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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…

The Santa Cruz Wine Experience

02 | 25 | 2019

It’s organic––of wine, relationships, and terroir When I’d mentioned to family and friends that I would be taking a wine tour with The Santa Cruz Experience on a weekend when Santa Cruz faced yet another heavy rain, everyone said the same thing, “That’s a perfect way to spend a rainy day!” Indeed. The drizzly day began…

World and Wilderness Youth Leadership Development

02 | 22 | 2019

Looking for the right blend of nature engagement, educational mentorship, and most importantly, fun for your youth? Then it may be time for them to enter the WYLD; World & Wilderness Youth Leadership Development. Offering programs from Orange County to Santa Cruz, WYLD is a growing program that offers guided adventures in some of California’s…

Mountain Parks Foundation & two State Parks

02 | 21 | 2019

The Mountain Parks Foundation supports two iconic California State Parks in Santa Cruz County; Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton. Established as a non-profit group in 1973, MPF is among the earliest California State Park Cooperating Associations. Since then they’ve worked to provide support in the…

That’s My Park: Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

01 | 13 | 2019

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks is a local non-profit that supports 32 California State Parks from Watsonville to Half Moon Bay. Founded in 1976 as the Monterey Bay Natural History Museum, the organization has evolved…

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…