Skip to content

Visit the Redwoods

Explore our Rare and Majestic Forests

The towering canopies of redwood forests abound in the Santa Cruz Mountains, from skyline ridges to the sea. The region is a natural treasure, with dozens of public parks where we can explore and enjoy the redwood world, whether you choose to hike, bike, or roll under their crowns.

We believe redwood forests should be enjoyed by everyone, and whether you like to climb to the high mountain ridges, explore the deep river basins, or simply tread (lightly) on the soft needles that carpet the forest floor, there’s an experience for you in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Here you will find guides to our favorite parks, hikes, and must-see natural wonders in the region. We hope you will find your next favorite spot under the redwoods soon.

photo by Shih Wayland.

Recreate Responsibly

Whenever possible, consider how you can recreate responsibly and always check park websites for the latest information on available amenities, access, or closures. Due to the ongoing impact of the CZU Fire compounded with damage from extreme storms, parks may be closed or access may be limited. As we continue to experience the increased risk of wildfire, be sure to recreate responsibly with wildfire prevention in mind.

Outdoor Adventure Awaits

For many, the first time they laid eyes on a redwood tree was here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here are some of our favorite places to visit. Check out our Hike, Bike, and Ride page for featured trails and guides by activity. Enjoy!

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

The pioneering park of the California State Park system.

Visit Big Basin

Castle Rock State Park

Explore sandstones and forests in one magical visit.

Visit Castle Rock

Skyline-to-Sea Trail

An expansive regional trail connecting state parks.

Visit the Skyline-to-Sea Trail

Año Nuevo State Park

A seaside-to-ridgeline treasure.

Visit Año Nuevo

Butano State Park

A hidden gem in the heart of Santa Cruz mountain redwoods.

Visit Butano

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

From old-growth redwoods to sandhills and grasslands.

Visit Henry Cowell

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve

A trail-rich nature preserve for all adventurers.

Visit Long Ridge

Portola Redwoods State Park

A quiet park with waterfalls and redwoods to explore.

Visit Portola Redwoods

Help Parks Grow!

Sempervirens Fund plays a critical role in establishing and expanding public parks. Founded in 1900 to help protect redwoods from logging and create Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Sempervirens Fund has since protected more than 90 percent of the park’s 18,000 acres since it was established. Sempervirens Fund has also bought and protected the land for three other redwood parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains: Castle Rock State Park, Butano State Park, and Portola Redwoods State Park.

With the critical support of donors, we are managing two dozen redwood-forested properties we are actively working to add to the region’s parks. We led the effort for Cotoni-Coast Dairies to become a national monument in 2017. And, our cutting-edge collaboration with POST, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and Save the Redwoods League, is bringing a public park to life at San Vicente Redwoods.

You can help protect redwoods and expand public parks today.

Stay Connected

CLOSE

PROTECT REDWOODS NOW

SPRING MATCHING GIFT CHALLENGE

Goal: $124,000 by June 30

Double your impact protecting redwoods! Every dollar counts towards safeguarding these majestic giants. Act now to ensure a thriving future for our redwood forests.

Match My Gift