Big Basin Redwoods State Park


Editor’s Note: After the popularity of last week’s blogs featuring one tank of gas getaways around the Bay Area… Craig Herrera provides us with an encore… enjoy.

Craig HerreraGrab your camera, some snacks and water and head for the hills! The hills reach about 2000 feet at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains and it is a great trip if you want to see some giant redwood trees without driving too far. It is about 35 miles from downtown San Jose, or about 65 miles from San Francisco.

Once you arrive at the park entrance, you can pick up a hiking map and pick a trail. The park has more than 80 miles of trails, and while I have not been on all of them, yet, the trails are for any level. They even have a short one mile loop where you can see some amazing redwoods without having to hike much at all. The trail is flat, we had my goddaughter in a stroller and had no problem pushing her around. My sister, brother-in-law, Paul, little Elli and I had such a great day exploring. We all fit inside many of the trees!

The redwoods on the short trail have names. One of them is called Chimney because a fire gutted the inside of the tree and you can see all the way to the top of the tree, from the inside! One is called mother and one father and they are spectacular! The trail maps will describe each of the trees, the age, the history and so much more, but I’ll let you do the exploring! It’s an easy one day trip, or they have camping sites if you’d like to make a weekend out of it! If you decide to make it a one day trip, you can return to the Bay Area or head south on Hwy 9 into Santa Cruz for an afternoon at the beach!

By the way, there is also a gift shop and snack bar if you forget your food or run out of water.
There is also a great visitors center near the gift shop for a quick history lesson before you begin your exploration.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a fun one day trip or weekend getaway, and established in 1902, it is also California’s oldest state park! I hope you enjoy it!

Park Information can be found at:

Camping information can be found at:

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist


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