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Big Basin Redwood Loop

Bay Area

Self-guided nature walk through an ancient and giant forest.

Hiking Easy

1 km
29 m
28 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
302 m
High Point
328 m
Big Basin Redwood Loop Map

Big Basin has the “largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco,” according to the state park’s website. Many trees here are nearly 300 feet tall and more than 1,000 years old. It’s hard to even appreciate their full scale from the ground, but you’ll certainly feel dwarfed when you stand next to a trunk that’s 60 feet in circumference. On the Redwood Loop, you can do just that. You can even walk inside one that’s been hollowed out by fire, though it still survives.


The trail is mostly flat, and accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, but not paved. It meanders through a grove so impressive that some of the trees have names. Pick up a brochure at the visitor’s center to learn which are called the “Mother of the Forest” and “Father of the Forest,” as well as read about the unique and diverse ecosystem.

When hiking among these colossal trees, be sure to study the smaller things as well. You’ll see draperies of ferns, clover, and mosses in the understory along with flowering plants that bloom in spring. Look for mushrooms sprouting from the soil. You can spot stumps and logs of felled giants, and you’ll notice young redwoods growing to take their place. You may also find wildlife like newts and banana slugs that thrive in this cool and damp habitat. It’s an environment dependent on the redwoods and unique to this part of the world, and Big Basin is among the finest examples of it.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area