Big Basin Redwoods State Park partially reopens to visitors July 22

State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer speaks at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer speaks at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

For the first time since the CZU Complex fire devastated Big Basin Redwoods State Park in 2020, visitors can explore a limited part of the park again starting July 22. Officials will limit the number of visitors to ensure their safety in the forest and provide a good visitor experience.

Visitors can finally step foot back into Big Basin Redwoods State Park in July, for the first time since the CZU Complex fire damaged 97% of the park in August 2020.

Park officials announced Thursday that people wanting to arrive by car will need to make day-use reservations for an $8 fee, while those arriving by foot, bike or bus can visit at no cost and without reserving a space. Day-use reservations will be limited to 45 reservations per day initially and increase as the park gradually recovers — which will take years. Reservations, for either car or other entry, can be made online.

The devastating CZU Complex fire that burned 97% of Big Basin Redwoods State Park is giving way to new growth — and new...

Ahead of the park’s July 22 reopening, the public can start making reservations Friday. When it reopens, visitors will be able to access a limited area of the park, including two trails — the Redwood Loop Trail and Dool Trail — for hiking, and 18 miles of fire roads will be open for hiking and biking.

Due to the extensive damages and the complexity of the cleanup, park officials have set the access limits, citing visitor safety, the protection of the forest’s recovery process and the ability to provide visitors a high-quality experience, without overcrowding the trails.

While park officials and community members are devastated by the loss of so much of the park, they have taken this tragedy as an opportunity to reimagine what they hope will be a more environmentally resilient and socially inclusive park. To do so, they launched a project to reimagine the park and are inviting the public to participate.

For more information about making reservations visit the state parks website, and to learn more about the park’s reimagining project, click here.

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