Meteor Trail Big Basin Redwoods State Park Entrance Sign Mule Deer Fawn
Big Basin Merriam's Chipmunk Big Basin Activities and Events Berry Creek Falls




Welcome to the Big Basin activities and events calendar for 2015. The activities calendar is comprised primarily of hikes led by Big Basin Redwoods State Park volunteer docents on the popular park trails. A Big Basin docent is a volunteer guide. All undergo training in plant communities, animals, cultural and historically significant park events. They have specialized areas of interest and personalities so no two hikes are ever the same. Hiking with a docent as your guide gives you ready access to knowledge of the local environment.
Black tail buck, mule deer buck
Junior Rangers

Through August 22, 2015
Monday, at 3 pm - Molly or Alex
Tuesday, at 3 pm - Alex
Wednesday, at 3pm- Susan
Friday, at 3 pm - Molly
Saturday, at 3 pm - Molly or Alex
Sunday, at 11 am - Molly or Alex

Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest with Park Interpretive staff Susan Blake, Alex Trudell and Molly Baird. Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is for kids ages 7-12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child at the Nature Lodge, next to the camp store, 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.
Merriam's chipmunk, Neotamias merriami
Big Basin Nature Club

Through August 22, 2015
Monday, at 4:30 pm - Molly or Alex
Tuesday, at 4:30 pm - Alex
Wednesday, at 4:30 pm - Susan
Thursday, at 1:30 pm - Susan
Friday, at 4:30 pm - Molly
Saturday, at 4:30 pm - Molly or Alex
Sunday, at 10 am - Molly or Alex

This fun program is for children ages 3-6 and their families. Pretend, play, story telling, sing and explore. This half-hour program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest and the animals that call it their home. Meet Park Interpreter Susan Blake, Alex Trudell or Molly Baird at the Nature Lodge next to the camp store.
Evening Campfire Program
Campfire Program

Through August 22, 2015
Monday at 7 pm - Molly & Alex
Friday at 7 pm - Molly
Saturday at 7 pm - Molly & Alex
Sunday at 7 pm - Molly & Alex

Join Big Basin Interpreters Molly Baird and Alex Trudell in our historic campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about redwood ecology, creatures of the forest and listen to stories of the park while relaxing as twilight envelopes the towering trees.

Fire lighting and marshmallow roasting (we provide the marshmallows and sticks) starts at 7:00 pm and the program begins at 7:30 pm. The campfire amphitheater is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Good dogs on a leash are always welcome. Meet at the Campfire Center across Highway 236 from Park Headquarters.
Sunrise over Buzzard's Roost
Bring Your Own Breakfast
Buzzard's Roost


Saturday, July 18 at 8 am

Join Certified Naturalist Kathy Willott for a Bring Your Own Breakfast hike to Buzzard's Roost, near the summit of Pine Mountain. We'll take an early hike to see things that will be hiding later in the day and share our findings as we go. We'll watch the layering of ecosystems change due to varying environmental conditions as we climb.

From the top, in the early morning light, we'll have something to eat while enjoying the view. Hikers should be able to do a steady uphill grade for 2.5 miles with an elevation gain about 1,200' at a relaxed pace. That allows us to enjoy what we see. Wear good walking shoes, dress in layers, bring sunscreen and breakfast. Meet Kathy at Park Headquarters.
Debris Stove and Coffee Pot
Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, July 18 from 9:30 - 12
Saturday, July 25 from 9:30 - 12
Saturday, August 15 from 9 - 12
Saturday, August 22 from 9 - 12

Come to the Sempervirens Room in the Park Headquarters building for complimentary morning coffee and 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 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.

Albino Redwood Tree
Sequoia Trail Wildflower Walk

Saturday, July 18 at 10 am

Join photographer, docent, plant expert Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Big Basin's species of native mosses, lichens, fungi, wildflowers and plants. Discuss the diverse terrain, natural ecosystems and albino redwoods, the ghosts of the forest, on this 4.5 mile, five hour walk. This is a slowly-paced walk with time to discover and identify plants, flowers and animals in the park, and allow for photography. Today you can expect to see Harebell, Royal Rein Orchid and Pretty Face Brodiaea along with many other small flowers.

