One of Our Best Trips in California
Me: We’re going to see some really big trees.
Kids: Really Mom? Why?
Me: Because you’ve never seen anything like them.
Kids: OMG (growning)
A few hours later…
Kids: Mom, that was really cool.
Me: I know.
We always have the best trips in California.
Seriously… some of our best family memories!
This particular trip from Monterey to San Francisco included a little detour through Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Big Basin is about an hour and a half from Monterey and an hour and a half to San Francisco.
The California State Park system is awesome! And their website is fantastic. (Especially for not so outdoorsy moms like me.) I love that it includes things like: what you can do if you only have an hour…or half a day…or a week! So Big Basin was the perfect destination for us to check the famous redwoods off of my bucket list!
Big Basin is the oldest state park in California and has the largest continuous strand of ancient redwoods south of San Francisco. There are more than 80 miles of trails, several waterfalls, and trees 2500 years old!
Can you fit your family in a tree??
The Redwood Loop Trail
We chose to walk the Redwood Loop Trail since we only had an hour. It’s a little over half a mile trail that is stroller and wheelchair accessible. This may be a short trail but it packs a big punch! They have a self guided tour pamphlet so you can follow along on the trail.
Nature is so cool y’all.
The highlights were definitely the Mother of the Forest and Father of the Forest…two of the oldest and biggest beauties.
The root structure of a giant redwood that fell in 1983!
A new meaning to group hug!
Although it’s an easy walk, I’d still recommend wearing better/more appropriate shoes!
Chimney Tree- A redwood hollowed out by fire completely to the top!
Tips for Visiting Big Basin:
- These are mountain roads leading to and from Big Basin. If you or your kids get car sick…be prepared!
- There are a few little places to eat on your way to the park in Boulder Creek (15 minutes) or Ben Lomond (20 minutes).
- Wear walking shoes (unlike me…what was I thinking?).
- There are actually really nice restrooms at the beginning of the trail.
- It costs $10 to park at the Headquarters area of the park. Our “walk” was definitely longer than the 0.6 mile trail since parking was limited, but that was not a big deal to us.
- They give you this nifty little form to fill out and leave on your dashboard to let rangers know what your plans were if you don’t return to your car. Kinda cool/ kinda scary! Safety first people!
We have had some of the best trips in California! I would definitely recommend adding a stop to see the redwoods to any California road trip itinerary. There are several other places to see them if Big Basin isn’t along your route. Here is a good resource for other places to see the redwoods in California.
I personally loved Big Basin because it was a super easy stop without feeling like I had to spend the day hiking or camping. Don’t get me wrong, I do like hiking… I just don’t feel like that always fits into the itinerary without devoting an entire day to it.
Have you seen the giant redwoods in California? As always, let me know what y’all think!
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Linking up with Two Traveling Texans and #TheWeeklyPostcard …go check them out too!