Skyline to Big Basin Backpacking

Palo Alto, California

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This is, without a doubt, the most scenic and off-beat wilderness route across the Santa Cruz Mountains. From the crest of the range you will descend across typical California rolling grassland studded with ancient oaks to the densely forested canyon of Pescadero Creek, then climb on the far side to the lofty summit of Butano Ridge, and finally drop along restful Opal Creek to the redwood heart of Big Basin. The side trip into the Peters Creek watershed, home of the peninsula’s tallest tree, is unparalleled in the entire range for its seclusion and outstanding groves of towering redwoods.

Skyline to Big Basin (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"This is, without a doubt, the most scenic and off-beat wilderness route across the Santa Cruz Mountains. From the crest of the range you will descend across typical California rolling grassland studded with ancient oaks to the densely forested canyon of Pescadero Creek, then climb on the far side to the lofty summit of Butano Ridge, and finally drop along restful Opal Creek to the redwood heart of Big Basin. The side trip into the Peters Creek watershed, home of the peninsula’s tallest tree, is unparalleled in the entire range for its seclusion and outstanding groves of towering redwoods."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Palo Alto
Distance: 26.5
Elevation Gain: 3,550 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4 days
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Portola Redwoods State Park, Big Bason Redwoods State Park
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-min. maps Mindego Hill and Big Basin
Driving Directions: Directions to Skyline to Big Basin (Backpacking)

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May 2018