Big Basin Redwoods

Park Brochure

brochure Big Basin Redwoods - Park Brochure
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. “ These trees, because of their size and antiquity, were among the natural wonders of the world and should be saved for posterity.” California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (831) 338-8860. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact –Andrew P. Hill, 1899 CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Big Basin Redwoods State Park 21600 Big Basin Way Boulder Creek, CA 95006 (831) 338-8860 © 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Photo courtesy of Ruskin K. Hartley B ig Basin Redwoods, California’s oldest state park, covers more than 18,000 acres ranging from sea level to more than 2,000 feet elevation. This acreage launched the state park movement in California. Big Basin’s biggest attraction— literally— is a rare stand of awe-inspiring, ancient coast redwoods that are among the tallest and oldest trees on Earth. Some measure more than 300 feet tall and 50 feet in circumference. Scientists estimate that these trees may range from 1,000 to 2,500 years old. Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, more than 80 miles of roads and trails, and a fascinating natural and cultural history have beckoned millions of visitors to Big Basin since 1902. coastal people. They harvested seeds of grassland plants in the meadows and gathered soap root and other bulbs for food and utility. Parts of fern, horsetail, and sedge were used to create baskets. They hunted elk, pronghorns, and mule deer. The Quiroste and Cotoni used fire and other land-management practices to promote growth of useful plants. The Ohlone led resistance to the local Spanish mission influence in the late 1700s. Eventually, tribal culture collapsed in the face of contagious European diseases, natural-resource destruction, and the suppression of their native customs. Today, descendants of these tribes are working toward federal recognition and revitalizing their native traditions. NATIVE PEOPLE Humans lived in or near Big Basin for at least 10,000 years before the Spanish explored the area in the late 1700s. The Big Basin area was home to the Cotoni and Quiroste tribes, two of more than 50 tribes comprising the Ohlone culture of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Grinding rocks, where native people pounded acorns and other seeds into flour, are evidence that today’s parkland served as the interior “food basket” for THE REDWOODS Big Basin’s coast redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, are native to the United States; they grow only along the coast from southern Oregon to Central California. The name Sequoia may honor Sequoyah, the 19th-century inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, and sempervirens means “ever living.” These trees are part of a once-huge ancient forest of which less than five percent remains. The redwood is California’s official state tree. The Santa Cruz redwood forest was first Sawmill, 1900 Sempervirens Club with the famous Father of the Forest tree, 1901 noted in accounts of a Spanish coastal expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá in 1769. Less than a century later, logging— to meet the demands of the gold rush and urban development —  threatened to deplete the forest. By 1884, the area’s 28 sawmills were processing more than 34 million board feet of lumber, shingles, railroad ties, and posts annually. PARK HISTORY As logging continued, a battle to protect the ancient trees in the heart of Big Basin became the focus of citizens united to save the redwoods. Photographer Andrew P. Hill, journalist Josephine McCrackin, writer-publisher Carrie Stevens Walter, and a growing coalition of journalists, politicians, artists, businessmen, and scholars formed the Sempervirens Club in May of 1900. As Walter wrote, “Once gone, no human power or ingenuity can replace them. Even the most callousmore than 18,000 acres, the park minded materialist continues to grow through partnerships does not love to think with private nonprofit groups like of this swirling globe Save the Redwoods League and the as a treeless place.” Sempervirens Fund. The Sempervirens NATURAL HISTORY Club enlisted and mobilized Ecology and Vegetation supporters throughout the