Limited portions of the western coastal region of Big Basin are reopening! Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Memorial Day Weekend, May 29 and 30. Pre-planning for a visit to Rancho del Oso is highly recommended as COVID-19 guidelines are in effect and the backcountry of Rancho del Oso and all of Big Basin remains closed to the public due to fire damage and safety hazards.
When exploring the park’s open areas, visitors will be able to look for reptiles and amphibians while walking along the Marsh Trail, cross to either side of the park using the seasonal foot bridge, bird watch by the wetlands along the park road to Highway 1, and check out the wind surfers or wade in the surf at Waddell Beach.
The backcountry of Rancho del Oso and all of Big Basin, which includes the popular Skyline to Sea Trail, remain closed. Some areas of Big Basin are still actively on fire. The most recent fire on May 2 was located on the north side of Mt. McAbee, an area within the CZU Lightning burn area. Dry, breezy conditions likely rekindled existing embers that spread to ground fuels such as dry leaves and needles. There were no structural threats from this latest flare up. However, it is an important reminder that Big Basin remains an active fire zone with hazardous trees.