When living a city or suburban lifestyle, it can be hard to take a break and get out into the woods. But, what if there was a beautiful hike you could enjoy that is less than 2 hours from San Francisco, and just an hour from both Santa Cruz and San Jose?

Welcome to Sempervirens Falls; It is truly one of the hidden gems of the Bay Area. Visitors to Sempervirens Falls can enjoy an incredibly peaceful walk through the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. 

In this post, you’ll learn a bit more about it!

Experiencing Sempervirens Falls

Even if you are brand new to hiking, Sempervirens Falls is a perfect place to start. The round trip hike is just over 2 miles and is an out and back style hike. That means it’s not a loop, but you follow the same trail in and out. It also runs relatively close to the road, which is perfect for hiking newbies that prefer to be closer to known landmarks to start. 

The walk is lovely. It runs along the redwood forest. So hikers, runners, and walkers will be surrounded by these incredible tall trees. The trail is well maintained and clearly marked. Visitors will be able to navigate it along the way easily. 

Once you get to the falls, visitors will use the observation decks to spend time admiring the waterfall that runs from Sempervirens Creek. This is one place where it becomes busier after heavy rains to truly get the full effect of the waterfalls. Don’t forget your camera!

Before You Go

Young female looking at map and planning trip with blurred forest in the background

Any time you head out on a hike, it’s smart to follow these simple pieces of advice.

First, be sure to grab a trail map. These can typically be found right at the park headquarters and can come in handy as you explore more of the area. 

Also, don’t forget to wear the right gear, especially when it comes to footwear. And, pack an extra jacket or sweatshirt just in case it gets chilly. 

Finally, a bottle of water is always a good idea. Even though this hike is short, it’s still important to stay hydrated while walking, so don’t leave that at home! 

Getting There and Hours

View of tall trees, greenery and a dirt walkway in the Basin Redwoods State Park California

Sempervirens Falls is part of Big Basin Redwood State Park, which is California’s oldest state park. The entrance is off Route 236 which connects with Highway 9 giving it very easy access to both San Jose and Santa Cruz. To reach it from the San Franciso area, visitors can take Highway 280 south towards Cupertino or the more scenic route along Route 35.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is open year round. The park headquarters is open from 8 am to 6 pm during the winter and to sunset during the rest of the year. If you’d prefer a guided tour of Sempervirens Falls with a docent who can provide lots of information on the park and area, these are offered throughout the year from the headquarters as well.

Enjoy your time at Sempervirens Falls! And if you need help finding a last-minute hotel in the area, stop by our sister site, HotelCoupons.com, for the best rates!