• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    0.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    20 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a short drive from the Bay Area as it lies just above Santa Cruz, California. Today, it is the only remaining old growth redwood forest in the Santa Cruz mountains, making it an invaluable piece of land to witness the giant trees.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located just a few miles north of the city of Santa Cruz, along Highway 9. The park is home to an array of hiking and biking trails, but the crown jewel of the park is the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which is only a 1/4 mile in from the park's entrance.

Many people will enter the State Park and pay the $10 fee, but a better option is to park right outside the park's entrance and walk in. Since you're coming to see the redwoods and walk around, an additional 1/4 quarter walk is fairly easy to manage.

The Redwood Grove Loop Trail is located right next to the ranger hut as well as a small store where you can purchase some souvenirs. The grove loop is an easy to follow trail and is less than a mile long, but is loaded with impressive redwood trees. Be sure to take on the of the pamphlets before you head out as it lists the different stops and gives a little history and detail about each marked area. Along the walk, you may hear the blasting of a train's horn nearby. That loud sound would be coming from Roaring Camp, which has a track through the forest as it offers guests a way to see the redwoods from the comfort of an old fashioned steam train.

Nearby the trail, there is a cool creek that is home to trout and the salmon as they make their way upstream. This creek is an excellent spot to cool off on a hot day as well as find wildlife such as birds, amphibians, and mammals such as deer or raccoon.

So next weekend, take a short drive to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park to take in the amazing old growth forest!

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Jacket
  • Walking Pole
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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C L

Always come here if I am going to go for a quick run. The trail and the park itself is a fun way to entertain visitors!

3 months ago
3 months ago

I went here for my first time yesterday. I am only leaving three stars because I didn't really get to hike the trails. This place states that it is dog friendly but it's not. Because my boyfriend and I brought our dog we were really only able to walk along the roads and parking lot. Such a disappointment. The place was beautiful. I will go back to go on the trails next time. But if you plan on going here with your dog.... don't.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Chase Dekker

Wildlife photographer and biologist currently based in my coastal hometown of Monterey, California. Always looking for the next wildlife adventure!

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