The park is 25 miles northwest of Santa Cruz via Highways 9 and 236 and about 65 miles south of San Francisco.

From the Bay Area, there are three basic ways to get to the park:

  1. From the San Jose area.
  2. From the San Francisco area.
  3. From the Santa Cruz area.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All roads into Big Basin are curvy. The least curvy route is route 1 as described below. If you have a RV or trailer, you should take route 1.

Route 1 (From San Jose, Oakland, Fremont)

Long 

  1. Take the 880 freeway south, which becomes Highway 17.
  2. As you head towards Santa Cruz and come down from the summit, you will see a sign on the freeway for Big Basin. The actual road name is Mount Hermon Road. Exit the freeway here and stay right onto Mount Hermon Road.
  3. Stay on Mount Hermon Road as it goes through the city of Scotts Valley.
  4. Mount Hermon Road ends at an intersection with a signal (Graham Hill Rd.). Turn right at this light.
  5. You will immediately come to another lighted intersection (Highway 9). Turn right again.
  6. Stay on Highway 9 in this northerly direction for 15 miles. You will be traveling through several mountain towns.
  7. You will eventually come to the town of Boulder Creek. In Boulder Creek there is one stop sign. At this stop sign you will turn left onto Highway 236/Big Basin Way.
  8. Stay on Highway 236/Big Basin Way for 9 miles and you will enter the Park.
  9. Proceed to Park Headquarters.

Short

  1. Take the 880 freeway south (becomes Highway 17)
  2. Exit Mount Hermon Road and stay right
  3. Turn right at Graham Hill Road traffic light
  4. Immediately turn right at Highway 9.
  5. Stay on Highway 9 15 miles.
  6. Turn left onto Highway 236/Big Basin Way at stop sign.
  7. Stay on Highway 236/Big Basin Way for 9 miles and you will enter the Park.
  8. Proceed to Park Headquarters.

Route 2 (From San Francisco, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto)

Take either the 101 freeway south or 280 freeway south. From there take the 85 freeway south. Exit 85 at Saratoga Road. Turn right and head west on Saratoga Road. After a few miles, you’ll encounter a signal. Pick up Highway 9 here; take a right and drive through the quaint shopping area of Saratoga. The road then begins to climb into the mountains. Stay on 9 as it winds through the mountains for 12 miles. You will then see a sign for Highway 236/Big Basin. Turn right onto Highway 236 and continue on this road for 9 miles until you come to Park Headquarters.

Route 3 (From California Highway 1, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay)

Take Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. Take Highway 9 north for 15 miles. You will pass through several mountain towns and eventually arrive at the town of Boulder Creek. In Boulder Creek there is one stop sign. At this stop sign you will turn left onto Highway 236/Big Basin Way. Stay on this road for 9 miles and you will enter the Park. Proceed to Park Headquarters.

Detour

Should Highway 9 be closed near Santa Cruz

Exit Highway 1 at Ocean Street. Turn right onto Graham Hill Road at the fist signal you come to on Ocean. This road will take you into the town of Felton, where you will turn right onto Highway 9. Highway 9 winds through several mountain towns and eventually comes to the town of Boulder Creek. In Boulder Creek there is one stop sign. At this stop sign you will turn left onto Highway 236/Big Basin Way. Stay on this road for 9 miles and you will enter the Park.