Some redwoods measure more state to join the race to than 300 feet tall and 50 feet in pass legislation that would circumference. However, with no protect Big Basin’s taproot, redwood trees rely on a ancient redwoods. In network of far-reaching roots about March 1901, a State six feet deep, intertwined with those bill created California of other redwoods. Soil compaction Redwood Park is a danger to these roots. Knobcone (renamed Big Basin pine, Douglas-fir, red alder, madrone, Redwoods State Park The forest supports a variety of chinquapin, and buckeye also grow in 1927). life. Top to bottom: false turkey here. The forest’s tanoak tree bark tail fungus, western azalea, The bill also banana slug once provided tannin for local leather established the California tanneries. Huckleberry, azaleas, wild orchids, Redwood Park Commission. In 1906, after ferns, manzanita, Indian paintbrush, and much debate, the commission acquired poppies dot the park. 3,901 acres from the Big Basin Lumber Company through purchase and donation. Wildlife, Geology, and Climate Another 3,785 acres were converted from Foxes, coyotes, and bobcats live throughout federal land to the state park in 1916. the park. Banana slugs feed on organic In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation matter, plants, and mushrooms on the forest Corps constructed the redwood Nature floor. Newts, lizards, and frogs are bountiful Lodge and Park Headquarters, a campfire in the coast’s damp, moist climate. center, a footbridge, cabins, stoves, and a California quail, brown creepers, various trail network. woodpeckers, owls, and flickers are some Today, preservation of the park’s natural common bird species found in the park. wonders has returned to the forefront. Be alert for rattlesnakes, poison oak, and The emphasis is preservation of the ticks. Use caution if you see a mountain lion; forest’s entire ecology, with its significant report aggressive encounters to park staff. geologic features, wildlife corridors, and Geologically, the park’s rock formations massive watershed. Currently comprising are a “Franciscan assemblage”— outcrops of serpentinite, basalt, limestone, ribbon chert, graywacke, sandstone, and shale. Each season offers a different park experience. The intense greens of mosses contrast with the subtle colors of lichens and mushrooms during wet winters. Rushing waterfalls and wildflowers abound in the cool, foggy spring. Find a shady getaway from inland heat in summertime. Fall offers pleasant weather without storms, pests, or extreme heat. Climate change affects the redwood forest. Coast redwoods receive much of their water and nutrients from fog drippings. A 2010 University of California, Berkeley study found that the coast now has 75% fewer foggy days than it did a century ago. Mature redwoods can survive, but fewer foggy days mean fewer seedlings mature into trees. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES A year-round activity schedule can be found on the park’s website. The park’s Nature Lodge museum and the Headquarters Visitor Center have natural and cultural exhibits. The coastal Rancho del Oso Nature Interpretive programs at the campfire center and History Center offers exhibits and guided tours; call (831) 427-2288. Camping — 146 family campsites, four group camping sites, tent cabins, backcountry trail camps, and horse camping are available. For complete camping options and reservations, visit bigbasin or call (800) 444-7275. Trail camps are reservation only; for trail camp or Rancho del Oso horse camping details, call (831) 338-8861. For Little Basin Group Camp info, call (831) 338-3314. Trails — Big Basin’s 80 miles of roads and trails introduce visitors not only to the redwoods, but to the park’s different habitats and plants. Guided hikes are scheduled. The easy strollerand wheelchairaccessible Redwood Loop Trail winds a half-mile through the ancient redwood environment. Visitors can see Opal Creek, some of the larger old-growth trees, a redwood ring, and the giant Mother and Father of the Forest trees. Rated moderate, the Sequoia Trail passes spectacular Sempervirens Falls. A strenuous hike on the Berry Creek Falls Trail passes many of the largest old-growth redwood trees, Berry Creek, and its four waterfalls. The 33-mile Skyline to the Sea Trail runs from Castle Rock State Park through Big Basin to Waddell Beach at Rancho del Oso. Park Headquarters, and the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center and restrooms. See Sempervirens Falls During the winter, seasonal bridges on the Skyline to the Sea Trail are removed when Waddell Creek is high. