Backcountry Camp at Big Basin's Sunset Trail Camp

San Francisco Big Basin Headquarters

Added by Christian Arballo

Big Basin's backpacking sites are open from May 1st - Nov. 1st. The hike into Sunset Trail Camp is 6 miles, 12 roundtrip. The campsite is situated in close proximity to the waterfalls.

Looking for a more authentic hiking and camping weekend, without having to drive hours away to find it? Then the Sunset Trail Camp within Big Basin Redwoods SP is your ticket. To access this site, you'll need to hike the famous Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail where you'll meander through redwoods and across creeks. You'll then find yourself at Big Basin's big three waterfalls. Your destination is only a quarter-mile from Golden Cascade Falls. There are 10 campsites to choose from, all set along West Berry Creek. While all of the other hikers are turning around, you'll be unpacking and making yourself at home.

To reserve a spot at Sunset Trail Camp, call 831-338-8861. Campsites are $15 per night and there's an additional $5 reservation fee.

Head to for more info.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp gear
  • Hiking gear
  • Camera
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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



12 Miles




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How to Get There

21 days ago

Great all season hike!

This is a great hike at almost any time of year because of the shade and forest canopy. To turn it into a multi-day backpacking trip, hike here for your first day and then down to one of the trail camps closer to Wadell Beach for the 2nd day. After setting up camp hike down to Wadell Beach and back. This adds quite a few miles but at the low elevation, it's a great way to get some mileage and elevation gain before a summer spent in the Sierra Nevadas.

21 days ago

21 days ago

Nice easy/moderate hike

It was an easy to moderate hike. Almost entirely under the shade of redwood trees, so good for any time of the year the camp site is open. The three waterfalls are all within a mile and a half of the camp sites. Overall a great backpacking trip that was not very strenuous. Only negative was that the campground is a bit crowded with campsites very close to each other. Reservations are required (phone) for the campsite and are hard to get.

21 days ago

over 1 year ago

Highly recommend the loop hike, but NOT the Sunset Trail Camp. Campsites were packed so closely together that we could hear our neighbors' conversations perfectly. Not an ideal backcountry experience - might as well have car camped. If I were to go again I would bring a bear canister and pick one of the more secluded, unofficial spots, or just complete the loop as a day hike.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This is a great place to camp and explore while doing a coastal trek from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo! Watch some of the roads up here, they are very narrow, and don't always have a shoulder. Use your headlights!

over 1 year ago

about 3 years ago

This is one of my favorite state parks.

about 3 years ago

Added by Christian Arballo

↟South Lake Tahoe Native • Living in San Francisco 

 ↟Northern California Adventurer and Photographer

 ↟Connecting with Hiking/Backpackers

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