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, December 8 at 1 pm - Barry
Sunday, December 9 at 1 pm - Nan
Saturday, December 15 at 1 pm - Mike W.
Sunday, December 16 at 1 pm - Barry
Saturday, December 22 at 1 pm - Barry
Sunday, December 23 at 1 pm - Debbie
Monday, December 24 at 1 pm - Barry
Saturday, December 29 at 1 pm - Eva
Sunday, December 30 at 1 pm - Nan
Monday, December 24 at 1 pm - Barry
Tuesday, January 1 at 1 pm - Norm

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, December 11 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, December 18 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, December 25 at 9:30 am
Tuesday, January 1 at 9:30 am
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.
Debris Stove and Coffee Pot for Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk and Crafts

Sunday, December 9 from 9:30–12:30 - Micki

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.

North Escape Road Dog Walking
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk

Sunday, December 9 at 9:30 am
Sunday, December 16 at 9:30 am
Sunday, December 23 at 9:30 am
Sunday, December 30 at 9:30 am
Sunday, January 6 at 9:30 am
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
Ohlone Native American Dancer
Ohlone Plant Use

Saturday, January 5 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
California’s Little-Known Genocide
Paul Fewel, Logging Demonstration
Felling the Giants

Saturday, January 5 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
Sunset Trail Storm Damage
Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, December 8 at 9 am
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.
Black tail deer fawns, Mule deer fawns
Hike to Ocean View Summit
Meteor Trail

Saturday, December 8 at 10 am

Escape the crowds on this six-mile, four hour loop through shaded forest to a hilltop view of the West Waddell Valley, and on a clear day, out to the Pacific Ocean. Join California Naturalist and animal tracker Steve Stolper following Opal Creek to the Meteor Trail. Travel by the parks tallest trees along Rogers Creek, gaining 700 feet before emerging at Middle Ridge Road.

Turn south on Middle Ridge Road to Ocean View Summit where you’ll enjoy lunch in the company of Merriam’s chipmunks, Western fence lizards, and wrentits. After a relaxing break we descend back into the primeval forest watching for animal tracks and return to headquarters on the Dool Trail. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate clothing. Meet Steve, rain or shine, at Park Headquarters.
Sugar Plum Fairy
The Nutcracker
Holiday Redwood Loop Walk

Saturday, December 8 at 1 pm

Enjoy a festive walk in the famous old-growth redwoods at Big Basin with Docent Karen DeMello. Listen to the Nutcracker Suite and imagine the forest performing the ballet along the easy, level, half-mile Redwood Loop Trail. Dress warmly. 1-1/2 hours. If it’s raining, we’ll listen inside our warm Sempervirens Room. Meet Karen at Park Headquarters.
Silver Falls, Big Basin
Berry Creek Falls Hike

Sunday, December 9 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

Sunday, December 9 at 12 pm
Saturday, December 15 at 12 pm
Sunday, December 23 at 12 pm
Sunday, December 30 at 12 pm
Tuesday, January 1 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.
South American Boa Constrictor
Snakes Alive

Saturday, December 29 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.
Buzzard’s Roost on Pine Mountain in Big Basin
Early Morning Hike

Tuesday, January 1 at 9 am

Join Docents Kathy Willott and Glenn Joy on a 5-mile early morning hike to Buzzard’s Roost, before the park gets crowded. 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. We’ll watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view from the top. 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. Wear good walking shoes, dress in layers and bring snacks. Meet Kathy and Glenn at the Park Headquarters building next to the flag pole.
Shadowbrook Trail
Shadowbrook Stroll

Tuesday, January 1 at 10 am

Join docent Tom Batley as he guides you along the Shadowbrook Trail loop. Up the Sequoia Trail to the Bob Kirsch Bridge. Crossing Sempervirens Creek you are now on the Shadowbrook Trail, a great place to view banana slugs and mushrooms. Proceeding north you reach the junction with the south Huckleberry Campground connector. Union Creek will now be on your left but you’ll cross it three times before reaching the Flea Potrero (AKA Employee Housing). A short downhill stretch and you’ll join the Sequoia Trail and arrive at Slippery Rock for lunch.

After lunch, and just across the road is Sempervirens Falls then it’s back through the redwoods along the Sequoia Trail passing through the former Campfire Girls Camp Wastahi (Water-Stars-Hills). This is a five-mile, 350′ elevation gain, four-hour hike. Bring water, snacks, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet Tom 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