoy historical hikes, a special program for children and an evening melodrama at the campfire center.

The Missing Arm of William Waddell - Saturday, October 25, 2014
Bring a flashlight for this slightly-spooky, somewhat-silly trailside tale.  Sign ups begin at 6:30p.m. for walks that leave every 10-minutes beginning at 7:00p.m.

Redwood Loop Walks
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2 pm
(reduced winter schedule, call park for details)
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.  Self-guided trail brochures also available.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation

 

  • Mountain Biking
    • Fire Roads are open to Mountain Biking
    • No Mountain Bikes allowed on Single Track Trails
    • North Escape Road (Picnic Area Road) is level and paved and makes a good easy route.
      • It is closed to private autos passed the locked gate
  • Fire Roads in Park
    • Gazos Creek Road
      • 16 miles. Goes to Highway #1 North of Swanton.
    • Middle Ridge Fire Road
    • Hihn Hammond Road
    • Johansen Road
    • Chalks Road
  • Trail Camps
    • Please click on the Backcountry Trail Camps Information Tab for complete information, rules and frequently asked questions.  Trail Camps open May 1 through Oct. 31 annually. Closed Nov. 1- April 30.
    • Advance reservations are required.
    • Reservations via Big Basin Headquarters, Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm, (831)335-8861, up to 56 days in advance.
  • Group Camps
    • Sequoia Group Camp (2 Group Camps) Open All Year
      • Fifty people per site
      • 18 Vehicles
    • Sky Meadow Group Camp (2 Group Camps) May 26-Oct 28
      • Forty people per site
      • 15 Vehicles
      • Reservations through Reserve America 1-800-444-7275
         
    • Equestrian Trails
      • Horses are allowed on Equestrian Trails and all double track trails in the Park.

    • Horse Camps
      • Six sites.
      • Six people per site.
      • Minimum of one horse per site.
      • One tow vehicle and one horse trailer per site
      • Reserve via Rancho Del Oso.