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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.

NOTE: Due to damage from the CZU Fire coumpounded with damage from winter storms, parks may be closed or access may be limited. Whenever possible, consider how you can recreate responsibly and always check park websites for the latest information on available amenities, access, or closures.

Recreate Responsibly Wildfire Edition

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.

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Castle Rock State Park

Explore sandstones and forests in one magical visit.

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Skyline-to-Sea Trail

An expansive regional trail connecting state parks.

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Año Nuevo State Park

A seaside-to-ridgeline treasure.

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Butano State Park

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

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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

From old-growth redwoods to sandhills and grasslands.

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Long Ridge Open Space Preserve

A trail-rich nature preserve for all adventurers.

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Portola Redwoods State Park

A quiet park with waterfalls and redwoods to explore.

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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.

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$50,000 match will double your impact to permanently protect 51 acres