Who knew there was such beauty a stone’s throw away from Sunnyvale in California? The Big Basin Redwoods Park is obviously no comparison to the Redwoods near Crescent City. They are on a totally different scale. The Big Basin, however, is a perfect weekend getaway with loads of redwood trees, cute little streams, creeks, waterfalls… You want nature, you got it here @ Big Basin.
From where I live, it is a nice one hour drive to the forest with plenty of vineyards along the way in a typical Redwoods setting – tall trees, curvy roads narrowing at the end of your journey and wineries overlooking the entire bay. For some, it may be a torturous drive owing to the million curves on the road to Big Basin. Best tip is to roll down the windows in your car to avoid being woozy. I know I did and felt immensely better. The pure natural air helps a lonnnng way! Trust me.
Once into the park, you have a basic visitor center and a parking entry with plenty of portable toilets.
KEY ADVICE (for those allergic or extremely repulsed by portable toilets): Try using the restroom at your hotel/home/motel before going to the forest or head into one of the wineries. That’s awesome coz you can taste and pick up some of their best wine.
The visitor center has a single forest ranger who will help you with key information on hiking trails, camping, facilities inside the forest, DO’s and DON’Ts for campers and most important of all, MAPS.
We took a 4 mile hike this weekend from skyline to the sea trail crossing over to the creeping forest trail and finally joining the dool trail leading back to the park headquarters.
It’s pretty basic from the skyline to the sea trail upto the creeping forest trail. The trail consists of cute little creeks and streams, a nice flowing river and tall redwoods. This leads you to a junction that starts the creeping forest trail.
The creeping forest trail certainly sticks to its name. It’s creepy but beautiful inside. While you feel entirely cut off from the world, this trail can be quite an up climb and a good workout. The vegetation is so thick, it is hard to miss breathing the insanely fresh forest air. The scent is outrageously musky, earthy and relaxing.
This trail then leads you to a sort of tree path which you will see in the photos that follow. The tree is carved into steps and footpaths. So very different and pleasing to the eye amidst the sudden rush of nature.
The dool trail starts with a road that looks quite lost and dreamy. Crossing this road will start the dool trail back to the headquarters which can be quite a slippery walk especially after a rain. And my sources say it does all the time during spring. So watch out!
On the whole, I absolutely enjoyed my time hiking at Big Basin and am definitely thinking of going back. Maybe for some camping the next time around.