Best Spots to Camp This Summer
It’s officially Summertime
Learn More
Explore the Towns
Visit these Quaint and Historic Communities
Learn More
Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail
An Epic Journey through the Mountains
Learn More

Inspired by the Wild

Featured + Partners

Adventure Out

Adventure | Santa Cruz Mountains

Land of Medicine Buddha

Culture | Santa Cruz

Partner

Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub

Food+Drink | Boulder Creek

Partner

Hummingbird Hill

Lodging | Ben Lomond

Scotts Valley

Towns | Santa Cruz County

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery

Wineries | Corralitos

Ecotourism & Nature

Learn about the Natural Environment

Mushrooms

Mountain Lions

Banana Slugs

Coast Redwoods

Birds

Madrone & Manzanita

Sandhills and Sand Chaparral Communities

Oak Trees & Shrubs

Explore All Articles

Adventure Guides

Discover the Outdoors

Guide To Goat Rock

Billed as the gateway of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park earns that title in spectacular fashion. A great staging ground for a number of adventures, from bouldering to rock climbing, day hiking to backpacking, and even birding. The crown jewel, Goat Rock, is a limestone formation that is typical of the park’s geology...

Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail

The Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail runs about 30 miles, depending on where you start and what side quests you settle on. Fulfilling the promise of its name, the trail dips, climbs and winds from the peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. On this epic journey, it passes waterfalls, springs and creeks, wetlands and chaparral...

Butano State Park

The park’s connection to California Indian and Ohlone history is rich as is its archaeological significance, as it lies directly along an ancient trading and seasonal migration route, mainly used by the tribelet that controlled the area, the Quiroste (KEER-osh-tee). Now it’s a green and pleasant park, great for day hikes of all sizes, car camping, and short backcountry overnight trips.

Explore all guides

Recent Articles

Happening on the Blog

Quail Hollow: Santa Cruz Mountains Shangri-La

06 | 12 | 2019

Located between Ben Lomond and Zayante, Quail Hollow Ranch County Park sits in a small, amphitheater-shaped valley ringed by sandy, teardrop-shaped ridges. At roughly 300 acres, it is home to a startlingly diverse array of plant communities, including revitalized grasslands, rare Santa Cruz Sandhills...

Land of Medicine Buddha and the Eight Verses Trail

06 | 02 | 2019

The Eight Verses Trail is a short meditative loop designed to help hikers calm their minds and contemplate Buddhist teachings. Walking under the canopy of redwoods, you’ll find the Eight Verses written in beautiful script on signs posted every 15 or 20 minutes along the trail.

The Santa Cruz Sandhills: Windows into the Miocene

05 | 23 | 2019

In between Bonny Doon and Scotts Valley, small windows into the Miocene Epoch pock the Santa Cruz Mountains. At first glance, they might be easy to dismiss -- barren stretches of sand occupied by hardy, arid chaparral scrub or pine. Yet look a little closer, perhaps as you hike...

Explore All Posts

Join Us On Instagram

@santacruzmountains