The Sequoia Trail ascends for a mile, past the largest tree by volume in the park, to the top of Slippery Rock. This scenic lunch location has your choice of either sunny or shady spots and at it's base is Founders Monument. After lunch it's all down hill with the first stop at Sempervirens Falls, then a short stretch down Sky Meadow Road to the second chimney tree and through Wastahi Campground. Bring sunscreen, water, lunch and questions. Meet Scott at Park Headquarters.
Pine Mountain Sunset
Here Comes the Sun

Saturday, July 18 from 11 to 1 pm

Join Steve Widmark of the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club and look through a solar telescope at the Sun. You'll see sunspots, solar prominences and other features of our closest star as you learn about the parts of the Sun and how it shines. There will be Sun-related activities for the kids. Meet Steve at the Campfire Center across Highway 236 from Park Headquarters.
Redwood Loop, Sequoia sempervirens
Redwood Loop Walk

Saturday, July 18 at 11 and 2 pm — Hal
Sunday, July 19 at 11 and 2 pm — Norm
Saturday, July 25 at 11 and 2 pm — Kathy
Sunday, July 26 at 11 and 2 pm — Nan
Saturday, August 1 at 11 and 2 pm — Elwin
Sunday, August 2 at 11 and 2 pm — Hal
Saturday, August 8 at 11 and 2 pm — Barry
Sunday, August 9 at 11 and 2 pm — Barry
Saturday, August 15 at 11 and 2 pm — Paula
Sunday, August 16 at 11 and 2 pm — Nan
Saturday, August 22 at 11 and 2 pm — Barry
Sunday, August 23 at 11 and 2 pm — Debbie
Saturday, August 29 at 11 and 2 pm — Norm
Sunday, August 30 at 11 and 2 pm — Mike

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 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. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters next to the flag pole.
Gray squirrel reading a book about squirrels
Nature's Reading Room

Saturday, July 18 from 1 - 3 pm
Saturday, August 1 from 1 - 3 pm
Saturday, August 22 from 1 - 3 pm

Come sit in the Campfire Center surounded by ancient redwoods, nature's reading room, and choose a book or two to read with your family. Drop by anytime between one and three in the afternoon and literary critic and docent Norm Beeson will help you find the perfect book for your family to enjoy. With a little cajoling he'll even read it to you. Nature's Reading Room is a favorite playground for chipmunks and is located off the main concourse in the Campfire Center across Highway 236 from Park Headquarters.

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."
          Groucho Marx
Big Basin Dog Walk
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk


Sunday, July 19 at 9:30 am
Sunday, July 26 at 9:30 am
Sunday, August 9 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.
Scott Peden
North Escape Road Wildflower Walk

Sunday, July 19 at 10 am

Join photographer, Big Basin historian and author of the book "Life on a Redwood Post", Scott Peden and learn to identify and discuss Big Basin's flora, pollinators, and ecosystems along the North Escape Road from Park Headquarters to the end at Highway 236. This slow five-mile, five to six hour amble, through some of the tallest trees in the world, includes a chimney tree and lunch at a secluded picnic area along the banks of Opal Creek. Today you can expect to see Redwood Violet, Redwood Sorrel and Soap Plant along with many other small flowers.

After lunch you travel through manzanita, chaparral, a knobcone pine and pigmy redwood forest. If you're interested ask Scott to show you the little known, historical dynamite bunker, a great photo opportunity. Bring water, enthusiasm, camera and lunch. Meet Scott at Park Headquarters.

Scott also does a wildflower at Rancho del Oso the second Saturday and one at Butano the first Sunday of each month.
Sunset at Ocean View Summit
Hike to Ocean View Summit
Meteor Trail


Sunday, July 19 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 Steve Stolper following Opal Creek to the Meteor Trail. Travel through 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 continue on Middle Ridge while watching for animal tracks. From the junction with the Dool Trail it's 1.1 miles downhill through mixed evergreen forest to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen and appropriate clothing. Meet Steve at Park Headquarters.

