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Northern California Backpacking Destinations

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin RedwoodsCalifornia’s oldest state park, home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco, Big Basin is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the San Jose metropolitan area. The locally well known Skyline-to-the-sea Trail starts in Castle Rock State Park at over 3000 feet and threads through Big Basin on its way to the Western terminus at Waddell Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Skyline-to-the-sea Trail passes several waterfalls including the 60 foot tall Berry Creek Falls, as well as many ancient stands of coastal redwoods. The 80 miles of trail within the 18,000 acre park traverse lush redwood canyons and sparse chaparral-covered slopes. Wildlife in the park range from deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, bobcat and mountain lion, to many bird species - including California quail, egret, heron, woodpecker, hawk, owl, and the endangered marbled murrelet. Many of the trails meander along year-round creeks with plenty of cool shade provided by ancient redwood, madrone and tanoak. All this within a short drive into the Santa Cruz Mountains- you'll be surprised how close Big Basin is to your front door!

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