Fire Recovery

It will take a long time to recover from the devastation caused by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that burned in the Santa Cruz Mountains in August and September of 2020. Current State Park closures include:

  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park, including Little Basin (scroll down for more information about Big Basin); the Rancho Del Oso Unit at the coastal end of the park reopened in late May
  • camping in Butano State Park, but the park is open for day-use
  • some trails within the Fall Creek Unit at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Please be safe and avoid closed areas. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will provide park-related updates on social media.

Fire restrictions in effect at State Parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains


Due to heightened fire danger and limited available fire suppression resources, the following restrictions are now in effect at local California State Parks:

  • Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is prohibiting campfires until further notice. Gas grills for cooking purposes are permitted in developed campsites. BBQs will remain available in Day Use. 
  • Portola Redwoods State Park and Butano State Park are prohibiting charcoal BBQs until further notice. Gas grills for cooking purposes are permitted in day-use areas.
  • Castle Rock State Park is prohibiting campfires until further notice. Gas grills for cooking purposes are permitted in undeveloped campsites.

Thank you for following the guidelines and helping to keep our forests safe from wildfire! 


Friends Fire Fund aids State Parks with wildfire recovery 

To support the recovery effort, please consider a gift to the Friends Fire Fund.


Reimagining Big Basin

California State Parks is engaging stakeholders and the public in an effort to reimagine the future of Big Basin Redwoods State Park following the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that started on August 16, 2020.

Experience Big Basin one year after the fire through 3D Virtual Tours, of the Entrance Road, Blooms Creek Campground, Park Headquarters, the Gift Shop, the Campfire Center and Lodge, and Skyline to the Sea Trailhead (see below). Videos, photos and an FAQ share pertinent information about public access, wildlife, forest health and the rebuilding process. 

The process for reestablishing the park includes immediate recovery efforts, planning processes to renew the vision for the park’s future, and long-term planning and implementation projects. The Reimagining Big Basin project will provide updates on these efforts and engage stakeholders and the community in initial conversations regarding the vision and goals for reestablishment of Big Basin.

3D Virtual Tours