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

Friday, October 5 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Saturday, October 6 at 11 am and 2 pm - Ron
Sunday, October 7 at 11 am and 2 pm - Norm
Monday, October 8 at 11 am and 2 pm - Barry
Friday, October 12 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Saturday, October 13 at 11 am and 2 pm - Ron
Sunday, October 14 at 11 am and 2 pm - Norm
Friday, October 19 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Saturday, October 20 at 11 am and 2 pm - Barry
Sunday, October 21 at 11 am and 2 pm - Kathy E.
Friday, October 5 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Saturday, October 27 at 11 am and 2 pm - Ron
Sunday, October 28 at 11 am and 2 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, October 9 at 9 am
Tuesday, October 16 at 9 am
Tuesday, October 23 at 9 am
Tuesday, October 30 at 9 am
Tuesday, Novermber 6 at 9 am
Tuesday, Novermber 13 at 9 am
Tuesday, Novermber 20 at 9 am
Tuesday, Novermber 27 at 9 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.
Ohlone Native American Dancer
Ohlone Plant Use

Saturday, October 6 at 10–12
Saturday, November 3 at 10:30–12

How did the Ohlone Indians flourish for thousands of years? Certified California Naturalist Eva Fewel will have plant samples and tools that the local Native Californians used. Learn about some of the plants and animals the Ohlone used for food. How they made tool of stones, bones, shells and how they were used. Meet Eva at Campfire Center across Highway 236 from Park Headquarters.


A brief introduction on Ohlone culture can be found at:

Monterey County Historical Society
and
California’s Little-Known Genocide
Paul Fewel, Logging Demonstration
Felling the Giants

Saturday, October 6 at 11:30 am
Saturday, November 3 at 11:30 am

Logging was the major industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over 50 years. What tools did lumbermen cut down these tall trees and what was life like in a logging camp? Join Docent lumberjack Paul Fewel as he tells tall tales of the logging days and demonstrates how loggers were able to fell these giants without chainsaws. Meet Paul at the Old Lodge just off Skid Row.


“Fire, however, is not the worst enemy of the redwood; a greater enemy, and more dangerous, is the greed, the rapacity, the vandalism that would hack and cut and mutilate the grandest, the most magnificent forest that can be found on the face of the globe, the Redwood Forest of the Big Basin.”
—Josephine McCrackin
 The Overland Monthly 1900
Ridge Road in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Discover Big Basin Hike

Saturday, October 6 at 12 pm
Sunday, October 7 at 12 pm
Saturday, October 13 at 12 pm
Sunday, October 14 at 12 pm
Sunday, October 21 at 12 pm
Saturday, October 27 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.
North Escape Road Dog Walking
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk


Sunday, October 7 at 9:30 am
Sunday, October 14 at 9:30 am
Sunday, October 21 at 9:30 am
Sunday, October 28 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, October 13 at 9 am
Saturday, November 10 at 9 am
Saturday, December 8 at 9 am
Saturday, January 12 at 9 am
Saturday, February 9 at 9 am
Saturday, March 9 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.
Spider in her spider hole.
Spooky or Not Spooky!

Saturday, October 13 at 1 pm
Sunday, October 20 at 1 pm

A special walk for Halloween! Examine some forest creatures and their habitat. We'll ask questions like, "What lives in all of the little holes in the ground?" Come along and you can help decide if something is Spooky or Not Spooky if you dare! Geared for children, this is an easy one-hour walk. Meet Maura and Micki at Park Headquarters.
Silver Falls, Big Basin
Berry Creek Falls Hike

Sunday, October 14 at 9:30 am
Sunday, November 11 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.
Debris Stove and Coffee Pot for Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, October 6 from 9–12 - Kathy and Glenn

Come to the Sempervirens Room in the Park Headquarters building for complimentary morning cup of camp coffee or hot chocolate around the stone fireplace in the park’s historic visitor center. This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. Big Basin docent barista Norm or Micki will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail.

There’s a fun craft activity for the kids, nature and historical displays, information desk with handouts, a raised relief map of Big Basin showing trails and a multimedia kiosk that displays trail information, events calendar and park photography.

South American Boa Constrictor
Snakes Alive

Saturday, October 27 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.
Developing Redwood Cone at the top of a Coast Redwood
Hidden Gems
Wildflowers and Other Beauties


Saturday, October 20 at 9:30 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.
Missing Arm of William W. Waddell Raccoon
The Missing Arm of William Waddell

Saturday, October 20 at 6:30 pm

History plays out along the Redwood Trail as the true tale of the missing arm of William Waddell unfolds. Enjoy the redwoods on a fall night with music, storytelling and roasted apples with sugar and cinnamon, known in Big Basin as Ranger Apples, around the campfire. Ever loose something while hiking or camping in Big Basin. Find out the real story and who’s had a hand in it’s disappearance in this, fair and balanced, completely nutty, slightly haunting tour around the redwood loop trail. Registration opens at 6:30 pm with CSI fact finding beginning at 7:00 pm.

Please register at Park Headquarters to receive your departure time and as an aid to search and rescue. Small groups depart every 15 minutes into the cryptic primeval forest accompanied by two highly trained and experienced wilderness guides. Once you cross over to the other side of the spooky Redwood Trail sign post you’ll be entering the land of the paranormal, of Fairy Rings, the headless Iron Ranger, and the side of the Redwood Loop where the frightening truth will be revealed. This is the home of the no longer missing Arm of William W. Waddell and the California Grizzly who took it.
Buzzard’s Roost on Pine Mountain in Big Basin
Hike to Buzzard’s Roost

Saturday, October 27 at 10 am

Use your hiking muscles on this challenging 5-mile, 1,200′ elevation gain, 4-hour round trip on the Pine Mountain Trail to Buzzard’s Roost. Join survival instructor, mountaineer and certified California Naturalist Steve Stolper for a hike to the dramatic rock formation of Buzzard’s Roost. Beginning in the redwoods along Opal Creek this hike ascends the side of the East Waddell Creek Watershed into the knobcone pines at the ridge with Scott Creek Watershed giving you a commanding view of Big Basin and the buzzards circling overhead.

After a relaxed lunch on the rocks, we take a few pictures with the roost as our backdrop and return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, relaxed lunch, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels as portions of the trail have rocky ascents which become slippery. Meet Steve at the Park Headquarters building next to the flag pole.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters


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


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Kurt Leal
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(831) 704‒6855