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Santa Cruz Beach Camping Reservations

Sunset Beach Group Campsite

Santa Cruz beach parking reopens, county campgrounds remain closed

Sunset Beach has a group campsite which can accommodate from 9 to 50 people and 10 vehicles. The group site is south of the Pine Hollow Camp.Fee: $335 per night

  • Comfortable campsites spread along the bluffs among the trees.

  • Miles of beach are open to wander and enjoy.

  • Whale watching is popular from the bluff tops, surf fishing on the beach.

  • Sunset State Beach Campground

    Sleep Warm and Dry

    Seacliff State Beach Camping

    Camping at Seacliff State Beach is limited to RVs or trailers which must have fully operating, permanently installed, self-contained plumbing.However, there are a number of hook-up sites with water, electricity and sewer. The camping area is composed of a long row of paved RV parking slots facing the beach. Most are wide enoughto allow a small outdoor area adjacent to the RV.

    The campground is divided into four sections: Lots A,B, and C and a hook-up area. Campers should provide their own picnictable and raised fire ring. Many people roll out a patch of artificial turf and set up camp chairs beside their RV.

    On The Downside The Campground Is Next To A Strawberry Field

    Beach camping by santa cruz. For a beachfront camping experience try New Brighton State Beach located in Capitola. These campgrounds are in the Santa Cruz area but not in or close to town. Ad Save up to 50 on your reservation.

    The campground can accommodate RVs and tents. Campers at Sunset State Beach Campground enjoy nice campsites on the bluff away from the ocean. Book a Budget Hotel in Santa Cruz Huatulco online.

    The Santa Cruz and Monterey coast attracts visitors from far and wide. You can catch lots of people kite surfing and a good spot for surfing in NorCal. Around 30 minutes south of Santa Cruz county lies a beach that isnt that crowdeda rarity in this region.

    For a family friendly beach in Santa Cruz head to Waddell Beach. It can accommodate fully self-contained vehicles only up to 42 feet long. If youre in the mood for toes in the sand and campfires on the beach Sunset State Beach is the quintessential spot for Santa Cruz beach camping.

    Experience all the thrills that the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer by mountain biking zip lining. Camping in santa cruz beach. There is also Big Basin Redwoods State Park just nearby for hiking biking exploring and more.

    The Sunset State Beach campground is a popular oceanfront camping spot near Santa Cruz California. Santa Cruzs Rudy Ranch. Campers at Seacliff State Beach Campground have a wonderful ocean view.

    Ad Save up to 50 on your reservation. However RVs do use this campground. Surf can be unpredictable.

    Pin On Heathly

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    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Editor’s Pick

    Tucked into the Santa Cruz Mountains less than five miles from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is an international tourist destination and campground. Encompassing over 4,600 acres of mountainous terrain, this nearly 90-year-old park gains its notoriety from the 40 acres of old-growth redwood trees within its borders. The tallest tree at Henry Cowell stands approximately 277 feet tall and is estimated to be over 1,500 years old.

    A two-mile hike from the Redwood Grove Loop, one of the best hiking trails near Santa Cruz, the park’s campground has over 100 sites for tents and RVs. Dispersed throughout a shady forest, the campsites have natural privacy and access to flushing toilets and coin-operated showers. The highest point in the park, an observation deck with big views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is a half-mile hike from the campground.

    Including the winding banks of the San Lorenzo River, the terrain at Henry Cowell provides enough attraction for an entire weekend without leaving the park. The day-use Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell, just north of the campground, has over 20 miles of hiking trails to explore. One of the best swimming holes in the state can be found at the Garden of Eden also within the state park. Reservations are highly recommended and available six months ahead of time.

