Hike to Eagle Rock in Big Basin Redwoods

Eagle Rock Big Basin


From the issue Peak Your Interest

Eagle Eyes

The trail isn't well maintained, there isn't much parking, and you most likely won't see a soul. Still interested? Then the 1.5-mile (one-way) hike up to Eagle Rock is not to be missed. As the highest peak in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Eagle Rock sits smack in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains and arguably has the best view in the entire range. It's such a good view that forest rangers placed a (now abandoned) fire lookout at the top. Even the road to the trailhead is an adventure. Go way back on Little Basin Road until you can't go any further (noted by the Hewlett Packard camp signs). Park and follow the signed but unnamed trail up and up and up. Because this neck of the woods doesn't see much action the trail can be covered in branches and leaves. You'll need to pay extra attention to where you're going, especially at the beginning, and don't go too late in the afternoon. Remember, it's all part of the fun! After ten minutes on the trail, you'll pass an old wood cabin. The half-way point is marked by a rickety bridge arching over a creek. At the top, there are two choices: hang out by the old fire lookout or scramble up the rocks to the south of the lookout. Either way, the views from 2,488 feet showcase much of the South Bay and beyond. Even Big Sur's Santa Lucia Range can be seen on clear days. The eagle has landed.

The trailhead is off of Little Basin Rd. To get there from the Big Basin Redwoods park headquarters, go south on Hwy. 236 for 3 miles and turn right onto Little Basin Rd. After about 2 miles you’ll reach the Hewlett Packard camp sign. There is a limited amount of parking here on the left (don’t block the fire road). Follow the trail up all the way to Eagle Rock. No dogs.

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