Hihn Hammond Road near McCrary Ridge Trail
Discover Big Basin Redwoods

Sunday, July 19 at 12 pm
Saturday, July 25 at 12 pm
Sunday, July 26 at 12 pm
Saturday, August 1 at 12 pm
Sunday, August 2 at 12 pm
Sunday, August 16 at 12 pm
Sunday, August 23 at 12 pm
Saturday, August 29 at 12 pm
Sunday, August 30 at 12 pm

Explore some of the park's less travelled backcountry with docent naturalist Barry Grimm, the author of the Hiker's Guide to Big Basin. This hike will be tailored to your group from the many trails and destinations to the park's most scenic areas. Distance varies from one half to eight miles and time from one to four hours.

The pace is moderate with an occasional short stop to view and discuss the park's unique animals, plants and other features. Wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water and trail snacks. Meet Barry at Park Headquarters.
Alex Takone Ohlone Indian Dinner
Special Guest Campfire Program
Nature's Supermarket


Tuesday, July 21 at 7 pm
Tuesday, July 28 at 7 pm
Tuesday, August 4 at 7 pm
Tuesday, August 11 at 7 pm
Tuesday, August 18 at 7 pm

How would a Quiroste Ohlone mother make dinner Big Basin 500 years ago? No microwave, no Zojirushi rice cooker with fuzzy logic, not even an induction cook top. Lucky for the Ohlone moms these necessities weren't necessary. Join Ranger Alex Takone as he takes a look at Nature's Supermarket and makes dinner the way it was done by the native Ohlone people 500 years ago.

Following a song to the Tanoak Tree, an offering of a broad-leaved herb to the fire, you get to taste Ranger Takone's creation. Meet Alex at the Campfire Center across Highway 236 from Park Headquarters and leave the problems of the world behind for an hour.
Susan Blake lighting the candle for the eyesight adaptation activity.
Twilight Adventure

Wednesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, July 29 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 6 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 13 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 pm
Friday, August 28 at 7:30 pm

Twilight is the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon. Adventure is an exploration into the unknown. Put these together and venture into the evening with State Park Interpreter Susan Blake on a walk for the whole family and experience the adventure of the forest during the transition from day to night.

This is the time when crepuscular animals are active, the nocturnal animals awaken and the diurnal animals retire. Experience the heighten sense of hearing, smell and visual adaptations as the light fades. The walk is a 1.5 hours, level, half-mile and wheelchair/stroller accessible. Meet Susan at Park Headquarters.
Mule deer doe, Black-tail deer
Special Junior Rangers

Thursday, July 23 from 10 am to 12 pm
Thursday, July 30 from 10 am to 12 pm
Thursday, August 6 from 10 am to 12 pm
Thursday, August 13 from 10 am to 12 pm
Thursday, August 20 from 10 am to 12 pm

This two hour special Junior Rangers is for kids ages 7-12 only. We'll be taking a hike, so make sure your Junior Ranger dresses appropriately, with closed-toe shoes. Please register your child 15 minutes before the program with Interpreter Susan Blake at the Nature Lodge.
Stripped Skunk Skull
Afternoon Campfire Program

Thursday, July 23 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Thursday, July 30 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Thursday, August 6 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Thursday, August 13 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Thursday, August 20 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm

Enjoy roasting Ranger Apples and marshmallows along with music and crafts at an early afternoon campfire program with Park Interpreter Susan Blake. Touch the skulls and pelts of Big Basin animals. What can you tell about the lives of the animals from their skulls and pelts? This is a rare opportunity, you would normally only see a lion pelt displayed in a glass case. Seldom would a curator allow you to pet a lion pelt and even less so would a live mountain lion. Drop by anytime between 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the historic Campfire Center. It's best to arrive early if you plan to roast apples. The picture to the left is of a stripped skunk skull on a rabbit pelt.

Information on area mountains lions can be found at the Puma Project and Santa Cruz Pumas.
Professor Emeritus S. B. Cosma
Planet Walk

Thursday, July 23 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, July 30 at 6:30 pm
Wednesday, August 5 at 6:30 pm
Wednesday, August 12 at 6:30 pm
Wednesday, August 19 at 6:30 pm

Help distinguished Professor Emeritus S. B. Cosma PhD, find a way out of endless speaking engagements and the perfect planet for her upcoming vacation. She's looking for a planet that isn't too hot or cold and has an atmosphere as favorable as Boulder Creek on a Saturday night. Learn about our solar system, it's vast size and our place in it, as we take a walk on the third planet from the sun. While the peanut gallery cringes at her antics, Henry Cowell docents dream of being this imaginative.

