The Hike was Cancelled, but I Went Anyway

April 2018 Hiking


The tale

Big Basin Redwoods is California’s first state park, tucked away deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Both my car nav and my iPhone nav failed en route, but I managed to arrive 10 minutes before a guided tour was scheduled — only to learn it had been canceled. A friendly ranger outlined the route on a map, and I went anyway.

The route took me north to the aptly-named Ocean View Summit, which did, in fact, have a glimpse of the Pacific. I turned east onto Meteor Trail, a downhill green tunnel that ran along the active Rodgers Creek. The trip was easier than I expected, though my right knee acted up after half an hour of continuous downhill movement.

At the park’s visitor center I wandered through a café that sells camping gear, hot meals, t-shirts, and baby redwood trees. This place has been around long enough to know what casual hikers and camping families need.


Along the Meteor Trail
Along the Meteor Trail.
Entrance to Morganstern Simms Memorial Grove
Entrance to Morganstern Simms Memorial Grove.
Baby sequoias for sale at the visitor center.
Baby sequoias for sale at the visitor center.

For next time

  • 10am on a weekend is the latest you should arrive. Parking was limited.
  • Confirm scheduled hikes, or have a plan B ready.
  • The visitor center has lunch options, including hot wraps and paninis, but the café is only open weekends from 11am–4pm.