Stay at Fern River Resort
Feels like a Summer Camp
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Portola Redwoods State Park
Mainstay for Savvy Mountain Visitors
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The Madrone Tree
Legendary and Sacred
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Inspired by the WildSM

Featured + Partners

Butano State Park

Adventure | Pescadero

Bigfoot Discovery Museum

Culture | Felton

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Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub

Food+Drink | Boulder Creek

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Hummingbird Hill

Lodging | Ben Lomond

Boulder Creek

Towns | Santa Cruz County

Byington Vineyard & Winery

Wineries | Los Gatos

Conservation

Learn about the Natural Environment

Birds

Oak Trees & Shrubs

Mushrooms

Sandhills and Sand Chaparral Communities

Madrone & Manzanita

Mountain Lions

Coast Redwoods

Banana Slugs

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Guides

Discover the Outdoors

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

In 1902, the early environmental movement saw one of its crowning moments come to glorious fruition with the formation of the California Redwood Park. The park, later renamed Big Basin Redwoods State Park, would prove to be the first unit in what would eventually evolve into the modern California State Parks system.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Though it’s not the biggest park in the county, there are hiking, biking, and equestrian options beyond what’s described here. It’s strongly recommended that adventurers go by the Visitor Center and talk to the docents about hike ideas, trail closures, wildlife sightings, and whatever other...

Hunting for Banana Slugs

Banana slugs are fascinating, even mesmerizing to observe in person. Watching one slide its way down a portion of a miles-long trail or up the side of a towering redwood is a meditative experience. However, despite their low speeds, they’re not always the easiest organisms to track down.

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Recent Posts

Happening on the Blog

Abandoned Lime Kilns in Santa Cruz County

08 | 21 | 2019

If you’ve ever hiked in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you may have wandered upon these abandoned stone structures. The grey bricks decaying over years of neglect, the bright green moss reclaiming their surfaces, the iron gates rusted beyond mobility. The old Lime Kilns in Santa Cruz County are the remnants of what was once a...

Bouldering at Castle Rock State Park

08 | 01 | 2019

Rock climbing. Over 4.6 million people tried this sport in 2015 and the numbers have only increased in the last few years. If you’re one of the newly converted rock climbing enthusiasts in the area, you should definitely check out bouldering at Castle Rock State Park. California is known for its granite, but Castle Rock is...

Best Spots to Camp This Summer

06 | 28 | 2019

It’s officially summertime in the Santa Cruz Mountains! The summer sun is drying everyone out after a rainy spring, the flowers are in full bloom, and those shady hiking trails have never looked so inviting. With the UCSC students out of town and the locals reclaiming the area, many people are looking around for summer...

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Mysterious Places

Unique Destinations to Explore

Tripping out at the Mystery Spot

11 | 02 | 2018

Off the beaten path, way off. Perception is reality, but at the Mystery Spot, everything seems unreal. One minute the person next to you is shorter, and the next they’ve grown taller––balls roll uphill, and chairs stand on walls. Even the rumored reasons why the laws of physics don’t seem to apply here are suspect––like...

Bigfooting — Science on the fringe?

10 | 24 | 2018

As a relatively new resident of Santa Cruz, I have a lot to learn––like the Santa Cruz Metro bus schedules, how to catch the perfect wave, planning beach hikes around King Tides, not getting sucked into Fata Morgana illusions while sailing the bay, the best crab bait, and the art and science of bigfooting. I...

Reopening of iconic Brookdale Lodge

06 | 23 | 2018

I suppose the same could be said of places. It seems Brookdale Lodge has not only bridged its own life and death, but transcends dimensions too. Manifestations are commonplace here, but its latest has locals and historians celebrating, courtesy of hotelier Previn Patel who doesn’t believe in ghosts but does believe in destiny. He feels...

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