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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

(San Francisco Bay Region 3D image tour)

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The grove of giant redheads of Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located in a valley between Skyline Ridge on the east and Ben Lomond Mountain to the west. Big Basin was California's first state park. The park was established in 1902 as a conservation effort to save a portion of the vanishing redwoods forests of the Santa Cruz Mountain. Much of the region's forests were cut and used for charcoal to bake marble from local mines into cement and for construction. This fire-scarred tree is next to the visitor center.

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A Redwood Trail view near the visitor center.
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A fallen redwood along the Redwood Trail.
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This living tree has a large burl near its base. Burls are common on redwoods throughout the forest.
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An unusual bark pattern on a redwood.
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"Chimney Tree" along the Redwood Trail has a burned-out center. Redwoods can resist many of the effects of fire, but intense fires will kill a tree. Fire removes undergrowth and deadwood buildup that may support infestation. Fire suppression allows fires, when they eventually occur, to be more intense which may ultimately cause much greater damage to a forest.
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"Father-of-the-Forest" is a tree estimated to be 2,000 years old. The tallest tree in the forest nearby is estimated to be 329 feet tall.
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Looking up at the canopy of "Father-of-the-Forest."
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One of many burned-out hollow trees in the forest.
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Grassy meadows are common throughout the grove.
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Opal Creek runs through the grove along the Redwood Trail.
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A still pool in Opal Creek provides a mirror to the forest canopy.
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This giant redwood next to the Campfire Center fell in 1978.
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This is another view of the fallen tree next to the Campfire Center.
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Last modified 11/24/2003