    Address: 101 N Big Trees Park Road, Felton, California

    What You Need To Know Before You Go To Seacliff State Beach

    Seacliff State Beach Campground
    • This oceanfront campground is justifiably popular. Your best bet is to make reservations as far in advance as possible, which is seven months ahead. Learn about how to make California state park reservations. To be ready in time to snag a spot before they’re all gone, pick your target sites before the reservation window opens by checking the campground map ahead of time. You can also see photos of the campsites at CampSite Photos.
    • A limited number of non-hook up campsites are sold by lottery at 12:30 p.m. every day. You have to be there with your RV before noon to sign up for the lottery.
    • Camping vehicles must be fully self-contained. That means they need to have permanent working plumbing fixtures, flushable toilets, and a sealed effluent holding tank. Your RV must be present when you register. You have to back into all campsites .
    • Visitors who review the campground at Campground Reviews frequently mention that you may need two long sewer hoses for the hookup sites.
    • Only one RV and a maximum of 8 people are allowed per campsite.
    • If you want to use a picnic table, bring your own. To have a fire, you’ll need to bring a raised fire ring.
    • The Park Store carries souvenirs and the like, but the nearest grocery store is a Safeway, which is on the north side of Highway 1 at 16 Rancho Del Mar, Aptos, CA, about 3 miles away.
    • Dogs allowed on leash only. At night, they have to be in your RV or vehicle.

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    Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve: A Welcoming Winter Home

    The park’s Monarch Grove provides a temporary home for thousands of Monarchs. In 2016, 8,000 Monarch Butterflies overwintered at Natural Bridges. From late fall into winter, the Monarchs form a “city in the trees.” The area’s mild seaside climate and eucalyptus grove provide a safe place for monarchs to roost until spring.

    In the spring and summer, the butterflies live in the valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains where the monarch’s companion plant, milkweed, is found. For most of the year, where there are monarchs, there are also milkweed plants. Monarchs drink nectar from milkweed flowers, and female monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed leaves. Milkweed contains a toxin that, when ingested by the caterpillar, makes it toxic to other animals. These toxins remain in the butterfly as well, providing protection from predators that would otherwise eat the monarchs.

    Visiting the Monarch PreserveMonarch migration is variable and population numbers and dates are different each year. The monarchs typically begin arriving in mid-October and leave by mid-February . At Natural Bridges, late October and all of November is often the best time to go for a walk and observe the monarchs. The Monarch Grove at Natural Bridges has been declared a Natural Preserve, thus protecting these butterflies and their winter habitat from human encroachment or harm. It is the only State Monarch Preserve in California.

    New Brighton State Beach Campground

    New Brighton State Beach Campground is located just south of popular Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County. New Brighton is within walking distance of both Capitola and Seacliff State Beach. The main attraction of New Brighton is its campground. Campsites are spread among the trees on the bluff, with 9 premium sites overlooking the ocean. Trails lead from the campground down to the beach.

    In all, New Brighton State Beach Campground has 109 family campsites. Of those, 10 have hook-ups for RVs or trailer. Nine sites are designated for tents only. The rest – including the premium sites – can accommodate RVs, trailers, or tents.

    New Brighton State Beach Campground also has 3 Group Campsites as well as a Hike & Bike campsite.

    New Brighton State Beach Campground Basics
    New Brighton State Beach Campground Location: New Brighton/Park Ave exit off Highway 1, Aptos
    Camping Season:
    Reservations at New Brighton State Beach Campground
    Reservations available Reservations are available year-round, up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
    Maximum Vehicle Length:
    #27, 77, 80, 95, and 107 and all restrooms
    Fees: Hike & Bike Site $5 per person
    Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia: or call 444-PARK between 8 AM and 6 PM
    Check-out, Check-in:

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    Sunset State Beach Campground

    Image from The Dyrt camper J.D.E.

    Around 30 minutes south of Santa Cruz county lies a beach that isnt that crowdeda rarity in this region. The Sunset State Beach is a popular spot for Santa Cruz camping, but maintains as remote of a feel as possible on a California beach, especially during the off-season or weekdays.

    Sunset State is surrounded by strawberry fields. There are dozens of dune-protected family sites for tents and RVs on a bluff. Its a short walk down some stairs to the wide open beach. Remote-controlled glider enthusiasts have a port to fly their planes.

