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Trip Descriptions

Skyline to the Sea

This 3-night, 4-day outing from Castle Rock to Waddell State Beach takes you on the legendary journey that has been a favorite of backpackers for 40 years. This trek spans 30+ miles of stunning ridgeline panoramas, mixed oak, madrone and redwood forests, riparian habitats, grassy meadows, spring-fed waterfalls, ending on the soft sandy beach. Adventurers will hike up to 10 miles a day, up steep hills and over sunny ridges on this challenging trip. This is the quintessential Santa Cruz Mountains backpacking experience.


Cost: $300
Thursday June 20 through Sunday June 23, 2019 
Difficulty: strenuous

Starting Location/ time: Castle Rock State Park Parking Lot; 9am
Ending Location/ time: Waddell State Beach; about 4pm
Total Mileage: approximately 33.5 miles
Day 1: Castle Rock Parking Lot to Waterman Gap Campground: approximately 10 miles
Day 2: Waterman Gap to Jay Camp via Skyline Trail: approximately 10 miles
Day 3: Jay Camp to Sunset Camp: approximately 6 miles
Day 4: Sunset Camp to Waddell State Beach: approximately 7.5 miles

*Jay Camp is located in Big Basin Headquarters and facilities include a general store and showers. 

  - Online Registration Will Open Feb. 1, 2019 at 9am - 


A Trek Through Time

Starting in Butano State Park, this 3-night, 4-day trip explores relatively unknown portions of the backcountry in the Santa Cruz Mountains before touring the iconic, must see spots of Big Basin. Adventurers will travel through chaparral-covered ridgelines, moss-lined waterfalls and lush old-growth redwood groves.  A strenuous day hike to Mount McAbee rewards you with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.
Friday July 19 through Sunday July 21, 2019 


Starting Location/ time: Butano State Park Kiosk; 9am
Ending Location/ time: Waddell State Beach; about 4pm
Total Mileage: approximately 32 miles
Day 1: Butano State Park to Butano Trail Camp; approximately 4.5 miles
Day 2: Butano Trail Camp to Sunset Trail Camp; approximately 10 miles
Day 3: Day hike to Mt. McAbee: approximately 9.5 miles
Day 4: Sunset Trail Camp to Waddell State Beach; approximately 8 miles

  - Online Registration Will Open Feb. 1, 2019 at 9am - 


Ridges to Redwoods

Starting in Castle Rock State Park, this 2-night, 3-day trip takes you through oak woodland ridgelines and dips into towering ancient redwoods. Experience panoramic views as you trek along the backbone of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Cost: $225
Friday August 16 through Sunday August 18, 2019 
Difficulty: strenuous


Starting Location/time: Castle Rock State Park main parking lot; 1pm
Ending Location/time: Portola Redwoods State Park Visitor Center; about 2pm
Total Mileage: approximately 16.5 miles
Day 1: Castle Rock parking lot to Castle Rock trail camp; approximately 3 miles
Day 2: Long Ridge Open Space Preserve; approximately 10.5 miles
Day 3: Slate Creek trail camp to Portola Redwoods Visitor Center; approximately 3 miles

  - Online Registration Will Open Feb. 1, 2019 at 9am - 


Basic Trip Information

All mileage is based on the 2015 edition of the Redwood Hikes map of the Bay Area. Some GPS and other personal trackers may provide alternative mileage results.

Participants must be able to hike 2-3 miles/hour with a 20lb pack.


  • WE provide:
    - water filters
    - hot water for AM/PM meals
    - traditional teas
    - *Shuttle between start and ending location for: Skyline to the Sea, Ridges to Redwoods, and Trek through Time.
  • YOU provide:
    transportation to starting location
    - bring all your own food
    - be able to hike up to 10 miles per day
    - tent/sleeping bag/ sleeping pad
    - all equipment on checklist

To complete registration, it is mandatory to submit the Liability Release Form and the Photo Release Form(optional). To download these forms, please click here.

Participation is open to adults 18 or over, and children ages 13 to 17 accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Cancellation Policy
A 50% refund will be issued if you cancel more than 60 days before your trip. Cancellations less than 60 days notice are NON REFUNDABLE.