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Overnight camping has returned at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

DAVENPORT, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON JULY 17, 2023 AT 4:32 PM- A welcome sight at Big Basin Redwoods State Park as camping along the coastal area of the park has returned.

Friends of Santa Cruz Parks said that the horse camp at Rancho Del Oso is rehabilitated and has opened for walkers and bikers starting on Monday.

However, reservations are required for camping and horse riding is still not allowed.

The campground will be open on a temporary basis in partnership with Save the Redwoods League, Big Basin Redwoods State Park

A map of the area the campground that is open at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, photo courtesy of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

There is no equestrian trail access on the coast side of the park and the campground will be reinstated as a Horse Camp once equestrian trails have been restored.

The campground was damaged during the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in Aug. 2020.

For more information on how to make your reservations, click here.

Big Basin Redwood State Park reopens for first time since CZU Lightning Complex Fire

BOULDER CREEK, Calif. (KION-TV)-- Big Basin Redwoods State Park reopened Friday July 22 for guests who signed up ahead of time for the first time since the CZU Lightning Complex Fire in August 2020.

The fire took out 97% of the park and destroyed nearly every structure, including the Park Headquarters, campgrounds, and employee housing. Around 18,000 acres burned inside the park.

“The changes to Big Basin are profound, but the forest is starting to recover, and it’s amazing to witness,” said California State Parks Santa Cruz District Superintendent Chris Spohrer. “We want to share the recovery process with visitors, including telling the story of what happened, the status today, and the plans for reimagining the park. We’re excited to be able to welcome visitors back on a limited basis as we near the two-year anniversary of the fire.”

The day-use-only passes will give the public access to a small park area. Guests can tour the Redwood Loop area and 18 miles of file roads near the park core.

We are proud to partner with State Parks to bring the public back to Big Basin,” Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Executive Director Bonny Hawley said. “The devastation of the CZU Fire reminded all of us how beloved and special this park is to generations of visitors. While it will not look like the same Big Basin visitors remember, we hope visitors will enjoy making new memories during this pivotal time for the park.”

Highway 236 also reopened the same day to allow drivers to take that route to the park.

This reopening will be limited to day-use reservations only. You can reserve a spot here or you can call (831)-338-8867.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46


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