2021-2022 Virtual and In-Person Field Trips to Santa Cruz-area State Parks are Now Available! 

Group Tour and Field Trip Information

Thank you for your interest in a guided walk at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Big Basin has many stories to tell, and we look forward to having your group participate in a guided walk through Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Reservations are necessary for these guided walks. Please click here to reserve a walk. Read on for more information:

Old Growth Redwood Walks: Big Basin Redwoods State Park is home to a magnificent old-growth redwood grove. Our half-mile, easily accessible trail through the grove provides an exciting learning experience for your group. Ninety-minute guided walks will lead your class to the famous Mother Tree, Father Tree, and Chimney Tree. We'll discuss the natural and cultural history of Big Basin, the oldest state park in California. Make sure to include a visit to our fun and informative Nature Museum.

Longer Walks
We also have three-mile guided walks. These walks focus on redwood ecology, and can include information on the Ohlone, logging, conservation and park history. If these programs don't fit your needs, we may be able to offer an alternative. Please email susan.blake@parks.ca.gov with any questions.

Group Size:
A ratio of one adult to every seven children for all guided walks at Big Basin is requested. The maximum group size for all guided redwood loop walks is 35, which includes both children and adults. But we recommend not more than 15-20 per hike. To make a field trip more engaging, we suggest breaking larger groups into smaller groups of students and adults.

All group tours and guided walks must be arranged at least 15 days in advance by reserving a tour here or emailing susan.blake@parks.ca.gov. Bear in mind that the office is not always staffed--please permit plenty of time to make your arrangements.

Big Basin is a Crumb Clean park. Please do not feed any wildlife.

Tour guidelines:
Group leaders, please make sure to read this. Be sure to let the other adults know what their role is while on this field trip.

  • Stay on designated trails and roads.
  • Do not disturb the natural features.
  • For your safety, keep children off the trail fencing.
  • Stay with your own group.
  • Do not leave litter of any kind on the trails.
  • Group leaders are in charge of discipline.
  • Group leaders are in charge of first aid and should have first aid kits
    on the trail.
  • Chaperones and group leaders are expected and needed to be attentive and involved in the tour.
  • Restrooms are located next to Park Headquarters and on the Redwood Loop Trail.
  • Docent-led walks will be canceled due to heavy rain; please call to cancel as soon as possible if heavy rain is the case, 831-338-8883 and 831-338-8861
  • For any other cancellation, please give at least 24 hours notice.

Other important information for a successful field trip at Big Basin:

  • If you plan to eat lunch here, there's a beautiful picnic area a short walk from the redwood grove. We suggest students bring the following:
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Long pants
  • Layered clothing
  • Jacket (check weather conditions)
  • Water bottle
  • Name tag
  • Snacks and/or lunch

Some resources for redwood education are:

A guide for school groups visiting state parks: