Big Basin Redwoods RV & Campground Guide
Coastal redwood trees only grow in one part of the world - along the coasts of Central and Northern California and Southern Oregon. The humid, foggy, moist climate of coastal California and Oregon helps spur the growth of these giants by retaining moisture in the soil and keeping the evaporation rate down. Big Basin Redwoods State Park protects a grove of redwoods within its more than 18,000 acres. The park's location southwest of San Jose and south of San Francisco makes for an easy day trip from these cities. As is typical of the San Francisco Bay Area, late summer to early fall is the warmest time of the year. The rest of the year, the park stays pleasantly cool, with not much variation in temperatures.
Note: The park sustained extensive damage from the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that tore through the area in August 2020. As of September 2023, parts of the park are now open, but services remain limited. Please call or check the park's website before visiting.
RV Resorts & Campsites in Big Basin Redwoods
As of September 2023, all campgrounds in the park remain closed. Check the park's website for updates before you visit.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Campgrounds
If you're hoping to get up and hit the trail early, the Big Basin Redwoods State Park campgrounds are your best bet. Inside the park, there are four different campgrounds: Huckleberry, Blooms Creek, Sempervires and Wastahi. Huckleberry is open all year while the others are only available in the high season. Be sure to ask about the length of the site when you're booking as the biggest sites in the park can accommodate RVs up to 27 feet. You won't find hookups in this remote, beautiful area, but the stunning natural landscapes and the sound of the wind whistling through the trees more than make up for it. Use the dump station for easy cleanup. All four Big Basin Redwoods campgrounds offer sites for $35 per night.
Sanborn County Park
Leave your RV at Sanborn County Park and avoid much of the mountain driving around Big Basin Redwoods. Though it's closer to the bustle of San Jose, this campground offers peaceful forest sites and access to 22 miles of trails. Each site comes with electricity and water, so you can get the most from your RV rental after a day of hiking in the redwoods. Sites at Sanborn accommodate motorhomes up to 30 feet long; car camping is not allowed. Pets are welcome, and there's a dump station on site. Fees start at $34 per night, and rates are discounted by 25% from November through the end of February.
Redwood Resort RV Park
Are you visiting Big Basin Redwoods in a big rig? The closest campground that can accommodate large RVs is Redwood Resort RV Park. Here, you'll find 20 sites, all maintained by friendly owners who are dedicated to the comfort and safety of their guests. Each site comes with full hookups, internet, cable and phone. Take a dip in the swimming pool in the summer or revel in a hot shower at the end of the day. Sites with hookups start at $60 per night; dry sites begin at $45 per night.
RV Rentals Near Big Basin Redwoods
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What to Do at
Big Basin Redwoods
The park's main attraction, the giant coastal redwoods, will inspire awe and wonder; the best way to see them is to get up close. Standing under one of these trees makes for a humbling experience. Hike through the forest, take a horseback ride, or ride your bike along a fire road to get away from the crowds and experience solitude. Make sure to check the park's current conditions for more information on what sections you can access.
At Big Basin Redwoods State Park, you can embark on virtual geocaching adventures and encounter a rich diversity of wildlife. Explore ancient redwoods, hike scenic trails, and enjoy biking on designated roads.
Inside Big Basin Redwoods
The redwood trees themselves are the highlight of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the best way to see these majestic trees is on the park's 80-mile network of trails. Take your bike on the park's fire roads or bring a horse and explore the Henry Creek and Westridge Trails. In the summer, park rangers host a full schedule of talks and events, so check the park office for details. If you're heading to the coastal section of the park, be sure to check out the Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center.
You can go virtual geocaching in the West Waddell Creek State Wilderness area and the Theodore Hoover Natural Preserve. You're allowed authentic geocaching in the rest of the park.
While in the park, animals you may encounter include deer, tree frogs, lizards, raccoons, turtles, and bobcats. The park's birds include woodpeckers, owls, gulls, wild turkeys, and California quail.
The park's redwoods stand about 300 feet high and have widths of over 50 feet. Some trees in the park may be as old as 1,800 years. Besides the redwoods, you can see conifer trees as well as oaks.
Trails open for hiking include Dool, Meteor, Gazos Creek Road, Sunset, and the Redwood Loop. The easy 0.6-mile Redwood Loop lets you see some of the biggest trees up close. Take the Dool Trail to see old-growth trees as well as a section of the forest undergoing recovery. The Gazos Creek Road Loop offers a more strenuous hike at over 12 miles, but your reward for the effort will include some of the best views in the park.
The park permits bikes only on fire or service roads at this time. Chalks and Gazos Creek roads allow bicycles.
How to Get to
Big Basin Redwoods
From San Francisco: From S. Van Ness Ave and Market Street, head south on Van Ness for 0.4 miles. Get on the US-101 S freeway at the I-80 E/Oakland/San Jose ramp. Stay on US-101 S/I-280 S for 10 miles. Get off US-101 S at exit 423B for I-380 W toward I-280/San Bruno. Take I-380 for a mile, and then take exit 5B to get on I-280 S heading toward San Jose. Stay on I-280 S for 30.8 miles. Get off I-280 S at exit 13 for the Foothill Expressway. At the fork, stay right and look for signs indicating Foothill Blvd. Take Foothill Blvd for 1.3 miles. The route will continue as Stevens Canyon Road; take this for 4.9 miles. Make a left onto Redwood Gulch Road and continue for 1.4 miles. Make a right on CA-9 S and continue for 9.1 miles until you reach the park.
From San Jose: From Santa Clara and S 4th St, head south on 4th St for 0.7 miles. Get on the ramp for I-280 N and stay on the interstate for 3.2 miles. Get off at exit 5B for CA-17 S; stay on here for 4.6 miles. Take exit 22 to get on CA-85 N, and continue for 3.3 miles. Exit at Saratoga Avenue and continue for 0.3 miles. Make a left onto Saratoga Avenue and drive for 1.9 miles. In Santa Cruz County, Saratoga Avenue continues as CA-9 S. Stay on CA-9 S for 13.4 miles until you reach the park.
Entering Big Basin Redwoods
The park encourages visitors arriving by car to make a parking space reservation; the fee costs $6 per vehicle plus $2 for the reservation. It's not required to reserve a parking space, but if you enter the park without a reservation, you'll need to pay $10. Note that the park does not accommodate trailers or oversized vehicles for day-use parking at this time. There's no fee to enter the park on foot or via bicycle.
Is Big Basin Redwoods State Park on your itinerary? The team at RVshare would love to hear about your trip. If you're posting photos or stories on social media, tag them so they can check them out. You can also send snapshots and memories from your visit to [email protected]; they might even publish them on their blog to inspire other RV travelers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Big Basin Redwoods
August through October offers the most pleasant weather, with average daytime highs right around 70 degrees. Expect damp weather for much of the rest of the year, with December and January as the wettest months.
Besides deer, snakes, and various lizards, you may spot turkey vultures, whimbrels, phalaropes, and other birds in the park.
The park's campgrounds are currently closed as of September 2023. Check the park's website for updates on when the campgrounds might reopen.
As the park's campgrounds remain closed, you cannot make reservations at this time.
The park allows dogs only on the first mile of North Escape Road, as well as in the parking lot. Your dog must be on a leash while inside the park.
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