Some docs from Dave's work recommended a campground in Big Basin, which is about 20 miles north of Santa Cruz. It took us 3 hours to get there.
One thing we loved about this campground was that our site (155) was so secluded. We were surrounded by woods on all sides, and the nearby campsites were blocked from view by hills and trees. We had water and bathrooms (toilets only, but they were nice) very close by. We saw tons of poison oak, but miraculously no one got it. We did, however, get lots of mosquito bites. We weren't as diligent with the Off as we should have been.
Another thing we loved was all the hiking! We love family hikes. We went on one right next to our campsite after we set up camp and ate dinner. Then we went on a 3 mile round trip hike (Sequoia) to a waterfall the next morning and a 1/2 miler (Redwood Nature Trail) the next evening. Then the kids were itching to do one last one before we left, so we redid the one next to our campsite after we had everything packed up.
This is how my family hikes: the 4 big boys run ahead (they especially love to race all the downhills),
while Dave and I walk at a normal pace with Levi on Dave's back. Then the boys wait for us to catch up or run back to us if we're taking too long. Even Brennan kept up with them this time. I take lots of pictures along the way, although Spencer loves to steal the camera from me.
Coastal redwoods are amazing. They are so big and strong and can continue to live even after being burned by fires. One tree burned for 18 months (you'd think someone would have put it out at some point) and still survived. I took this picture from inside one of the burned out trees.
We stopped for pictures and snacks at the waterfall. I made trail mix because all the ones at the store had peanuts in them. It was really good.
The outside is crispy, and the inside is all melty and gooey. Yum!!
The boys loved our nightly visits from raccoons. They came right up to us while we were sitting around the campfire. I was surprised at how BIG and unafraid they were. They eat well around all those campers. They never got into our tents, like they did to some fellow hikers we were talking to. We were sure to keep all our food in the car at night.
We packed up Friday morning and did that last hike by our campsite. Spencer started to get sick on the way home with a fever and sore throat. The rest of the boys got it after him, except for Dallin, who had it before we went. I was thankful for the timing. That would have been miserable if everyone was sick while we were there.