    Nice lots on a cliff above the beach protected from the wind by some doug firs and eucalyptus. Beach is long and expansive with very few people on an average day. Nice place to take a stroll and relax Sometimes theres a decent sandbar for surfing. Always had a good time at this campground. The Dyrt camper Mauriel O.

    How Do I Get Started

    Manresa Uplands campground Sand Dollar beach near Santa Cruz, California..

    Tate starts her search with an old-fashioned California state atlas, which feels like a throw-back, given that most campgrounds have websites. But not all.

    The large-format atlases have all of the campgrounds marked, she said. So a lot of the little, tiny county ones or community ones, theyll be marked on that map. You may not be able to find out much about them online.

    Once you have a destination and a date in mind, nail down your spot. Camping reservations open six months in advance for most national and state parks, meaning Memorial Day campers snagged their reservations in late November.

    National parks: California has nine, more than any other state: Channel Islands, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Pinnacles, Redwood, Sequoia and Yosemite.

    For many park campgrounds, is the online gateway. You can choose a campground and peruse photos and maps of each one, allowing you to pick a site near the creek or deep in the woods. Reservations open six months in advance.

    California State Parks: The agency uses the online system, which opens reservations six months in advance of the date you want to camp. It also offers maps and information about amenities.

    One wrinkle that causes frustration for many trying to book at this site: People with existing reservations can change their dates. Thats why the campground you select may be sold out even if you log on exactly six months before the date you want to go.

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    Big Basin Wy Boulder Creek

    Nothing beats a weekend in this gorgeous park, the states oldest and one of its biggest. Elevations vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet, and the climate ranges accordingly, from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny and warm on ridgetops. The park’s major campsites, high in the mountains, can be reached by automobile. Features include family and group camping, tent cabins equipped with wood stoves, backpacking camps, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails and of course gaping at 2,000-year-old giant trees. There are also about a dozen rustic backpacking sites available by reservation near the Waddell Creek entrance to the park, off Highway 1. The park is open year-round, and reservations are encouraged during the summer.

    Seacliff State Beach Facilities

    Seacliff has sites for self-contained RVs and camping trailers only. In general, vehicles can be up to 36 feet long, but they have a few spaces for 45-footers. Sites 1-28 fill up fastest because they have hookups. There is no dump station.

    Sites are side by side facing the beach, and some people think they’re a little too close together.

    The campground has restrooms with flush toilets. The Beach Shack serves food but is only open on busier days. Water and a sanitation dump station are available at nearby New Brighton State Beach.

    Within a couple of miles, you can find shopping, dining, and grocery stores.

    Also Check: High Point State Park Camping

    Isnt There An Easier Way

    Yes and no. There are free apps such as The Dyrt and Campendium that allow you to search campgrounds and offer photos and information on amenities and individual campsites. But they dont show real-time availability or allow you to make a reservation. goes in another direction. It offers private camping destinations you may not think to visit, such as a lavender or llama farm. Its a good way to discover places where few are camping. Read up on the site and understand what it does and doesnt offer in terms of bathrooms, showers and other amenities. In a pilot program, Hipcamp is adding real-time availability for state parks to its website, though you still must book at ReserveCalifornia.

    Welcome To Santa Cruz Harbor Rv Park

    California Central Coast Beach Camping Best Campgrounds

    Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park is your premier destination for RV-ing in the Santa Cruz area. Located in the Santa Cruz North Harbor, you can enjoy convenient access to numerous beaches and restaurants, downtown Santa Cruz, Capitola, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

    Harbor beach is approximately 1 mile from the RV parking sites. An extensive walking trail completely surrounds the harbor.

    An RV host is available for information and initial registration. Please call 212-4261 and leave a message for reservation inquiries and additional information. Please do not attempt to make contact with the host after 9:00 pm or before 9:00 am.

    for the RV Park Rules.

