Rule This Roost

The hardest thing about Buzzard’s Roost in Big Basin Redwoods State Park is leaving it! The around-the-compass views…

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The hardest thing about Buzzard’s Roost in Big Basin Redwoods State Park is leaving it! The around-the-compass views here call for lots of lingering. But the summit is only half the fun. The 2.2-mile one-way hike to reach it proffers its own special touches. Starting from the park headquarters, pass Blooms Creek Campground and cross its namesake creek to begin Pine Mountain Trail’s 1,000-foot ascent beneath a redwood canopy that keeps things cool. Slipping along the side of the canyon, you’ll pass the thick trunks of fallen redwoods, spy ample patches of bright green lichen, and climb the switchbacks to northern views of Big Basin before the final ascent on a more exposed and rugged trail (very manageable with good shoes). Scramble over a few rocks until spotting the roost, a 10-foot-tall sandstone knob (pictured) rising like a medieval relic. There’s plenty of surrounding space to plunk down and enjoy a snack, along with the sweeping vista. The nearby summit of Pine Mountain partially blocks scenery to the southwest but it seems a minor detail considering the rest of the landscape before you: views stretch to the ridges of Butano and Castle Rock State Parks, Mount Umunhum and Loma Prieta, and as far as the Pacific. Spindly trees uniformly sway as if waving hello. Get your Buzzard on!

Across the street from the park’s headquarters, get on the Redwood Trail and follow it left (south), paralleling the road and going toward Blooms Creek Campground. At the Blooms Creek Campground road, turn right. At the gate, turn left and cross the bridge over a creek. Turn right onto Pine Mountain Trail and follow it up to Buzzards Roost. No dogs.

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