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“lovely place for car camping”

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Big Basin Tent Cabins
Reviewed August 25, 2011

Alert: if you try to reserve camp sites through Reserve America (the phone reservation system), please note that they have almost no knowledge of the campsites!! FIRST call the campground to ask for campsites that fit your needs (space for tents, adjoining sites good for groups, sunny or not, etc), and THEN call the reservation system.

We camped in the Huckleberry Campground with 5 families. We had 4 tent cabin sites and put a tent up on 1 of them. Unfortunately, the 2 families that were staying an extra night (and needed cabin + tent) were given the smallest site (#14) on the entire Huckleberry Loop. The tent absolutely would not have fit, except on the parking pad. The campground staff were the ones who told us #14 was the smallest spot, but initially claimed they would be unable to move us (per official policy). When we pointed out the danger of having children sleeping mere inches from the road, they reluctantly relented and let us move on the final night to a spot that was not reserved. (They also gave us a campground map and told us to refer to it for any future reservations, and are the ones who told us to call the campground before calling the reservation system. They are aware that the system is flawed, and only seem somewhat willing to work to solve the problems.)

Despite that hassle, we really did enjoy the campground. The setting was serene, the facilities were adequate - the right mix of 'rustic' (fire rings, picnic tables, space for tents) yet 'developed' (flush toilets, pay showers, the tent cabins).

Unlike others, we did not have trouble with raccoons (although we did hear them prowling one night). The jays, however, were seriously aggressive! One morning, a jay stole a pancake right off a plate.

Room Tip: FIRST call the campground to ask for campsites that fit your needs, THEN call the clueless reservati...
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank common-family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 37 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2011

Big Basin Tent Cabin's website lists their cabins as being $55 on a weeknight with optional supplies or packages. However, when you checkout on most of the tent cabins still available you are forced to buy the package making the price $125 a night. I think this is deceptive. Either Big Basin Tent Cabins should change their website to reflect true pricing or they should change their policy to match the website.

Currently, they are creating false expectations for their customers.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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9  Thank Renaudical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2010

Booked a couple of nights last month...had wanted to stay in the tent cabins for some time. We weren't disappointed. The Tent cabins are good size, with two full size platform beds with thick sleep pads. A table and bench and very efficient wood stove. The tent cabin is well made with roll up windows, heavy duty canvas and sturdy framing. While we were there, the weather was quite stormy but not one drop of rain entered the cabin. The site also includes a picnic table, fire ring and storage cubboard. The bathrooms and showers were spotless and well supplied (even liquid soap in the showers!) . Big Basin is California's first State Park, and it is a gorgeous spot- good hiking trails and amazing redwoods. The tiny town of Boulder Creek is about 20 minutes down a winding road and is a good spot to re-supply firewood or groceries. Also a couple of cute shops, antique mall and the Boulder Creek Brew Pub. Also, the Mount Hermon zipline is close by-another amazing activity! The only downside for us is that dogs are not allowed on the trails (but okay for the cabins) We're heading back up on Friday, and despite the stormy December weather, I can't wait!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank DiStandley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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6  Thank cabodog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 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.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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7  Thank California_Mom_of_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
8  Thank didache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 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.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled with family
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1  Thank MSPXelaforNow
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 95006
Location: United States > California > Boulder Creek
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Boulder Creek
Number of rooms: 36
Also Known As:
Big Basin Tent Cabins Hotel Boulder Creek

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