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Featured Events:

River Health Day
Volunteer and make a difference in the San Lorenzo River ecosystem!
The 2nd Sa of every month (Jul 23-Dec 8) from 9:30am to 12:30pm
Location: Santa Cruz Riverwalk, 107 Dakota Ave., Santa Cruz Map

Every second Saturday of the month you can join the Coastal Watershed Council in improving habitat conditions along the lower San Lorenzo River.

During these River Health Days, we will be planting and watering beneficial native seedlings, as well as removing invasive plants along the river to improve biodiversity and habitat complexity.

Events occur along the banks of the lower San Lorenzo River near the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Equipment, gloves and refreshments are provided.

All ages and abilities welcome. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visit https://coastal-watershed.org/events/ to learn more and sign up. Call (831) 464 9200 x104 with any questions.

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Evening Art Program
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State Park Henry Cowell
Activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Evening Art Program
Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Join us in the campfire center for a family friendly arts and crafts program. All ages welcome. Topic changes week to week and activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more! Meet at the Henry Cowell Redwoods Graham Hill Campground, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. No experience necessary. Event is free; parking is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
website Scotts Valley create a direct event link
Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you
Date: Every Sa at 12:00pm
Admission Fees: Day-use parking fee is $10

Old-Growth Redwood Tours                                                                                  

Saturdays at noon

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have.

 

Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
Old-Growth Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
Explore the redwoods!
Date: Every Sa from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Old-Growth Redwood Tour                                                                                  

Saturdays at 11am and 2pm

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. Free event.

 

Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 335-7077. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Big Trees Park Road, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
Old Growth Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
Activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Old-Growth Redwood Tours                                                                                  

Saturdays at noon

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. Event free. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
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Hikes at Castle Rock
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State Park Castle Rock
Discover expansive views, marvelous rock formations and great rock climbing opportunities
Date: Every Sa at 11:00am

Special Instructions: Located on Highway 35, just 2.5 miles southeast of the junction with Hwy 9

EASY HIKES
Castle Rock Loop
  Sat 11am
Trailhead: main parking lot; 1 mile loop; elevation gain 300 feet    
Ascend through Douglas-fir, madrone, and tanoak to see the park’s imposing namesake peak—a good spot for bouldering and roped climbs. The surrounding smaller rocks are a great playground for children.


Location: 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos Map
Phone: (408) 867-2952 •website Los Gatos create a direct event link
We Bring the Sandhills to You!
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State Park Henry Cowell
Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation -its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving
Date: Every Su and Sa from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Vehicle day-use fee is $10

We Bring the Sandhills to You!

Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 2pm

Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation-its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving this special habitat -at our Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center in the parking lot next to the Nature Store. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077.

 

Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
website Felton create a direct event link
Pigeon Point Light Station Guided Tour
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
History walks of the lighthouse
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

Guided History Tour

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, Pescadero, CA

Guided half-hour history walks of the lighthouse grounds are available 10am - 4pm Fridays through Sundays, except on rainy days.


Location: Guided Tour, 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Life on the Ranch Day - The Early Days on a Dairy Farm
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Experience the Victorian era!
Date: Every Su and Sa
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Weekends from 11:00am-3:00pm, tours of the ranch houses at 1:00pm

Life on the Ranch Day - The Early Days on a Dairy Farm
Saturday, August 11 from 11am to 3pm

 

Wilder Ranch State Park invites you to experience old-time activities from its rancho, dairy farm, and cowboy rodeo days. Hands-on activities and living history presentations may include butter churning, ice cream making, roping skills, and demonstrations in the ranch buildings. Come for a picnic on the lawn and follow it up with a game of tug of war, sack races, hoops, stilts, and Wilder Ranch's famous old-fashioned bubbles! This event is appropriate for all ages. Event is free; parking is $10. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 


Location: 1401 Old Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
California State Parks Backpacking Adventures
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State Parks Backpacking
Registration for Summer 2019 opens Friday, February 1 at 9am
Date: 03/31/2019 from 8:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: 18+ and 13-17 with parent Admission Fees: $225-300

(0 A January 2019) CAStateParksBacking.jpgRegistration for Summer 2019 opens Friday, February 1 at 9am

Who better to lead you through our parks than California State Park professionals? Three backpacking trips are offered from June through August 2019 ranging from two to three nights, offering options for every experience level. Hike spectacular ridgelines, old growth redwood forests, and sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of backcountry naturalists. Native plant teas, trail desserts, skills demonstrations, campfire stories, and jokes are added bonuses!

This program is truly unique, the only such program led by California State Park staff. Participation is open to adults 18 or over and children ages 13 to 17 accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/backpacking, email backpacking@parks.ca.gov, or call (831) 335-1743. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Waddell Creek Association, Mountain Parks Foundation, Sempervirens Fund, Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, and California State Parks.

Trip Options:

Skyline to the Sea: Castle Rock State Park to Waddell State Beach
$300; Thursday June 20 through Sunday June 23, 2019

 

NEW! Just Added!

