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Big Basin Redwoods state park

Average Rating:    (3.4 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 5

[I recommend to proceed to the park headquarter to buy a map and either drive back to start from China Grade, or start from park headquarters and ride to China Grade. You are doing a loop so you will do this section either at the beginning of the ride, or at the end.] Turn right on China Grade (uphill) and pedal about 3 miles on the pavement. (After about 2 miles there is a post to the right of the road with maps on it, take one and continue on the road. This is not a complete map and often the case is empty, so dont count on it.) Turn left on the gate that says Johansen and ride the fast fire road. Take left on the next fork and ride the Middle Ridge trail. Its a grate downhill section. On the next gate, take right turn and immediately left to stay on Middle Ridge trail. Continue with Middle Ridge until you hit Hihn Hammond. At this point you can either proceed with Hihn Hammond uphill to the overlook, and than go back (it's ~1.5 miles one way). Or, continue downhill towards the headquarters. Take Hwy 236 back to your car. Along the ride I could see many singletraks; however, none of which is legal. If more riders will come to ride here, maybe they will open some for us. This is a great place to ride in a very hot day since the redwood forest keeps the temperatures cool.
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Latitude
37.164968
Longitude
-122.24659
Trail Directions
From Saratoga, take highway 9 towards Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35). Cross highway 35 and continue on Hwy 9 until intersection with Hwy 236. Turn right onto 236 and proceed until intersection with China Grade Road. This is trailhead, park near the intersection.
Trail Length
15.3 (including the overlook)
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Saratoga
State/Territory/Province
California
Zip/Postal Code
95006
Country
United States
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

Review Date
January 28, 2013

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Luke Smith ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Even though you're not allowed on the hiking trails, there are tons of fire roads to ride on. And with Butano State Park right next door, you can ride for a long time. It's easy to get to, good facilities, well maintained, and not too crowded. Hard workout.

Recommended Route:
28 miles - Big Basin Park Headquarters to Gazos Creek Rd. The trail is mostly uphill with a few downhill sections for the next ~6.5 miles. At Sandy Point, (you’ll know you’re there because of the elaborate tree house and railroad cars) continue on Gazos Creek Rd which turns into a very steep rutted downhill (probably some of my favorite riding here), then mellows out to a paved road. Take a right at Cloverdale Rd which is an easy-going, paved stretch. It’s also the lowest point in elevation of this ride, expect a lot of uphill from here. While on Cloverdale Rd, you’ll pass the Butano State Park entrance and about 1 mile later turn right through a gate onto Butano Fire Trail. There’s going to be a lot of steady climbing for the next ~10 miles, but there are some highlights and gorgeous views along the way. Including a cool old air strip. Turn right onto Johansen Rd which is well marked and near the pinnacle of the climb. Now things get fun as it’s mostly downhill. After ~.7 miles veer left to stay on Middle Ridge Rd. Turn left at the gate onto Gazos creek and head back to the parking lot. I have pictures and maps of the ride posted here - http://goo.gl/YFhG8



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Review Date
September 17, 2005

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: boulder creek fuel rider ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Fire roads-Good training ride- Great views- Good on the hottest days

Recommended Route:
Big Basin Headquarters to Johansen rd. up to China Grade- left to Butano Ridge(stay left at Boy Scout Camp) Climbs and drops- crosses old airstrip-great view- keep going-it turns into 6 mile fast downhill to pavement- go left to Butano State park. Good lunch spot- bathrooms-water. Great little park that hardly gets visited. Back out to pavement- left for about 1.5 miles-left on Gazos Creek Road- very gradual climb on pavement for 2-3 miles. Go thru the Big Gate onto dirt then start one of the hardest 2.2 miles of uphill in the Santa Cruz Mtns. One of the best little ferny creeks anywhere with a hundred little waterfalls after a hard rain.Top of Gazos is the bottom of Johansen. Gazos back to Big Basin Headquarters. A 36 mile loop with about 6.5miles repeated (in the other direction).Below airstrip should be avoided after big rains.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Whitehouse Road to the Chalk Mtn overlook- great views of Ano Nuevo Island



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Review Date
September 11, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

Visitors rate this review
3.75 of 5, 4.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Quasi ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Versitile fireroad trails, mostly shady. Middle Ridge trail has plenty of climbs for anybody. Watch out for the first one coming off of Gazos Creek road, its long and rather steep in places, slippery with leaves and cones. If you don't make it up this first climb, its a long way to push the bike to the top.
Like other reviewer said, watch out for the sand traps usually at the bottom of descents. There is little shade going out from Sandy Point to Chalk mountain, sunscreen recommended. The route takes me about three hours (21.6 miles), so I do it once, take a break at the ranger station, refill my water bottles, and do it again.
There is little water, and it would have to be treated, so bring at least three liters, preferably 4 to 5. You are never more than like 12.6 mostly downhill miles from the Park HQ, so carrying your bike back is doable if necessary.

Recommended Route:
Gazos Creek Road out of the HQ area(go East a bit on the road paralleling 260, cross the bridge, you are on Gazos); Right on Middle Ridge Road; Left on Johansen Road to Sandy Point; leaving Sandy Point go West on Whitehouse Road (if you are tired at this point you can return via Gazos Creek Road); then left on Chalk Road to Chalk Mountain Point; relax for a bit and watch the Pacific Ocean or the fog hiding it. Return to Sandy Point the way you came. Go right (south) on Gazos Creek Road all the way back to the HQ. If you still have time, do it again.



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Review Date
June 7, 2002

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
2.60 of 5, 5.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Aaron , from San Francisco

Summary:
this is not a ride, this is a waste of your time..

Recommended Route:
don't bother

Other recommended trails in the same area:
soquel, skeggs, napa



Comments
sftrail (05/18/2009)
Napa is probably 2 - 3 hours away so its not a good recommended trail in the area. This is just a complaint it is not telling use why the person didn't like it.
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Review Date
January 24, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
4.50 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Bill , from San Jose

Summary:
Fire roads, not too technical. A few things to watch out for on Middle Ridge are a sand wash at the bottom of a sandstone downhill, a few rutted places and a fallen tree around a blind corner about 2/3 way on Middle Ridge. Storms make for interesting surprises, there, too. Gazos is tame, you climb up Johansen and then down Middle about 13 miles round trip. I like it 'cause of the redwood trees, sand bars, waterfalls, views and such. It's forest riding in most places with open areas of sandstone. Can be ridden on a hardtail, but F/S is more fun

Recommended Route:
I have ridden the Gazos Creek / Johansen / Middle Ridge route (counter clockwise) from the Park HQ

Other recommended trails in the same area:
I want to try others there. Not very many mt bikers out at Big Basin and the hikers stay mostly on the hike trails so it's mostly very quiet, just you and your buddies. It's not technical but the views and exercise is well worth the drive.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)