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES Restrooms and showers are accessible. Parking, eight campsites, three tent cabins, the main picnic area, and several trails are accessible, as are the main Visitor Center, PLEASE REMEMBER • All natural and cultural features in the park are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. Collecting is prohibited, including down wood. • Purchase firewood from the park store or camp hosts. • Be prepared for mosquitoes in summer. • Feeding wildlife is prohibited by law. • Be crumb clean! Please leave no food out— not even a crumb. Use food lockers and don’t leave any food unguarded. • Dispose of all trash properly. Recycle glass, plastic, and aluminum. • Except for service animals, dogs are never allowed on any trails, unpaved service/fire roads, in any portion of Rancho del Oso, or on Waddell Beach. any time. THE MARBLED MURRELET, a seabird about the size of a robin, is a redwoods inhabitant listed as endangered in California and threatened in the U.S. The murrelet nests high on a limb in the redwood canopy, hundreds of feet above ground. The bird travels up to 30 miles at dawn and dusk to feed on herring, smelt, or anchovies as it swims through the ocean. The murrelet parents trade off for morning and evening feeding; the mother hatches only one chick per year. Marbled murrelet eggs and babies are prey to the park’s corvids — jays, crows, and ravens. They are first attracted to food or crumbs left by humans, and then the corvids notice the murrelet nests high in trees. Photo Courtesy of Rich MacIntosh BIG BASIN: CALIFORNIA’S OLDEST STATE PARK The establishment of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in 1902 marked the beginning of the preservation and conservation movement in California and provided the vision for the hundreds of California state parks we enjoy today. In 1900, San Jose photographer Andrew P. Hill photographed the coast redwood trees in Felton Grove, now part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The then-owner of the forest accused Hill of trespassing and demanded Andrew P. Hill his negatives. Hill refused 1915 self-portrait and left, vowing to himself to save the trees for future generations and “make a public park of this place.” After a landmark meeting at Stanford University in May of 1900, Santa Cruz businessmen led Hill, journalists, and politicians on an excursion to Big Basin, an ancient forest threatened by logging. After three days of exploring the forest’s wonders, the group elected officers and formed the Sempervirens Club. The club and its growing team of supporters pushed the state legislature to approve a bill to purchase the land. The bill passed unanimously. Thus was established California Redwood Park— known since 1927 as Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Andrew P. Hill photographed much of the early history of Big Basin: Father of the Forest redwood, ca. 1915 Sempervirens Club annual meeting, ca. 1915 Campfire benches and tents, ca. 1915 il Tra 0.5 0.5 0.75 1 1.5 1.25 Miles 1 2 2.25 Kilometers a W d Cre n ne Rd Mt 0.25 ll Pi 0 0 e dd Ha mm on Hih Co n Ha nn mm ec tor ond Op Tra il al k ee Cr ill M Creek East y Blo oms Creek Ridg e Blooms Creek 0 Trail 0 Tra il ek Tent Cabins il Tr a Ridge Sempervirens Sha dow bro Creek Ridge ok Tra il Trail 0.25 0.5 236 Ea st Rid 0.5 Mi 1 Km ge Tra il © 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Hihn R il Tra Cre East Sk st 00 Sha do w ea M od il Blooms d rook Trail on Bob Kirsch Connector Trail do Lo Jay a Tr ek dw o Re P uoia wb ni Rd Trail 1000ft 305m Seq U Eastridge Connector Trail Park Headquarters Visitor Center P op Trail a the Seq P P P Sky Meadow Huckleberry P uoia Sequoia Old Lodge eek il P P e in Pin nta ou il M Tra 10 k y n e to li 0 100 Creek al Op rth Ea Marsh Trail Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center Sea the Trail ad Ro S e a Trail th e to ne yli Sk pe ca Es No Wastahi Se Sea th e to Tr a 236 Rd Cr k ee Cr Wad del l Sc ott Creek B the Se a e N