Disneyland California Adventure’s Grizzly Peak Recreation Area versus California’s Big Basin State Redwoods Park

Last year, my family visited Disneyland California Adventure. It was both fascinating and horrifying to see our home turned into a Disney amusement. Since then, I’ve been meaning to do a compare and contrast between real California and Disney California, but there’s so much to compare, I’m just going to have to do it in stages.

One of our favorite places in the Disneyland California Adventure theme park was the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area. So here are a few of the freakier compare and contrasts between Disney hiking and real California hiking.

Here are tall, dramatic redwood trees, Disney style:


Big, safe, and very clean. And there’s no the slightest chance a stray branch will clobber you, or that you might step on a banana slug.

Here are tall, dramatic redwood trees in Big Basin:


This is on the ultra-safe Redwoods Trail. But if a storm brews, or a bobcat decides to sniff you out, you better run.

This is a Grizzly Peak Recreation ranger:


He’ll help you off the tire swings and tell you where the entrance is to his, and other attractions. His associates will help you find handholds and footholds on a short rock wall, and catch you when you jump off.

This is a California State park ranger at Big Basin Redwoods Park:


He’ll sell you a map and tell you what to look out for (and beware of) on the trails. He can arrest you if you harass the wildlife or damage the plants. His associaties will pull your crippled body out of the woods if you fall off the rocks.

This is the badge on a Grizzly Peak Recreation Area ranger:


It looks more like the patches backpackers buy as a souvenier of the places they’ve hiked. This is the Big Basin Redwoods Patch:


In comparison, the actual patch worn by California State Rangers is far simpler and more utilitarian:


Grizzly Peak Recreation Area was fun, but I prefer the exitement and drama of the real thing.

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