Redwood parks of the

San Francisco Bay Area


California
Sunset and summer fog on the road to Big Basin, Santa Cruz Mountains

Sunset and summer fog on the road to Big Basin

The Bay Area has a lot of redwoods, but only Big Basin has a large, pristine old-growth redwood forest that can begin to compare with the ones in the major North Coast parks. Unfortunately it’s still mostly closed due to a major fire in 2020.

Muir Woods, Portola Redwoods, and Henry Cowell have smaller but still very scenic old-growth redwood groves.

The other redwood parks on this page have some very enjoyable second-growth trails, some of them with small amounts of old growth.

Non-redwood parks

Bay Area non-redwood parks

Want more variety? See this page for coverage of parks throughout the Bay Area.

Old-growth parks

Big Basin

Redwoods State Park

Big Basin has the largest redwoods and most extensive old-growth trail system in the Bay Area, but a major fire burned through in 2020 and the park isn’t expected to be fully open until about 2030.

★★

Portola Redwoods

State Park

A nice quiet park that appears to be mostly old growth, but the trees are pretty small. Has a small campground. The Peters Creek grove is the most impressive in the park, but it requires a long and difficult hike.

★★

Muir Woods

National Monument

The busiest redwood park, mainly because it’s close to San Francisco. The old-growth grove is very scenic, although the redwoods aren’t especially large. Reservations are required to park anywhere near the entrance.

Henry Cowell

Redwoods State Park

Features a small and very popular old-growth grove just outside Santa Cruz. The park also has a campground and an extensive second-growth trail system.

Parks with small amounts of old growth

★★

Pescadero Creek

County Park

A remote, redwood-blanketed cluster of parks with some very nice second-growth trails. There are also a few patches of old growth, most notably tiny Heritage Grove.

★★

Butano

State Park

A quiet, remote park with a remarkably lush pocket of redwoods in a coastal canyon. The canyon bottom, where the biggest redwoods were, has been heavily logged, but some old growth uplands remain.

★★

Samuel P. Taylor

State Park

A scenic and enjoyable park in a lush redwood-filled gorge. The Pioneer Tree Trail has a tiny but nice old-growth grove; the rest of the park is second growth.

Roy’s Redwoods

Open Space Preserve

It’s not in pristine condition, but Roy’s Redwoods has what appears to be a small, off-trail old-growth grove.

Second-growth parks

★★

Purisima Creek Redwoods

Open Space Preserve

A scenic coastal park with shady redwood canyons and dramatic vistas.

★★

Redwood

Regional Park

Fog flowing through the Golden Gate supports a remarkably lush strip of second-growth redwoods in the East Bay, most of which are in this park.

Joaquin Miller

Park

A small Oakland park mostly covered with second-growth redwoods.


 

© 2022 David Baselt