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Meditate at the Vajrapani Institute

10 | 30 | 2019

Retreat offers a situation where it’s possible to fulfill our basic human potential and develop all the positive qualities within ourselves. Lama Zopa Rinpoche The Santa Cruz Mountains hold many secrets. Spend a lifetime wandering the silent green paths and you’ll still be discovering it’s treasures after many years. The Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture…

The Alchemists at Cinnabar Winery

10 | 01 | 2019

When a rich patch of soil is blessed with a splash of sunlight and just the right dose of rain, a small miracle occurs: vines break through the earth and grapes come bursting forth. cinnabarwinery.com Cinnabar Winery blends the hard science of winemaking, with the delicate magic of nature’s growth to create truly delightful wines….

Stay at Fern River Resort – Feels like a Summer Camp

09 | 09 | 2019

Nestled behind Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, just off the ever meandering highway 9, lives Fern River Resort. Fern River is a charming gathering of cabins in the redwoods fit for large family vacations, weddings, or even just a romantic getaway for two. Fern River Resort was founded in 1929, years after a boulder containing…

Abandoned Lime Kilns in Santa Cruz County

08 | 21 | 2019

They are quiet now. Ferns, mosses, and lichens cling to their stone walls. Shrubs and vines cascade over their buttresses. Trees sprout from their floors. Nature is slowly laying claim to Santa Cruz County’s historic lime kilns. Lime Kiln Legacies If you’ve ever hiked in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you may have wandered upon these…

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…

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, and a mysterious pygmy redwood forest. From Awaswas hunter-gatherers to influential…

Land of Medicine Buddha and the Eight Verses Trail

06 | 02 | 2019

Land of Medicine Buddha. The name evokes images of misty mountain peaks, pristine waterfalls surrounded by prayer flag wrapped trees, and silent orange-clad monks wandering hallways of simple yet dramatic temples. If that’s what you’re picturing, you’re pretty close to correct. The Land of Medicine Buddha, based in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is an environmentally…

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…