This is an easy one-hour stroll along North Escape Road for the whole family. Along the way we build a scale model of the solar system. Learn about NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, Pluto Time and see what Big Basin would look like under the sunlight that falls on Pluto. Meet Susan Blake at Park Headquarters who will present background information and introduce Dr. Cosma.
South Bay Storytellers and Listeners
Tales of the Basin
A Storytelling Event


Friday, July 24 at 7 pm
Saturday, July 25 at Times Vary

The oral storytelling tradition comes to life with the ancient redwood forest as a backdrop. An evening campfire program on Friday and events throughout Saturday. Saturdays events include Junior Rangers at 3:00 pm, a one-hour program is designed for kids ages 7-12, register at 2:45. Big Basin "Nature Tails" storytelling program at 4:30 pm, animal stories presented for children of all ages and their families.

Storyteller Showcase at the historic Campfire Center beginning at 7:00 pm. Sit back and experience an old-fashioned evening steeped in oral tradition as our guest storytellers weave their yarns. Come early marshmallow roasting at 6:30. Presented in collaboration with:

South Bay Storytellers and Listeners
weaving our stories into the tapestry of life
Trail runner on the Skyline to the Sea, Coast Trail Runs
Berry Creek Falls Trail Run

Saturday, July 25 at 8 am

Run among grand old redwoods, going through redwood canyons and climb dry ridges experiencing a wide range of habitats. Choose a 10 Km, 15 Km or 25 Km route in this Coastal Trail Runs event. 15 and 25 Km runs pass by the 65-ft high Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls and Golden Cascade. The course will be marked with flagging approximately every 200 yards and color coded.

Award medals are given to the 1st female and male finishers overall and top three finishers in each age group. All finishers will receive a custom medal. Bib Number and Shirt Pick-Up 7:00 am - 7:45 am. Meet at the intersection of Gazos Creek Road and North Escape Road. Pre-registration through 5 pm Thursday, 7/23/15, discounted prior to 7/11/15 at Coastal Trail Runs website.

Coastal Trail Runs sponsers the 50K Marathon which follows the Skyline to the Sea Trail through Big Basin on July 26, 2015.
South American Boa Constrictor
Snakes Alive

Saturday, July 25 from 12 to 3 pm
Saturday, August 22 from 12 to 3 pm

Come to the Old Lodge, across the street from the nature museum, and meet herpetologist Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Diane will give a talk about snakes at 12:30, or 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 the Old Lodge.

Diane and RDO Interpreter Jeremy Lin do a snake presentation at Rancho del Oso Nature Center the second Saturday of the month in June, July, and August at 2 pm that will include a reptile hunt.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Family Discovery Walk

Saturday, July 25 at 1 pm

Is that an eastern gray squirrel or a western gray squirrel and how do you tell the difference? That's one of the many questions naturalist Norm Beeson will answer if you ask him on this fun-filled family walk. Investigate the mysteries, marvels and miracles of Big Basin's phenomena as you walk through the redwood forest. Unearth hidden gems and realizations on this level, one-mile roundtrip walk that lasts 1.5 hours. Bring water, a snack and a wondrous spirit. Meet Norm at Park Headquarters and arrive at Big Basin early because parking will problematic.
East Waddell
Last Chance Trail
The Hills Have Eyes


Sunday, July 26 at 10 am

Join Docent and survival expert Steve Stolper as we hike the mysterious Last Chance Trail, AKA Sector 16. We follow East Waddell Creek as it meanders through a deep forested canyon while dueling banjos serenade us from the hills. The highlight of our trip is our lunch spot: a sunny rock overlooking cascades that feed the creek below known as Little Yosemite.