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    Guide To Camping In Channel Islands National Park On Santa Cruz Island

    So you want to camp at the Channel Islands? Heres how!

    1) Start by booking your campsite reservation with the National Park Service. You will want to stay at Santa Cruz Scorpion, part of Channel Islands National Park. The campground has an Upper Loop and Lower Loop. All the group sites are in the Upper Loop and this area is further to hike to. Print out your confirmation and take it with you on your trip. All campers are required to have camping reservations prior to their departure from the mainland. Island camping reservations can be made up to 5 months in advance.

    Campground Information: Scorpion Campground is ½ mile from the dock . The hike to the campground is along a flat, dirt trail and takes approximately 10 minutes. Visitors must carry all gear to the campgrounds. Camping conditions are primitive, and users must camp within designated areas. All campgrounds are equipped with picnic tables and pit toilets. Potable water is available and we will provide a water container for you to fill up at the site. No trash containers are provided campers must pack out their own trash. No fires are permitted. To prevent scavenging animals from entering your site, please store all food in food boxes provided.

    2) Make your Ferry Boat Reservation with Island Packers . You will want to book your ticket from Ventura Harbor to East Santa Cruz .

    You can find a printable PDF with additional camping information here.

    Things to do on Santa Cruz Island:

    Big Basin Redwoods State Park

    California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is less than an hour drive from Santa Cruz. This internationally renowned camping and hiking destination is best known for the towering, 300-foot coastal redwood trees growing within its borders. The park’s 80 miles of trails, stretching from sea level to 2,000 feet, also tend to get a lot of attention, including the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail that connects with other state parks in the area.

    Camping options abound in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, with a variety of sites available that cater to different experiences. With nearly 150 individual campsites spread between five different camping areas, Big Basin also features separate group campsites, tent cabins, and dedicated hiker/biker sites.

    Accessible amenities like hot showers, RV hookups, and proximity to hiking trails vary from one camping area to the other. Camping reservations are nearly mandatory at Big Basin, especially on summer weekends.

    Address: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, California

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    Explore Central California Diversity With Santa Cruz Camping

    The popularity of camping in Santa Cruz county doesnt just come from its beautiful natural setting. For Bay Area campers, its a short drivedown some winding roadsto get away from eight million neighbors. It can be hard to find an available spot, especially during the peak summer weekends, so plan your trip months in advance with reservations. Dont stress too much however, as Santa Cruz county offers enough camping options for nearly everyone to find a site.

    This list collects just a few of the numerous Santa Cruz camping options, reviewed by campers on The Dyrt, that will take you from the mountains to the ocean. Keep in mind many of these campgrounds are closed in the winter because of rains, so make sure to check with the relevant authorities for the latest status.

    Other Santa Cruz Area Camping

    Van Life – Van Camping in Santa Cruz: Natural Bridges and Manresa State Beach

    Google Street View

    You’ll find one campground in the town of Santa Cruz and others outside of town. The distance to each one is listed below.

    Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park is the one campground that has a convenient location in the town of Santa Cruz, about a mile from the beach. It can accommodate fully self-contained vehicles only, up to 42 feet long.

    These campgrounds are in the Santa Cruz area, but not in or close to town:

    Costanoa calls itself an “eco-adventure resort.” It has a lodge, but also some upscale tent cabins and a KOA Kampground with RV and tent sites. It’s about 25 miles north of town on CA Highway 1. The location has its pluses and minuses, and you should read reviews at Tripadvisor before you decide to go.

    KOA Santa Cruz/Monterey is the nearest KOA to Santa Cruz, but it’s actually in Watsonville, 11 miles south. It’s an excellent location if you plan to visit both Santa Cruz and Monterey.

    Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort is in Scotts Valley, about a 15-minute drive from the beach. Both RV and tent sites are available. It has a swimming pool, shower, laundry, and WiFi. And they welcome well-behaved pets.

    Read Also: Wekiwa Springs State Park Camping

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