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.
                
Black-tail doe
Exploring Big Basin

Tuesday, October 24 at 9 am
Tuesday, October 31 at 9 am
Tuesday, November 7 at 9 am
Tuesday, November 14 at 9 am
Tuesday, November 21 at 9 am
Tuesday, November 28 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.
Debris Stove and Coffee Pot for Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, October 28 from 9:30–12:30 - Norm
Sunday, November 5 from 9:30–12:30 - Micki
Saturday, November 18 from 9:30–12:30 - Norm
Thursday, November 23 from 9:30–12:30 - Norm

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 Beeson or Kathy Willott 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.

Redwood Trail, Redwood Loop
Redwood Loop Walk

Saturday, October 28 at 11 am and 2 pm - Mike W.
Sunday, October 29 at 11 am and 2 pm - Nan
Saturday, November 4 at 11 am and 2 pm - Norm
Sunday, November 5 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Friday, November 10 at 11 am and 2 pm - Hal
Saturday, November 11 at 11 am and 2 pm - Ashley
Sunday, November 12 at 11 am and 2 pm - Debbie
Saturday, November 18 at 11 am and 2 pm - Barry
Sunday, November 19 at 11 am and 2 pm - Tom R.
Thursday, November 23 at 1 pm - Norm
Friday, November 24 at 11 am and 2 pm - Barry
Saturday, November 25 at 11 am and 2 pm - Nan
Sunday, November 26 at 11 am and 2 pm - Kathy E.

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.
Spider in her spider hole.
Spooky or Not Spooky!

Saturday, October 28 at 11:30 am

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.
South American Boa Constrictor
Snakes Alive

Saturday, October 28 from 12–3 pm
Saturday, November 25 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.
North Escape Road Dog Walking
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk


Sunday, October 29 at 9:30 am
Sunday, November 19 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
Hal Anjo
Outlook from Mt. McAbee

Friday, November 3 at 10:30 am
Sunday, November 12 at 10:30 am
Friday, November 24 at 10:30 am

Join docent Hal Anjo on a hike to McAbee Outlook also known as the Wheat Overlook. We’ll follow the Howard King Trail gaining 750 feet in elevation in three miles, learning about the different habitats as the environment changes as we climb. At the top we stop to enjoy the ocean view down through the East Waddell Creek Valley and have a quick lunch before returning through a beautiful old-growth redwood forest along Hihn Hammond Road. The hike is six miles and about three and a half hours. Bring plenty of water, lunch, snacks and good hiking shoes. Meet Hal at Park Headquarters.

Martinez News-Gazette Article
Ohlone Native American Dancer
A Walk in the Past

Saturday, November 4 at 10 am

How did the Ohlone Indians flourish for thousands of years and who led to their destruction? Take a walk with certified California Naturalist Eva Fewel and 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. Learn of their illnesses and medical treatments on this 2.5 hour, 3.5 mile round trip, 130 feet elevation gain walk. Travel the Sequoia Trail to the ancient Ohlone bedrock mortars, Sempervirens Falls and Slippery Rock. Learn about traditional acorn processing techniques and try these techniques yourself. Meet Eva at Park Headquarters.


A brief introduction on Ohlone culture can be found at:
Monterey County Historical Society
Paul Fewel, Logging Demonstration
Felling the Giants

Saturday, November 4 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, November 4 at 12 pm
Sunday, November 5 at 12 pm
Saturday, November 11 at 12 pm
Sunday, November 12 at 12 pm
Sunday, November 19 at 12 pm
Saturday, November 25 at 12 pm
Sunday, November 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.
Sempervirens Falls
Sempervirens Falls Hike

Thursday, November 9 from 10:30 am

This beautiful hike takes you over Slippery Rock by Sempervirens Waterfall, Ohlone grinding rocks and Founder’s Monument, the birthplace of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Join certified California Naturalist Hal Anjo on this 4–mile, 3–hour hike. Bring water and snacks. Meet Hal at Park Headquarters
Sunset Trail Storm Damage
Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, November 11 at 9 am
Saturday, December 9 at 9 am
Saturday, January 13 at 9 am
Saturday, February 10 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.
Buzzard’s Roost on Pine Mountain in Big Basin
Hike to Buzzard’s Roost

Saturday, November 11 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.
Silver Falls, Big Basin
Berry Creek Falls Hike

Sunday, November 12 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.
Developing Redwood Cone at the top of a Coast Redwood
Hidden Gems
Wildflowers and Other Beauties


Saturday, November 18 at 9 am

There are many beautiful plants in the redwood forest. Join Docents Kathy Willott and Glenn Joy on this 4-mile, 3-4-hour hike and meet some hidden gems of Big Basin. Certified California Naturalists Kathy Willott and Glenn Joy co-lead this hike. Bring water and a snack. Dress in layers and wear good hiking shoes. Heavy rain cancels. Meet Glenn and Kathy at Park Headquarters.
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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