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Set in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Big Basin Redwoods State Park gets you up close with the tallest trees on the planet. It's the oldest state park in California and protects more than 18,000 acres of ancient coast redwood forest. The sheer size and scale of the trees is mindboggling, with some of the living giants towering almost 300 feet tall and estimated to be more than 1,800 years old.
Want to get up close with California's majestic redwoods? Book an RV in Santa Cruz County and you'll enjoy the freedom to explore Big Basin Redwoods at your own pace. Spend a few nights sleeping among the redwoods, then venture further afield to gems like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or Point Reyes National Seashore. You're also within striking distance of iconic California national parks like Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree.
More than 80 miles of trails crisscross through the park and take you past towering old-growth redwoods, cascading waterfalls, and fern-covered canyons. The Redwood Loop Trail is popular with families and showcases some of the park's most impressive specimens, including 293-foot tall Mother of the Forest. You'll also pass the enormous Chimney Tree which was hollowed out by a forest fire. For a longer hike, hit the final section of the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, which stretches from Big Basin Redwoods State Park down to Waddell Beach. As you explore the trail, watch for local wildlife, including deer, bobcats, raccoons, woodpeckers, and Steller’s jays.
Enrich your visit to Big Basin Redwoods by attending one of the free interpretive programs held throughout the year. Choose from guided walks, reptile talks, interactive story readings, junior ranger programs, and more. Kids love exploring the museum, which features exhibits on redwood forests and native wildlife. There's also a gift store where you can purchase souvenirs to commemorate your Big Basin Redwoods camping adventure.
Bordering the Pacific Ocean, Rancho del Oso is the coastal section of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It's worth visiting the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center, where you can learn about the unique coastal landscape. For a fix of sun and sand, head down to Waddell State Beach. On windy days, the beach is a mecca for windsurfing and kiteboarding.
RV camping at Big Basin Redwoods State Park offers a unique chance to sleep beneath the tallest trees in the world. The park operates four campgrounds and offers a total of 146 sites, all with fire pits and grills for enjoying your meals under the stars. Open year-round, Huckleberry Campground is set in a sun-dappled redwood grove and features primitive sites with no water or electric hookups. Instead, spend your evenings roasting s'mores around the fireplace. Like most state park RV campgrounds, you'll enjoy access to potable water and modern bathroom blocks with toilets and showers. There's also a dump station for RVs. Huckleberry Campground can accommodate RVs of up to 27 feet in length, making it popular with smaller rigs.
Blooms Creek Campground is open during the busy summer months and boasts a picturesque setting in a redwood grove. Choose from more than 50 sites, all with picnic tables and fire pits. Sempervierens Campground is another option, set under a canopy of towering redwoods. Dogs are permitted in the campgrounds but must always be kept on a leash. If you're craving serenity, consider staying at Wastahi Campground, where walk-in sites offer peace, quiet and plenty of privacy. For supplies, head to the historic Governor's Camp park HQ. The Big Basin Redwoods Store occupies an old CCC-era building and sells ice, firewood, groceries, and other RV camping basics. You can also enjoy sandwiches, salads, and smoothies from the characterful park café.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a fantastic base for exploring California's captivating Central Coast. A stone's throw from the main visitors' center, Ano Nuevo State Park offers an extraordinary chance to get up close with thousands of elephant seals. Further inland, Castle Rock State Park is known for steep sandstone canyons, lush coast redwood forests, and excellent rock-climbing routes. Hike the trail to the Goat Rock Overlook and you'll be rewarded with sweeping views over the San Lorenzo Valley and the Pacific Ocean.
A 45-minute drive south, Santa Cruz is a great place to stock up on gas, food, and other motorhome camping essentials. The laid-back beach town is famous for its breezy boardwalk. Spend the day basking on the sand, or check out attractions like the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. You can also stock up on fresh produce at the legendary farmers' market. San Francisco is an hour and a half north and is a great place to pick up an RV rental near Big Basin Redwoods State Park. San Jose camper rentals are also a good option for Golden State road trips.