Skyline to the Sea, Second Trip: Castle Rock State Park to Waddell State Beach $300; Thursday August 15 through Sunday August 18, 2019

 

A Trek through Time: Butano State Park to Waddell State Beach
$225; Friday July 19 through Sunday July 21, 2019

Ridges to Redwoods: Castle Rock State Park to Portola Redwoods State Park
$225; Friday August 16 through Sunday August 18, 2019


Phone: (831) 429-1840 •websitecreate a direct event link
Creeping Forest Ramble
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State Park Big Basin
Explore the park's less traveled backcountry
Date: 03/31/2019 at 11:30am
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See specific days

Creeping Forest Ramble
Sunday, March 31 at 11:30am 
Explore the natural history of this less-visited trail with docents JC and Becky on a 3-hour, 3.5-mile hike up and down the "creeping" terrain, along creeks, through fire-scarred redwoods, and over log bridges. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at park headquarters. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible my Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831.336.8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Open House 2019
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State Park Castro Adobe
"Thanks for the Memories" is a chance for history buffs, locals and Castro family descendants to visit
Date: Every Su and Sa (Jan 6-Dec 29) from 11:00am to 3:00pm

Special Instructions: Old Adobe Road, off of Larkin Valley Road

Located at 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville,  the two-story Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe, built between 1848-49, is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. Friends is leading a multi-year restoration effort to preserve and interpret Pajaro Valley's first State Historic Park in partnership with California State Parks.

 

2019 Castro Adobe Open House events

Opened on a limited basis, the park will be open to the public one weekend day each month in 2019:

  • Sunday, Jan. 27
  • Saturday, Feb. 9
  • Sunday, March 10
  • Saturday, April 6
  • Sunday, May 19
  • Saturday, June 8
  • Sunday, July 14
  • Saturday, Aug. 10*
  • Sunday, Sept. 15
  • Saturday, Oct. 19
  • Sunday, Nov. 17
  • Holidays on the Rancho, Saturday, Dec. 7

The open houses will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the exception of the August event, which is 6-9 p.m. All events are free to attend; donations are gratefully accepted. Parking is limited; please carpool. Leashed dogs are allowed in the parking area only.

Learn more about how you can help create California's newest State Historic Park.


Location: 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-335-6318 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Guided Elephant Seal Walks
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State Park Ano Nuevo
Elephant seals galore! 3 mile hike to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Mar 31) from 8:45am to 2:30pm
Ages: All: (Lots of walking) Admission Fees: Guided $7; Self-guided free
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31

Explore Año Nuevo with a Docent Naturalist

gudied walks

Guided Elephant Seal Walks

 

www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups. These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Vehicle Day use fee is $10. For more information, call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227, or visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo.


For reservations, please call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

People with accessibility needs may reserve an equal access tour along the boardwalk.
These tours take place on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays.

 

Self-Guided Seal Walks

Daily, between 8:30am and 3:30pm (Natural Preserve closes at 5pm)

Stroll over sand dunes, enjoy beautiful ocean views, and gain a unique opportunity to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals on this 3-mile, 2.5-hour self-guided trail! Visit the female elephant seals as they return to shore to molt, or shed their fur, in this annual excursion.  Additionally, young pups are still ashore from the winter breeding season. Layered clothing, closed-toes shoes, and rain/wind gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted inside the dune area. Pets are not allowed in the park. Walk is free; day-use vehicle fee is $10. Entrance to the reserve for your self-guided walk requires a free permit that can be obtained at the entrance station, or the Visitor Center. Please contact the park at 650-879-2025 for further information.

 

If you require mobility assistance, you may request a volunteer-led equal access tour. You will board our accessible van and get a ride to our wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. A volunteer(s) will accompany you to the two seal-viewing decks, explain the Northern elephant seal natural history, the history of the park, and answer questions. Reservations are required. Please, allow a 2-week advance notice. The volunteer led tour is free, day-use vehicle fee is $10. Contact the park at 650-879-2033 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.


Location: Hwy 1, Pescadero Map
Phone: (650) 879-2025 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Ranch Tours
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State Park Wilder
Tour Wilder Ranch!
Date: Every Su and Sa (Jan 5-Dec 29) from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Ranch Tours

Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm

Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event free. Day use parking fee is $10.  Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


Location: 1401 Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is currently under repair, but that doesn't mean that the First Order Fresnel Lens can't shine! The Fresnel lens, the original lighthouse beacon, will light up once again from its temporary home in the Visitor Center. As dusk settles, the 24 beams of light provide a dramatic glimpse of how the lighthouse once guided ships passing by this rocky coastline. Bring a flashlight and join us for a unique experience. For more information, call the park at (650) 879-2120 or go online to www.Parks.CA.gov/PigeonPoint. Event is free. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

* Please note the lighthouse will NOT be lit. The original lighthouse beacon, the First Order Fresnel lens, will be lit but in its temporary location inside the Visitor Center. The lighthouse is being repaired and is currently not accessible to the public.


Location: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Little Rangers Portola
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State Park Portola Redwoods
Explore Portola Redwoods State Park
Date: Every Su and Sa at 10:00am


Little Rangers

Saturdays and Sundays at 10am

All 3 to 6 year olds and their families are invited to learn, play, and laugh together at this 30 minute program. Activities, songs, stories, and silliness will help our youngest visitors find a connection to the redwood forest and all of its inhabitants. Adult supervision is required and participation is encouraged. Meet at the visitor center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: 9000 Portola State Park Rd, La Honda Map
Phone: (650) 948-9098 •websitecreate a direct event link
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