Meteor Trail Big Basin Redwoods State Park Entrance Sign Mule deer fawn, Black-tail fawn
Big Basin Merriam’s Chipmunk Big Basin Activities and Events Berry Creek Falls
The Big Basin activities calendar is comprised primarily of hikes led by Big Basin Redwoods State Park volunteer docents on the popular park trails. All docents undergo training in plant communities, animals, cultural and historically significant park events. Hiking with a docent as your guide gives you ready access to knowledge of the local environment.
Redwood Trail, Redwood Loop
Redwood Loop Walk

Saturday, January 12 at 1 pm - Mike W.
Sunday, January 13 at 1 pm - Barry
Saturday, January 19 at 1 pm - Ron
Sunday, January 20 at 1 pm - Nan
Friday, January 25 at 1 pm - Hal
Saturday, January 26 at 1 pm - Hal
Sunday, January 27 at 1 pm - Barry

Sequoia sempervirens also known as Coast redwoods or California redwoods are the tallest trees on earth. Once the dominate tree of the northern hemisphere, their linage running back 200 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. Restricted to the California coast by the last ice age 20 million years ago, extensive logging beginning around 1850 cut down 95% of this primal forest. Join us for this fun and informative guided stroll on the Redwood Trail as it passes along Opal Creek and through an old-growth redwood forest.

Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest, the Animal Tree and the Chimney Tree on this 90 minute, level 0.6 mile walk. Trail guides are also available at the trailhead should you wish to do this as a self-guided loop. The “walk” is also available via Google Street View, and headquarters along with the museum have free WiFi. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters next to the flag pole.
Black-tail doe
Exploring Big Basin

Tuesday, January 8 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, January 15 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, January 22 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, January 29 at 9:30 am

Docent Diane Shaw leads these serendipitous, varied mid-week hikes. Learn about the animals, plants, talking trees, history and geology of Big Basin and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Hikes are 5–8 miles and last up to 5 hours but you can wonder off and explore on your own at any time. We go rain or shine, rain brings out the sparkle in suspended water droplets, many small streams and creeks, tiny mushrooms, banana slugs and salamanders. To avoid being squished, strong winds cancel the hike. Mornings can be cool and the afternoons warm, so dress in layers. Meet Diane at Park Headquarters.
North Escape Road Dog Walking
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk

Sunday, January 13 at 9:30 am
Sunday, January 20 at 9:30 am
Sunday, January 27 at 9:30 am

Travel on North Escape Road, a paved road the second half of which is closed to motor traffic as Diane Shaw guides you on a tour through stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek to the informational kiosk and picnic area. 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. You and your dog can continue to explore along the road if you wish or turn around at any point. You are not required to have a dog on this walk, but they are welcome. Bring water for both you and your dog, a doo bag and meet Diane at Park Headquarters.

Santa Cruz Sentinel Article
Sunset Trail Storm Damage
Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, January 12 at 9 am
Saturday, February 9 at 9 am
Saturday, March 9 at 9 am
Saturday, April 13 at 9 am
Saturday, May 11 at 9 am

Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew makes it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park by clearing fallen trees and making other repairs to the trails. Join crew leaders Norm Beeson, Mike Peasland and a dedicated group of volunteers for a unique perspective of Big Basin, in a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests.

A typical workday lasts until mid-afternoon, rain or shine. The tasks are diverse and the locations are sometimes far flung. Please bring your own work gloves, lunch, snacks and water, tools will be provided. Planning for the day takes place at nine, this is the time to have all your questions answered. Children are welcome, but must have a responsible adult or parent attending them at all times. Meet Mike and Norm in the parking area in front of the bathrooms adjoining Park Headquarters.
Ridge Road in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Explore the Redwoods with a Redwoods Researcher

Saturday, January 12 at 9:30 am

Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, geology, history and more on this fun, varied hike with Docent Zane Moore. The route, mileage and elevation gain will be chosen based on the participant’s experience level, weather and trail conditions. The pace will be moderate - with short stops to learn about the redwood forest’s plants, animals and native peoples.

Bring water and shoes that are suitable for primitive foot trails. Meets at the park headquarters flag pole.
Tall Coastal Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens
Measuring Tall Trees

Saturday, January 12 at 2:30 pm

How do you measure the tallest trees in the world? Join Zane Moore, a redwood researcher, to learn about measuring these tall trees. Zane will show you how scientists determine the height, diameter, volume, and ages of these trees. We will look at the history and then at the future direction of tree measurement including direct tape drop, camera and 3D imaging, laser rangefinders, and drones.

If you’re looking to clear cut a forest, apply for research grants, or just want to discuss the benefits of the "sine top/sine bottom method" at parties, then this walk is for you. One mile, 90-minute walk will take us to where technology and trees intertwine, because that’s where the fun is. Meet Zane at Park Headquarters.
Silver Falls, Big Basin
Berry Creek Falls Hike

Sunday, January 13 at 9:30 am

Join Docent Bill Rhoades as he guides you on this seven-hour signature hike. Travel along the famed Skyline to the Sea Trail through shady redwood canyons and climb dry ridges as you experience a wide range of habitats on this strenuous 11 mile hike to 65′ Berry Creek Falls. Berry Creek was named after lumberman Tilford Berry who had a cabin near the base of the falls. He vanished only to reappear thirty years later the victim of sudden onset intercrainal lead poisoning and then vanished again, never to reappear.

Continue on the Berry Creek Trail to Silver Falls, Lower Cascades, Upper Cascades and Golden Falls see first hand the effects the March storms had on the redwood forest. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Meet Bill at Park Headquarters.
Ridge Road in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Discover Big Basin Hike

Saturday, January 12 at 12 pm
Saturday, January 19 at 12 pm
Sunday, January 20 at 12 pm
Saturday, January 26 at 12 pm

Explore the park’s most scenic wilderness back-country with docent naturalist Barry Grimm. The route, mileage and elevation gain will be chosen based on the participant’s experience level, weather and trail conditions. The pace will be moderate - with short stops to learn about the redwood forest’s plants, animals and native peoples.

Bring water and shoes that are suitable for primitive foot trails. Meets at the park headquarters flag pole. Rain does not cancel this hike.
Developing Redwood Cone at the top of a Coast Redwood
Hidden Gems
Wildflowers and Other Beauties

Saturday, January 19 at 10 am

There are many less-famous yet still beautiful plants in the redwood forest. Join this 4-mile, 3-4-hour hike and meet some hidden gems of Big Basin. Bring water and a snack. Dress in layers and wear good hiking shoes. Heavy rain cancels. Meet Kathy at Park Headquarters.
Young Robin
What’s that Bird?

Saturday, January 19 at 10:30 am

This easy, one-mile stroll will introduce you to the birds of the redwood forest. Beginner birders are welcomed! You’ll meet remarkable birds of the redwood forest along the way on this one mile walk. Binoculars are recommended but not required. Meet Karen at Park Headquarters.
South American Boa Constrictor
Snakes Alive

Saturday, January 26 from 12–3 pm

Come to the Sempervirens Room, meet herpetologist Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Stop by anytime between noon and 3 pm to meet the snakes and talk to Diane. She’ll let you know why are snakes important, how they see, smell, taste and hear. You can find out for yourself what a snake feels like and learn how they can be useful if you’re troubled by small ocelots and you happen to live in Bolivia. Otherwise, don’t get one. Meet Diane at Park Headquarters.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters

Questions about Big Basin
or becoming a Docent
Susan Blake
State Park Interpreter
(831) 338‒8883
Big Basin Resources

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Kurt Leal
Website Administrator
(831) 704‒6855