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Big Basin State Park
In the Santa Cruz Mountains, California

California's magnificent state park system was born at Big Basin. Early conservationists established the Sempervirens Fund which bought the central park area of 3800 acres from lumber companies and turned it over to the state in 1902. Since then it has grown to 18,000 acres with additions on all sides, connecting to other parklands and extending down to the coast.

The central feature of the park is its impressive stand of old-growth redwoods in the headquarters area, surrounded by more than 10,000 acres of undistubed redwood forest. Though not quite world record size many of these trees are truly huge and the pristine forest is lush and delightful.

There are several campgrounds, some located in old growth redwood forest, plus trail camps, an extensive trail system including the Skyline to the Sea Trail, and some notable waterfalls.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Wikipedia: Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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Big Basin Park Headquarters and Visitor Center

Big Basin Park Headquarters and Visitor Center

The rustic park headquarters, along with most of the other park buildings, was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Cross section of a 1500 year-old redwood

Cross section of a 1500 year-old redwood

Like most redwood parks, Big Basin displays a cross-section of a huge tree with rings dating back to 544 AD marked with significant human events.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Family circle of redwoods

Family circle of redwoods

A circle of young redwoods that sprouted from the root crown of a vanished parent tree stands next to the Nature Lodge and store. (Be sure to look straight up.)

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Cabins in the redwood forest

Cabins in the redwood forest

A number of cabins built by the CCC in the 1930's are scattered through the Big Basin redwood forest.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Big Basin Amphitheater

Big Basin Amphitheater

This outdoor amphitheater with redwood logs for seats was built in the 1930's by the CCC and recently restored.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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Big Basin meadow

Big Basin meadow

This rare natural opening in the dense forest, a marshy meadow, once contained a swimming pool.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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The

The "Mother of the Forest" tree

Early in the 20th century many of the most impressive trees at Big Basin were given names.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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Mother of the Forest

Mother of the Forest

One of the largest trees at Big Basin, the "Mother of the Forest" redwood was 329 feet tall when first measured, but has lost its top and now is only 293 feet.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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The

The "Father of the Forest" redwood

Though not the tallest, the Father of the Forest is one of the most massive, with a diameter of more than sixteen feet.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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Tallest trees exhibit

Tallest trees exhibit

The California redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, are the tallest trees in the world, up to 370 feet (112 meters). The plaque here commemorates photographer Andrew P. Hill, saying "He saved the redwoods".

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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Redwood Loop Trail at Big Basin

Redwood Loop Trail at Big Basin

The Redwood Loop Trail through old growth forest at Big Basin has been justly famous since creation of the park in 1901.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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Skyline to the Sea Trail in Big Basin

Skyline to the Sea Trail in Big Basin

The Skyline to the Sea Trail loops through the old growth groves at Big Basin on its 33-mile route from Castle Rock to Waddell Beach.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Sequoia Trail

Sequoia Trail

The Sequoia Trail parallels the main road connecting the campgrounds.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: August 25, 2015
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Huckleberry Campground

Huckleberry Campground

Big Basin has a total of five campgrounds, with many sites in old growth redwood forest.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Date photographed: April 1, 2013
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