Camping

Rancho del Oso Walk-In Campground

There are currently five walk-in campsites by reservation and one shared non-reserved bike-in site available temporarily at the Rancho del Oso (RDO) Horse Camp. Trails from RDO are closed and were severely damaged in the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in 2020. Trail access north from RDO into Big Basin along the Skyline to the Sea Trail is not expected to be restored for several years making equestrian camping at the site impractical during this interim period. Rancho del Oso Horse Camp is operating as an interim walk-in and bike-in campground until trail access from Rancho del Oso is reopened for equestrian use, at which point the horse camp will be reinstated for equestrian camping. 

Check the calendar for campsite availability when planning your itinerary. The calendar is refreshed a few times daily and may not show the latest availability.

Make a reservation

Please Note: 

  • The five reservable campsites are walk-in only. The furthest campsite is approximately 200 feet from the parking area.
  • Campsites #2 and #4 are generally accessible for people with limited mobility. For accommodations, please call (831) 338-8867 or email trailcamps@thatsmypark.org
  • One shared bike-in campsite is available on a first-come, first served basis. Payment can be onsite via iron ranger envelope or day-of only by smartphone or online through this form

Rancho del Oso campground map

 

Rules and Regulations

  • Check out is at noon. Check in begins after 2 pm.
  • Switching sites is not permitted.
  • No dogs permitted.
  • No generators permitted.
  • No smoking.
  • Beach fires are strictly prohibited.
  • Fires are permitted in provided rings and BBQ grills only. 
  • Do not gather wood for fires--firewood is available for sale by contacting a staff person. 
  • Ropes, lines, swings, and hammocks may not be fastened to any tree.
  • Games that are disruptive to other campers or to the environment are prohibited. Drones are prohibited.
  • Radios and other sound-producing devices must not be audible beyond the campers’ immediate campsite.
  • Quiet hours are 10 pm to 6 am. 
  • Speed limit on the campground entry road is 10 MPH.
  • Campground is crumb clean. Place all food-related items in the food storage locker and all trash securely in the trash bin.

Check-In Procedures

  • Walk-in campground is by reservation only.
  • Shared bike-in site is first come, first served. 
  • Place registration confirmation on dashboard so it's visible. 
  • For extra vehicle payment, use the Iron Ranger--place pay stub on dashboard. $10/vehicle. 
  • Check-in time is 2 pm and check-out time is noon. 
  • 6 people per site and 2 cars per site maximum. 

Directions

Travel along California Highway 1 approximately 30 miles south from Half Moon Bay or 18 miles north from Santa Cruz to the Waddell Beach Parking Lot at 3640 Cabrillo Highway, Davenport, CA 95017. The entrance gate to Rancho del Oso walk-in campground is a yellow gate directly across from the Waddell Beach Parking Lot area and north of the Waddell Creek Bridge.

Skyline to the Sea Trail is Closed 0.4 miles past Highwya 1 Entrance. Welcome Center, Walk-in Campground, and Facilities can be found at end of Skyline to the Sea Trail. Marsh Trail is closed October - May for Seasonal Bridge. Racnho del Oso Nature and History Trail, bathrooms, and Hoover Trail can be found from entrance south of the Marsh.

This is a Crumb Clean Park

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is Crumb Clean! Feeding wildlife is prohibited by law. Dispose of all food and trash properly and don't leave any behind where animals can get to it. Recycle glass, plastic, and aluminum.

Watch this short video to learn about the marbled murrelet, an endangered bird that nests in the park, and how you can protect it by being Crumb Clean. Vea el video en español aquí.