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Stumbling upon Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a treat. Miles of redwood trees shade hiking trails for all skill levels; waterfalls, trails to Santa Cruz beaches and swimming holes are all sparsely populated with Bay Area residents and campers looking for a mellow park experience. Located 65 miles from San Francisco in the mountains above Santa Cruz, Big Basin State Park offers plenty of fun for adventure seekers. For a quiet easy trail under the shade of the sequoias, get directions at the visitor center to the Redwood Trail; or, for an intense day-long trek to the beach, pick up the Skyline to Sea trail. There are plenty of monthly ...

Stumbling upon Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a treat. Miles of redwood trees shade hiking trails for all skill levels; waterfalls, trails to Santa Cruz beaches and swimming holes are all sparsely populated with Bay Area residents and campers looking for a mellow park experience. Located 65 miles from San Francisco in the mountains above Santa Cruz, Big Basin State Park offers plenty of fun for adventure seekers. For a quiet easy trail under the shade of the sequoias, get directions at the visitor center to the Redwood Trail; or, for an intense day-long trek to the beach, pick up the Skyline to Sea trail. There are plenty of monthly activities, including guided hikes to Berry Creek Falls and wildflower hikes. Campers can pitch a tent or spend the night in a canvas tent cabin. If you make the trip to Waddell Beach, you'll spot world class windsurfers and kitesurfers. Along the way, pass through Rancho Del Oso to spot mountain bikers, birds, and beautiful views.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, spring