“They’re so big!” Slosh, slosh, slosh. “Oh my goodness look at that one we could live inside of it!” If you were following us on our hike this is what you would have heard as we were sloshing our way through Big Basin Redwoods SP! The rains had tapered off and the fog was resting above the trees leaving us cozy below hiking along the muddy trails. We were here to see the Sempervirens Falls but were first greeted by a forest of giants in California’s oldest state park!
Big Basin SP
The first glimpse of our adventure through Big Basin Redwood SP was the drive into the park. The 1.5 lane road winds through redwoods down to the visitor center. Stop in and chat with one of the rangers to get the “must-see” list and head on out! Our trail started at the end of the parking lot to Sequoia Trail. You are instantly greeted by the giants! Use their roots as stairs and get ready for a beautiful adventure!
We kept stopping and admiring the giants. It was magical to be in the forest with the fog barely settled on top of the tree canopy. No outside noises were heard…it’s like we were the only ones in the park. There had been a fire at some point in the park and some of the trunks of the mighty redwoods were burned at the bottom which opened up some shelter that we could both fit inside of and sleep overnight if we had to. That was our plan if the rains decided to pick up again! Not the sleeping but waiting out the storm inside of one of the trees. The hubs and I have seen some redwood giants and every time we are in complete awe. Some of these giants were growing before the Roman Empire! Check out the history part of the visitor center to see the transformation of the park and the displays.
The campground would be amazing to stay at! This is now on our bucket list! The spaces are far enough apart to have a little privacy in some areas to enjoy the peacefulness of the forest. The trail runs through the campground. When you reach the other side you can either drop down to the road or stay on the trail. The hubs and I opted to stay on the trail and take the road on the way back.
Sounds of the waterfall filled the forest before we reached it. Since it had just rained it was flowing nicely. Carefully crossing the road we noticed there is a 15 Minute parking sign…What?! You can drive to the falls?! What is the fun in that? Take the easy and short hike to the falls instead! Eagerly walking down the path to Sempervirens Falls we were rewarded with a beautiful 10-foot waterfall with a backdrop of ferns and trees. Sempervirens Falls may not be the most impressive waterfall we have seen but it was one of those that made your jaw drop in awe of the beauty you were standing in the middle of.
The viewing platform was situated perfectly to enjoy not only the falls but the surrounding area and creek flowing through as well. The hubs and I took our time enjoying the feeling of being there…until a bunch more people showed up. So we shared the space and then headed back up to take the road back to the visitor center.
Not many cars were on the road (I am guessing during the summer this is not the case) which allowed us to stop at every tree that would have taken at least 4 people to give a proper hug. There were so many! The ferns were flourishing alongside the road where water was trickling through. The redwoods were all so healthy and mighty. We felt protected and at peace. It was nice to be on the road and not on the muddy trail fearing my booty would gravitate toward the mud and also to get to see a different view. 🙂 After a little while, there is a pedestrian only trail that runs alongside the road. We could hear the creek flowing below as we walked along. We truly did not want this day to end and kept talking about going back for a longer visit next time!
Leaving Big Basin Redwood SP
After wandering around the visitor center we hopped back in the car and headed down to the coast. We enjoyed the winding roads that lead through the forest to expansive views of the coast! Our next stop was Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Make sure and have your directions already set before you head out because there is little to no cell reception in the park.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Whale season is upon us and Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a wonderful place to view the migration! We showed up and were immediately seeing whale spouts not too far off the point! We stayed there and enjoyed the views and the extended calmness before heading north to home. We had been to Pigeon Point before so we skipped the museum and gift shop but it is well worth the time to walk around it. Did you know Pigeon Point has a hostel you can stay at?? This too is on our bucket list!
Parking=$10, flushing toilets at the visitor center and campgrounds, mostly shaded 3.5 miles, 130 ft elevation gain, no dogs, and a crumb-free forest. The nearest food area is Davenport (on your way to Pigeon Point). We used the trail description from Redwood Hikes and checked the Big Basin Redwoods SP website for updates on trail closures.
Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae. Common names include coast redwood, coastal redwood, and California redwood. Wikipedia
Things We Love:
We both have Osprey backpacks that we absolutely love day hiking in! The colors are great, the fit is wonderful, and the ventilation on your back is priceless! The bosslady owns the Osprey Sirrus 24 in purple. The hubs owns the Osprey Stratos 24 in blue. The bosslady was a little apprehensive about carrying a pack due to the amount of sweat and heat she puts off but these have such good ventilation along the back it doesn’t bother her to wear it. The rain cover came in handy on this hike with a light rain we put our cameras in our backpacks and kept ongoing. All of the pockets on these backpacks help keep items organized and handy. A water bottle pocket on both sides of the backpack allows for extra hydration or if we don’t use our bladders on the inside for short hikes we can carry just the water bottle. These are so comfy and make carrying all of our essentials so easy on our hikes!
Where else can you find us?
Don’t forget to check out the video of the hike on our Hike Then Wine YouTube channel!
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