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“Aggressive racoons!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Big Basin Tent Cabins

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Big Basin Tent Cabins
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21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
california
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Aggressive racoons!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

First the pros of this campsite. 1) Beautiful redwood trees, 2) showers and bathrooms absolutely clean - probably the cleanest I've come across in a very long time. They even provide body wash in the showers, 3) tent cabins were clean and plenty of room for 4 people to sleep in, 4) great firepit and clean campgrounds, and 5) water spicket close by the campground.

Now the cons. 1) The map does not indicate the size of the lots so make sure that you call them before booking online. We had 4 families in our group so we chose 2 lots that we were listed as being adjacent to one another on the map. But, when we got there, the first lot was so small and was surrounded by huge hedges that prevented us from seeing our other campsite. 2) The second lot was much bigger and had an empty tent cabin next to it. I went back to the office to ask if we could switch so that our parties could be together but they gave me some excuse that it was already booked and that they would be checking in late that evening. Well, guess what? That group never came!! I think that was terrible customer service and laziness to lie to us. 3) Major racoon problem. These aren't your timid racoons. They started coming to our campsites even before the sun started to set and were not fearful at all. 4) Bring mosquito repellent b/c you will need it or else, make a huge fire. 5) When they mention that there is an espresso bar, it is not on the tent cabins campsite. You have drive about 5 minutes back to the main office for that.

Last advice, bring quarters for the showers and buy extra wood. We had 3 huge logs that we brought from home but it wasn't enough.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Placerville, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2008

Just returned from a trip to Big Basin from the Sacramento area. It is a lovely forest; and very quiet. The cabins are nice for what they are, and make camping a little easier and cleaner without sacrificing the feeling of being in the out-of-doors. The sites are spacious, and give you plenty of elbow room.

On the down side, we had to put up with what seemed to us to be an extraordinary number of racoons and mosquitoes. We are not camping novices, and have never experienced racoons and chipmunks so aggressive and so clearly used to people. They were irritating. To deal with the mosquitoes, we went through probably $100 worth of bug spray, and still ended up with loads of bites.

Another down side is that the campground isn't great for little kids. I'd say maybe six years old and up would be okay. We had three 3-year-olds, a 4-year-old, a 7-year-old and an 8-year old. The older kids did great. The younger kids had a tough time not falling (our site was very sloped), tumbling off logs, slipping on the leaf carpet, etc. Pretty normal stuff for kids, but since there really isn't much else to do except stay in the campground or hike, we were fairly limited in terms of distractions and thus upped our chances for injuries. There is one very nice, level hike that the little ones handled well. There is no water feature of any kind. And unfortunately, we went to the park on nights when they were not holding any campfires or other activities. We did find out the day before we left that there is good bike riding, and thank goodness we brought the bikes because that provided something for the kids to do.

From a management perspective, there were a couple of flaws. One is that we specifically asked for two sites right next to each other that would be good for our group. They gave us two sites that, while next to each other, were divided by two huge felled trees. This made getting from one camp to the other a major chore. We had to either crawl under (literally, crawl), climb over, or walk all the way around. It also blocked our view of each other's sites, and thus we had to keep the kids contained on one side or the other to keep them supervised.

Also, please note that although you are allowed to have two cars parked at each site, you must pay an additional $6 per night. They don't make this very clear on the web site, although it is there. And we specifically asked them if there would be an additional charge when we booked the sites and they said no, so it was a surprise to have to come up with an additional $18 per site the day we checked in.

So, all in all, a nice place. Great for adults looking for time away. Not great for kids given the lack of "stuff" to do, but manageable for older kids. Definitely not a good place for the 5 and under crowd. And probably better for those from the Bay Area than from Sacramento, given the suite of other equally lovely choices in northern California.

  • Liked — quiet, spacious, pretty
  • Disliked — racoons, mosquitoes, not kid friendly
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2007

I booked a tent cabin online at reserveamerica the national forest service reservation site for a surprise getaway for my wife over Thanksgiving. We arrived to find out that you don't actually get the space you think you reserved... I'm not sure how they assigned them, but my nice spot near the bathrooms was actually moved to a place on the other side of the campground. That is the only bad thing I can say about this place... It was cold as it was thanksgiving, but the tentcabins could be quite warm once the potbelly stove inside is stoked with a nice fire :)

My wife and I loved the hiking all around the camp and state park, and since neither of us had ever seen the redwoods before we were completely amazed at the beauty of the place. Since we camped when it was cold we didn't have to worry about Mosquitoes or other flying insects, but we did come face to face with racoons a couple of the nights... and be warned, they can open the tent cabin doors so keep them latched when you're there and when you leave.

All in all it was a very beautiful place and I would recommend it to anyone.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2007

I'm not a big camping person. In fact, the tent cabins were the first time I ever camped. They aren't half bad though. Small cabins, beds, fireplace inside, picnic tables outside, gorgeous setting, everything you could need rentable on site.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — bugs
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2007

Big Basin State Park is a lovely park, a little quiet and off the beaten path, yet near the Bay Area. The redwoods and setting are breathtaking--it's worth staying at any of the campgrounds here. Big Basin Tent Cabins Campground is more expensive than the regular park tent/RV campgrounds (it's private), but it is nicer, with large, private, wooded sites, paved roads and good bathrooms (they can be a hike away). Each site is nice--but arrive as early as you can on Friday if you're staying for the weekend and would like to be near a bathroom, or have adjoining sites. The cabins themselves are utilitarian, with platform full-size foam beds, but clean and a little quieter than a tent would be. The cabins themselves aren't worth the extra money (I prefer a tent, actually) but the nice campground is worth it.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting
  • Disliked — Quarter showers
  • Stayed June 2005, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Basin Tent Cabins

Address: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA
Location: United States > California > Boulder Creek
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Boulder Creek
Number of rooms: 36
Also Known As:
Big Basin Tent Cabins Hotel Boulder Creek

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