Trails Damaged in CZU Fire Reopen at Big Basin

Just in time for spring wildflowers, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is now open for day-use access

From Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

For the first time in three years, visitors can enjoy springtime at Big Basin Redwoods State Park by exploring miles of recently reopened trails and fire roads.

The park, devastated by the CZU Fire in 2020 and hit hard by storms this winter, reopened eight trail segments last week, increasing access for visitors as redwood regrowth and spring blooms revitalize the forest.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park hasn’t been open to the public in the springtime since before the CZU Fire. The fire impacts on vegetation are immense but the decimated tree canopy has provided bucolic forest meadows where wildflowers thrive. Redwood Violets are in full bloom, with other wildflowers on the verge of blossoming.

Currently available trails and fire roads include:

  • Redwood Loop Trail
  • Skyline to the Sea Trail from Old Lodge to Gazos Creek Road
  • Dool Trail
  • Meteor Trail
  • Sunset Trail from Dool Trail to Middle Ridge Road
  • Gazos Creek Road from North Escape Road to Middle Ridge Road
  • North Escape Road from Park Headquarters to Meteor Trail
  • Middle Ridge Road from Gazos Creek Road to Johansen Road
  • Johansen Road

The CZU Fire burned over 97 percent of the park and destroyed nearly every structure, including the Park Headquarters, campgrounds and housing for park employees. Last summer, the park reopened through a limited access day-use reservation system.

Crews are working on an additional four trails and roads, with plans to reopen them later in the spring and summer this year.

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, through its unique position as operating partner with State Parks, created and is operating the Big Basin Day-Use Reservation System. Reservations are available for day-use parking and are $8 each (including a $6 day-use parking fee with a $2 reservation fee). State Parks day-use passes and other park entry programs are honored but a reservation fee of $2 is charged. A total of 96 parking spots, 4 disabled spots and 2 bus spots are offered daily. All fees support the park. Make your reservation and check availability here

Learn more about Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

Visit the Big Basin Redwoods State Park website