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San Vicente Redwoods

Redwoods Resilient and Recovering

Stretching west from the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains down toward the Pacific Ocean, San Vicente Redwoods’ 8,532-acres encompass diverse habitats including redwood forests, grasslands, chaparral, wetlands, and eight creeks. Once the largest privately-held redwood forest in the Santa Cruz mountains, San Vicente Redwoods has been the site of clear-cut logging, mining, and railroads in the past, but today it is a crucial part of 27,000 linked and protected acres of habitat, wildlife corridors, and countless recreation opportunities.

Home to many species including endangered marbled murrelet, endangered coho salmon, threatened California red-legged frog, and rare plants, such as the Point Reyes horkelia and Santa Cruz manzanita, San Vicente Redwoods has been managed to optimize ecological health and habitat diversity since it was protected with our partners Peninsula Open Space Trust, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and Save the Redwoods League in 2011. In 2020, San Vicente Redwoods burned in the CZU Fire but the resilient land is recovering and fire-adapted species like redwoods, yerba santa, ceanothus, and bush poppies are restoring green to the landscape.

You can witness the magic of nature as the forest recovers from fire, and look for the fleeting beauty of fire-following plants on the 7.3 miles of trails, the first phase of the envisioned 38-mile multi-use trail system, which opened to the public on December 3, 2022. Each of the five trails is named in the Awaswas language in recognition of the people who lived on and cared for this land for millenia.

photo by Julie Seelen

Vista Point

You can enjoy San Vicente Redwoods’ first Vista Point with an easy 1.5 mile to 2 mile hike! From the parking lot, head left on the mâ-rŭs, Panther Trail, for 0.5 miles to the Vista Point. After you have taken in the view, head left on the hai-mĭn’, Lizard Trail, which meets with mâ-rŭs at the Vista. Hai-mĭn’ winds through the rebounding landscape as fire-adapted plants eagerly take advantage of the space and sunlight made available by the fire. Hai-mĭn’ meets with other trails, rŭm-me’, and forks off, back toward Vista Point as well as an alternate return route, along the way but keep left for the full hike. When you meet back up with mâ-rŭs, keep left to return to the parking lot.

You can view the trail map here.

Visit San Vicente Redwoods Vista Point Pacific Ocean By Amanda Krauss

photo by Amanda Krauss

Plan Your Hike

Address: San Vicente Redwoods, 12001 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Registration: Registration is required for a free, permanent pass so that pass holders can be notified of closures due to fire danger, weather, and management activities. You can register for your free pass here and can bring the confirmation email to visit before you receive our pass.

Directions: click here for Google maps directions

Park Activities

  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Horseback Riding
  • Dog Trails (on leash)
  • Nature & Wildlife Viewing

Park Amenities

  • Restrooms
  • Picnic Area
  • Parking Lot with 72 spaces—first come, first serve

 

Volunteer

Throughout the year, Sempervirens Fund holds a variety of volunteer events, including invasive species removal, trail clean ups, and more! Check out our Volunteer Page for more information.

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