After a relaxing lunch, we leave our tranquil spot and return to park headquarters. This 4.4-mile, 4.5 hour out-and-back is a moderate hike with 300 feet elevation gain. We cross the creek that requires hikers to rock-hop or wade the mid-calf deep water. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and tick repellant. Meet Steve at Park Headquarters and never venture to the end of Last Chance Trail.
Docent Peggy O'Shea
Meteor Trail Hike
Ocean View Summit Loop


Sunday, July 26 at 10:30 am
Friday, August 7 at 10:30 am
Sunday, August 23 at 10 am

Join docent, equestrian and avid hiker Peggy O'Shea for one of our most diverse hikes. Travel along mountain streams, by oak woodlands, the Elephant Tree, chaparral and redwoods. You'll discuss forests, flowers, fires and early park settlers, on this 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous 800 foot ascent on the Meteor Trail, home to some of Big Basin's tallest redwoods, to Middle Ridge Road and Ocean View Summit, is rewarded with a view across the Waddell Valley to the Pacific Ocean.

From this viewpoint the abandoned fire lookout at Eagle Rock, Buzzard's Roost, Mt. McAbee, Whitehouse Canyon Road and Chalk Mountain are visible while we enjoy lunch. Completing this loop, it's downhill back to park headquarters on Dool Trail or Gazos Creek Road. Bring water, lunch, sun protection and good hiking shoes. Meet Peggy at Park Headquarters.
Shadowbrook Stroll Creek
Shadowbrook Stroll

Sunday, July 26 at 1 pm
Saturday, August 8 at 10:30 am

Join California Naturalist Hal Anjo 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. Preceeding 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 (WaterStarsHills). This is a five-mile, 350' elevation gain, four-hour hike. Bring water, snacks, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet Hal at Park Headquarters.
Black tail deer fawns, Mule deer fawns
Hike to Ocean View Summit
Meteor Trail


Sunday, August 2 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 at Park Headquarters.

Sunset Trail Storm Damage
Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, August 8 at 9 am

Since 1969 the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew has made it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park. Join leader Jeff Bleam 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 Jeff in the parking area in front of the bathrooms adjoining Park Headquarters.
Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin
Berry Creek Falls Hike

Sunday, August 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 learning first hand the effects the drought is having on the redwood forest. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Meet Bill at Park Headquarters.
Blue Dicks, Dicheleosema pulchellum, Indian onions
Sequoia Trail Wildflower Walk

Saturday, August 15 at 10 am

Join photographer, docent, plant expert Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Big Basin's species of native mosses, lichens, fungi, wildflowers and plants. Discuss the diverse terrain, natural ecosystems and human impact on this 4.5 mile, five hour walk. This is a slowly-paced walk with time to discover and identify plants, flowers and animals in the park and allow for photography. Scott expects to see star tulip, tiger lilies and spinerflower among the flowers in bloom.

The Sequoia Trail ascends for a mile, past the largest by volume tree in the park, to the top of Slippery Rock. This scenic lunch location has your choice of either sunny or shady spots. It is the location of Founders Monument. After lunch it's all down hill with the first stop at Sempervirens Falls, then a short stretch down Sky Meadow Road to the second chimney tree and through Wastahi Campground. Bring sunscreen, water and lunch. Meet Scott at Park Headquarters.
Black-tail doe and fawn
Family Discovery Walk

Saturday, August 15 at 1 pm

Is that an Black-tail doe with newborn fawn or a Mule deer doe and how do you tell the difference? That's one of the many questions naturalist Norm Beeson will answer if you ask him on this fun-filled family walk. Investigate the mysteries, marvels and miracles of Big Basin's phenomena as you walk through the redwood forest. Unearth hidden gems and realizations on this level, one-mile roundtrip walk that lasts 1.5 hours. Bring water, a snack and a wondrous spirit. Meet Norm at Park Headquarters.
Stinkbug
North Escape Road Wildflower Walk

Sunday, August 16 at 10 am

Join photographer, Big Basin historian and bug aficionado, Scott Peden and learn to identify and discuss Big Basin's flora, pollinators, and ecosystems along the North Escape Road from Park Headquarters to the end at Highway 236. This slow five-mile, five to six hour amble, through some of the tallest trees in Big Basin, includes a chimney tree and lunch at a secluded picnic area along the banks of Opal Creek.

