Sanborn County Park Campground: Nature’s Haven near Silicon Valley

Nestled in the picturesque Santa Cruz Mountains, just 3 miles west of Saratoga, Sanborn County Park Campground invites nature enthusiasts to a serene haven with 22 miles of scenic trails winding through lush redwood and oak forests. Established on 3,453 acres, the park boasts a rich history and offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the bustling Silicon Valley. Explore our top tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your first-time camping experience in this natural paradise.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers:

  • Nature’s Symphony: Embrace the sounds of nature by choosing a walk-in tent site, deeply shaded near a seasonal creek, offering a tranquil camping experience surrounded by the park’s rich flora.
  • Steeped in Shakespeare: Plan your visit during the summer to catch outdoor Shakespearean plays at the park’s 300-seat amphitheater, courtesy of Silicon Valley Shakespeare.
  • Walk-in Wilderness: If opting for walk-in tent camping, utilize the provided push carts to transport your gear efficiently from the parking lot to the secluded campsites.
  • Group Getaway: Consider the youth group tent camping option at the top of the walk-in campground, accommodating up to 40 people for a communal camping experience amidst nature.
  • Paved Pathways: Venture along the paved service road leading to walk-in campsites, but be prepared for a steep climb, especially for higher-numbered sites.

Top Strategies and Tactics for Camping Success:

  • Seasonal Serenity: Plan your camping trip between late March and late October to enjoy the full range of amenities, as walk-in tent sites are closed during the off-season from the 3rd Sunday of October until the 3rd Friday of March.
  • Reservation Wisdom: Secure your preferred campsite by making reservations up to 6 months in advance of your arrival date, with a maximum of 2 campsites per reservation.
  • Amphitheater Ambiance: Arrive early to secure a campsite closer to the amphitheater if you plan to indulge in the cultural delights of summer Shakespearean plays.
  • Coastal Comfort: If camping in an RV, relish the year-round availability of RV campsites with water and electric hook-ups, offering a comfortable camping experience.
  • Sustainable Camping: Adhere to campground regulations, such as fires only in designated areas and vehicles parked within specified locations, to contribute to the preservation of this natural retreat.

Recommendations on Camping Gear:

  • Cozy Campsite Essentials: Pack warm clothing and blankets for cool evenings in the forested campsites, ensuring a comfortable and cozy retreat.
  • Culinary Delights: Bring portable grills or camping stoves to savor outdoor cooking, and explore our gearlist account for specific camp cooking recommendations.
  • Illumination Tools: Include flashlights, lanterns, or headlamps in your gear for navigating the campground during quiet hours and enhancing the enchanting night ambiance.
  • Hygienic Happiness: As showers are available but coin-operated, prepare with sufficient change for a refreshing experience after a day of hiking and exploring.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to optimize your camping experience.

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.

As you embark on your camping adventure at Sanborn County Park, let the towering redwoods and serene landscapes guide your journey into nature’s embrace. With these tips and recommendations, ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience, surrounded by the beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the rich offerings of Sanborn County Park Campground.