Immerse Yourself in Nature: Camping Guide to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Discover the enchanting beauty of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground, nestled just 5 miles north of Santa Cruz off Graham Hill Road. Embraced by the towering redwoods and surrounded by oaks and foliage, this campground offers 107 campsites, each providing privacy and tranquility. As you plan your camping adventure in this natural oasis, follow these top tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your stay among the majestic redwoods.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground

  • Reserve Ahead: Due to its popularity, reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak seasons. Ensure a smooth camping experience by booking your site in advance.
  • Beware of Poison Oak: Be mindful of the presence of poison oak in the park, and take necessary precautions to avoid any unwanted encounters with this plant.
  • Weather Preparedness: As the campground is close to the ocean, be ready for morning fog and cool temperatures. Pack layers and clothing suitable for varying weather conditions.
  • Tent-Only Sites: If you prefer a more secluded experience, consider opting for one of the four tent-only sites available at the campground.
  • Explore Nearby Attractions: Take advantage of the proximity to Santa Cruz Beach and Roaring Camp Railroads, adding extra adventures to your camping itinerary.

Top Strategies and Tactics for Maximum Camping Enjoyment

  • Seasonal Bliss: Plan your visit during the warmer months to make the most of the campground amenities and nearby attractions. Check the seasonal closing dates and plan accordingly.
  • Evening Campfires: Participate in the summer campfire programs, creating memorable evenings by the fire with fellow campers.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for wildlife, including deer, various birds, and the occasional bobcat or coyote. Bring binoculars to enhance your wildlife viewing experience.
  • Redwood Grove Loop Trail: Embark on the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, offering a mesmerizing hike among 1,500-year-old redwoods towering up to 280 feet.
  • Roaring Camp Railroad: Hop on the Roaring Camp Railroad just outside the park for a unique journey through the woods or a ride down to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Recommendations on Camping Gear for an Optimal Experience

  • Comfortable Sleep System: Ensure a restful night’s sleep with a comfortable sleeping bag and camping mattress, allowing you to wake up rejuvenated amidst the redwoods.
  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Pack layers, including warm jackets and rain gear, to stay comfortable in the ever-changing coastal weather.
  • Illumination Essentials: Bring reliable lanterns and flashlights to illuminate your campsite, creating a cozy atmosphere for your evenings in the redwoods.
  • Binoculars: Enhance your wildlife viewing experience with binoculars, enabling you to observe the diverse fauna that calls the park home.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking equipment, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing, ensuring you have everything you need for a seamless camping adventure.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Campground, where quiet trails, nearby creeks, and the San Lorenzo River create an idyllic backdrop for your camping escape. Whether you’re seeking the solace of nature or the excitement of nearby attractions, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park offers a diverse range of experiences for campers of all preferences.