After lunch you travel through blooms of sugar scoop, chaparral pea, golden yarrow and a pigmy redwood forest. If you're interested ask Scott to show you the little known, historical dynamite bunker, a great photo opportunity. Bring water, enthusiasm, camera and lunch. Meet Scott at Park Headquarters.

Scott also does a wildflower at Rancho del Oso the second Saturday and one at Butano the first Sunday of each month.
Black tail deer fawns
Big Basin Nature Club

Sunday, August 23 at 10 am
Sunday, August 30 at 10 am

This fun program is for children ages 3-6 and their families. Pretend, play, story telling, sing and explore. This half-hour program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest and the animals that call it their home. Meet Park Interpreter Susan Blake at the Nature Lodge next to the camp store.
Western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis, Blue belly lizard
Junior Rangers

Sunday, August 23 at 11 am
Sunday, August 30 at 11 am

Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest with Park Interpreter Susan Blake. Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is for kids ages 7-12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child at the Nature Lodge, next to the camp store, 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.
Musa and Laurie Bergren on North Escape Road
The Road Less Traveled
Dog-Friendly Walk


Saturday, August 29 at 10 am

On this dog-friendly walk, we travel on North Escape Road, a paved road the second half of which is closed to motor traffic. Laurie Bergren and her dog Musa guide you on a tour through stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek paralleling the Skyline to the Sea Trail. 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 to the Sempervirens' informational kiosk. 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 Laurie and Musa at Park Headquarters.
Madrone tree on Middle Ridge Road, Big Basin
Meteor Trail Hike

Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 am

Join Certified Naturalist Hal Anjo on one of our most diverse hikes by mountain streams, oak woodlands, the Elephant Tree, chaparral and redwoods. You'll discuss forests, flowers, fires, early park settlers, and why the uphill portion seems longer than the downhill portion on this six-mile, four hour hike.

This somewhat strenuous 700 foot ascent to Ocean View Summit, is rewarded on a clear day with a view across the Waddell Valley to the Pacific Ocean. A short 100 foot ascent to the ridge and then down along Rodgers Creek on the Meteor Trail, home to Big Basin's tallest redwoods. Bring water, lunch, good hiking shoes and sun protection. Meet Hal at Park Headquarters.
Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew, Mike Peasland
Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, September 12 at 9 am

The drought has taken its toll on the redwoods, even more so on the Tanoak and Douglas-fir. 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 leader Jeff Bleam 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 attending them at all times. Meet Jeff in the parking area in front of the bathrooms adjoining Park Headquarters.
Chipmunks prefer Android Tablets
Founders' Day and Redwood Jubilee

Saturday, September 26 at 9 am

Celebrate the wild heritage of Big Basin Redwoods State Park with a day of special events. A melodrama with the forest as our theater, a historic Redwood Loop Walk, a timeline tree, felling the giants logging demonstration, games for kids and a special evening campfire program as we honor the Visionaries, Valued Workers and Visitors that have shaped the character of the Big Basin over the past 113+ years.

Exhilarate in the beauty of the majestic old growth forest that inspired men and women to Save the Redwoods. There will be events throughout the day with the schedule posted in front of the Sempervirens' Room at Park Headquarters.

Chip recommends you post your selfies with the hashtag #bigbasin so he won't miss them. While there is no WiFi at Big Basin there is a Verizon hot spot between the Headquarters building and bathrooms.
Missing Arm of William W. Waddell Raccoon
The Missing Arm of William Waddell

Saturday, October 24 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 light doesn't shine. This is the home of the no longer missing Arm of William W. Waddell.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Headquarters


Questions about Big Basin activities
or on becoming a Big Basin Docent
contact: Susan Blake
Big Basin State Park Interpreter
(831) 338-8883
Big Basin Trail Map PDF

Big Basin Trail Map JPG

Hiker's Guide to Big Basin

Big Basin Weather Forecast

Big Basin August Activities News Release

Area State Parks Activities News Release

RDO July-September Newsletter

Phone/Mobile Activities Calendar
Comments concerning this webpage
contact: Kurt Leal
Website Administer
(831) 704-6855
Photos Copyright 2015 Kurt Leal
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