“Big Basin Loop travels mostly in the shadows of the majestic Redwoods.
— Shlomo Waser
This loops travels through a collection of forest roads at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. In addition to the giant redwood trees, there are large Douglas-fir trees, tanoak and madrone. There's also a vista point with views to the Pacific Ocean. Even thought the wide roads/trails don't present a singletrack technical challenges, they do provide some good climbs and steep descents, as well as some short sections of rocks. A big portion of the ride is in shade, making it a good option for hot summer days. Along the ride, make sure to stop and get off the bike to look up and enjoy these majestic giant redwoods.
There is a day-use entrance fee to enter the park.
Need to Know
Many of the trails are at the park are closed to bikes, but this is a pleasant loop to enjoy the scenery and get some mileage. The Redwood Loop Trail is a great hiking-only interpretive trail next to the parking area that makes a short and worthwhile addition to this ride (some of the trees are over 1,000 years old)! If you'd like a paper map during your visit, they are available from the visitor center. For current hours and to more information visit the park's website
Start at the parking lot (elevation 1,000 ft) across the road from the Park Headquarters Visitor Center. Head north on the North Escape road for a short distance to hang a left toward Gazos Creek Road
and start the first climb that tops out just past the intersection with the Middle Ridge Road
Riders will enjoy almost two miles of descending through the towering trees before the next climb starts casually up. At six miles, turn right on Johansen Road
and continue up through the steepest climb of the ride. At the next intersection, turn right onto Middle Ridge Road
. This is the highest point of the loop at around 2,000 ft.
Middle Ridge Road
would be pretty casual except for the steep descent that rushes riders down to the Ocean View Summit (elevation 1,685 ft). Stop here and enjoy the view out to the Pacific Ocean before completing a short climb before the rest of the descent. Turn left on Gazos Creek Road
to return to the parking area.