California State Parks Backpacking Adventures

Imagine if the Santa Cruz Mountains could speak....

Travel from spectacular ridgelines, through old growth redwood forests, to sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of backcountry naturalists. We will share the secrets of this precious wilderness and give you a window into the lives of the people who lived here for thousands of years.

Why choose us?

This program is truly unique, the only such program led by California State Park staff. We offer naturalist-led backpacking trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains, sharing with you the natural and cultural history of the area. Trips vary in length and difficulty, proposing options for every experience level. Each trip provides two naturalists and you can meet them before hand at one of our in-person or video-conference pre-trip meetings. Native plant teas, trail desserts, demonstrations, stories, and jokes are added bonuses! 


Our mission is to provide for the health, inspiration, and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

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“This team was so focused, polite and hardworking and still managed to make it fun. It’s very hard to do this, but they made it look easy. I’m only sorry there aren’t dozens of similar programs throughout the state. Thank you so much.” –Gregory Rudd, Skyline to the Sea and The Trail Less Traveled 2016 participant

“This was a blast and with a great group of people. Most fun was the stories and the laughter. I learned a ton. More was covered than I could have ever imagined was out there. I never dreamed there was so much to know and I’m very impressed with Alex and Jeremy’s knowledge.” – Jennifer Hardwick, Skyline to the Sea 2016 participant

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks logo sempervirens fund logo mountain parks foundation logo Portola Castle Rock Foundation Logo Waddell Creek Assoc. Logo Environmental Volunteers Logo