Skyl i n 00 2000 n Unio eping 00 10 Trail Westr id ge tt lio El Creek Cr s rviren ek Cre Tr Fo k ee Cr ue oN Basin Big Trail 00 20 00 10 dell Wa d East ge McCrary k vo Cr ee Opal Cr Wa dd Kin g Berr ek Cre dell Wa d Rid e to Sempervirens Falls rook Skyline P Picnic Loop k Sha d o Slippery Rock ek to Boulder Creek, Hwy 9 ad s Creek 1000 BBRSP t 00 236 Ro wb ee Alder to Santa Cruz m ison rviren Cr l Trai Hoover Nature Trail Ja Sempe Rd S k y l in e P 00 ee k 2000 A to BBRSP re il Tra ood E 00 gC Nature Lodge & Store ry C 10 20 Trail er O NEARBY STATE PARKS 1 Año Nuevo State Park 20 miles N of Santa Cruz on Hwy. 1 Pescadero 94060 (650) 879-0227 Ranger Station Butano State Park 1500 Cloverdale Road Waddell Pescadero 94060 (650) 879-2040 P Beach Castle Rock State Park 15000 Skyline Blvd. Theodore J. Hoover Natural Preserve Los Gatos 95030 (408) 867-2952 t eb Trai l ypa s s Sunse 00 kl I C 10 res k il Twin Redwoods 00 Bi Fo Cree Redw ol uc 10 is on C r k Gazos Cr nn e Tra ctor il Ja m Eagle Rock ping Tr H PA C I F C 10 Trail Cree ol a Tr P 00 00 (reservations only) Maddock Family Cabin Site Do Co 10 a oi qu il Se Tra Trail 00 00 k ree Basin tle Sea C r ek e Marine Education Center ek 2488ft 758m Last Chance Park Entrance Cre Little Basin Concession Group Campground Eagle Rock Scott 00 Añ Sempe ell King Creek Henry We st ek y Cre Canyon 1000 ad Ro W l ks C ha 00 o Lit il Tra op ms 2000 10 10 AÑO NUEVO S TAT E PA R K Tr ail 10 L B ar k Buzzard’s Roost Spur Trail st 10 B a r k Lo Tan o Pig Ridge Cutoff Trail n 2208ft 673m oo see detail map Rd Do 10 236 ee Cr Rd Mtn Pine Mtn 1000 1 Trail ell il Tra a lks ge e ne p ne to ge ad W th d Eastridge Sempervirens Ta yli t id Westr Wes 9 Trail Sea This park receives support in part through two nonprofit organizations: Mountain Parks Foundation (inland areas) 525 N. Big Trees Park Rd., Felton, CA 95018 (831) 335-3174 • 1000 _______ Waddell Creek Association (Rancho del Oso) 3600 Highway 1, Davenport, CA 95017 (831) 427-2288 • e Huckleberry Buzzard’s Roost ek ad trid Pi e Mtn il Tra Chanc Gr Eas Trail to th e Blooms Creek e ard ne Bl Rd 00 Cre Lodge Rd 236 Jay rd yli na wa P 1000 Sk PA R K gers Rod Rd Sky Meadow Pin mond Ho w 1739ft 530m 10 a Trail 2150ft 655m Trail oi Wastahi Sequoia Trail Sk hi ek 236 Tr t Tra il 1000 S T AT E W I L D E R N E S S S TAT E qu P g CREEK Se Rd res WA D D E L L k Fo Rd WEST ree Sunset Connector Trail Ho n Ham Hih Mt McAbee Overlook 00 Road 1000 Tra il 10 e Rd to e Kelly Sea e ck C Escape dg Kin th Cre ddo Creepin g Ri 1000 t Wes AÑO k 236 C dle ’s Cr ee nse t Creek Trail ard Ma os k il Tra Trail S k yl i n How 1609ft 490m Ch az ee Cr lls Berry Creek Falls Chalk Mt NUEVO m Tim Fa W h i t e h o us e C r e e k s Su ek 00 00 Ti Cre Rd alk Su G il Tra y 10 1000 Ch 10 s m’ m nr Golden Falls Berr y The Cascades Silver Falls Cr ee k 1689ft 515m Mid on ers d Andding R Lan Creek se teho u hi Ocean View Summit Trail t nse Sunset He 0 00 erry 10 tB Wes 00 Trail Hw eek rth Private Property Inholding 0 CASTLE ROCK S TAT E PA R K Creek 1000 Cr No Campground the y 9 Connector Trail to Saratoga Toll Rd Trail 236 Meteor Creek Waterfall Sea r Campfire Center 2000 Skyline to Rodgers Sandy Point 00 de Viewpoint Tre e ul Telephone Seasonal Bridge w Henry Cowell Redwoods 1SP Bo Accessible Feature llo BIG BASIN REDWOODS S TAT E PA R K to Hwy. 1 Gazos Creek Rd (closed seasonally) S Waterman Gap Redwoods Tra il Last Restrooms e k Ranger Station/Office (By Reservation Only) 9 ee h Jo en esc Portolaadero Redwoods SP r il Tra Concession-Operated Group Campground s an Ho ad ad Boulde tle Lit Cr Ro Picnic Area Wilderness Area W Ri hite dg ho e Tr use 2000 Parking P (Hike, Bike & Horse) Gr sin 1000 Pescadero Creek County Park P Creek Trail Hollow Tree Creek No Public Access Trail: Multi-use 100 Lane Rd na Marsh to Cutter Scout Reservation hi Gazos re Fi C Trail: Hike & Horse 0 no Ba 0 10 ta nt Locked Gate Trail: Hike Bu PA R K 2000 S TAT E Horse Staging Area to Saratoga/ Skyline Blvd 00 0 re Campground: Primitive Trail: Accessible 10 100 2000 me Unpaved Fire/Service Rd. B U TA N O se Campground: Horse a Trail E Campground: Group Paved Road 10 State Park Major Road (Open to Hike, Bike & Horse) 10 to Portola Redwoods SP and Pescadero Creek County Park Ba sin Big Basin Redwoods eek Legend

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