Day Use Area Sunrise to Sunset
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Max. Trailer Lengths
Trailer: 31 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 35 Feet
Driving Directions to Henry Cowell Redwoods SP
Traveling from San Jose to the main entrance:
Take Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz. After you go over the mountains, turn right on Mt. Hermon Road. Follow Mt. Hermon road until it ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn right, and go to the next stop light (Highway 9). Turn left on Highway 9 and go through downtown Felton. The park entrance will be a half mile down on your left. You can park outside and walk a half mile into the park, or you can drive in and pay a fee.
To reach the campground entrance: Turn left at Graham Hill Road, continue approximately 2.5 miles. The campground entrance is on the right side of the road.
Camping and Lodging
Online reservations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made 7 months in advance on the first day of the month beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST via the website, by mail, or by calling the toll free telephone number at 1-800-444-7275. Due to seasonal volume, access to the ReserveAmerica website and the telephone line may at times be limited.Online Reservations
Brochures and Campground Maps
Upcoming Park Events
No events scheduled at this moment.
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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park inspires calm reflection among ancient giant redwoods and sunny sandhill ridges. Its historical significance and spectacular scenery draw travelers from around the world. Within its 4,650 acres, visitors can enjoy 30 miles of hiking and riding trails, as well as picnicking, swimming, camping, and fishing.
The skyscraping redwoods here were admired by explorer John C. Frémont and President Theodore Roosevelt. These trees also inspired some of California’s earliest redwood-preservation efforts. The park’s ancient marine deposits, called the Santa Cruz sandhills, are home to rare animals and plants, including coastal ponderosa pines. A picnic area near the San Lorenzo River is lush with large sycamores and bay trees. Keen-eyed visitors may spot banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats in the forest, and steelhead trout in the river.
The park’s 113-site campground is three miles north of Santa Cruz on Graham Hill Road. The park’s visitor center, picnic area, and old-growth redwood grove may be entered by a separate entrance off Highway 9 near Felton. A quarter mile west of Felton is the park’s serene Fall Creek Unit, with its fern-lined river canyon and remnants of Henry Cowell’s old lime kiln.
Weather changes quickly in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Winter temperatures range from the upper 30s to mid-50s and from the high 40s to the 80s in summer.
• All natural and cultural features are protected by law; do not disturb them.
• Camping and fires are permitted only in designated areas.
• Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and are allowed only in picnic areas and campsites and on the Meadow Trail, Pipeline Road, Graham Hill Trail, and Powder Mill Fire Road. Except for service animals, dogs are not permitted on other trails or fire roads or anywhere in the Fall Creek Unit. Dogs are not permitted on the Redwood Grove Loop trail.
• All pets must be attended at all times and confined in a tent or vehicle at night.
• Camping, bicycles, smoking, and fires are prohibited in the Fall Creek Unit.
• Stay on established trails and out of all undeveloped areas and unlabeled trails.
• Be alert for rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Check for ticks after hiking.
• Poison oak flourishes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Its leaves grow in groups of three, with gently lobed edges. The plant may appear as a bush, vine, or ground cover with green or reddish leaves. Many people are allergic to its oil.
This park features almost 20 miles of hiking and riding trails through a variety of plant communities including redwoods, mixed evergreens, riparian (riverside), ponderosa pine, as well as rare ancient marine deposits called Santa Cruz sandhills.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is home to a magnificent old-growth redwood grove with a self-guided nature path. Other trees such as Douglas-fir, madrone, oak and a stunning stand of Ponderosa pines grow within the park boundary. A lush picnic area full of large sycamore and bay trees is located near the San Lorenzo River. The park’s four distinct ecosystems allow for many wildlife viewing opportunities. Many birds, banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyote, and bobcats, along with others animals, live in the park. Steelhead can be seen in the river and the fishing season is during the winter (catch and release). The park has a visitor center and nature store.
Santa Cruz Sandhills
The main day-use area contains the large, old-growth redwoods, while the northern area (Fall Creek) has about 20 miles of hiking trails through a second-growth redwood forest and remnants of an old lime kiln. The tallest tree in the park is about 277 feet tall, and about 16 feet wide. The 113-site campground in the oaks and pines of a rare sandhill makes for a unique camping experience is located on the other side of the park from the main day-use area.
Location - Directions
The park is south of downtown Felton on Highway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Traveling from San Jose to the main entrance: Take Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz. After you go over the mountains, exit Mt. Hermon Road and turn right. Follow Mt. Hermon Road until it ends at Graham Hill Road. Turn right, and go to the next stop light (Highway 9). Turn left on Highway 9 and go through downtown Felton. The park entrance will be a half mile down on your left.
To reach the campground entrance, turn left at Graham Hill Road, continue approximately 2.5 miles. The campground entrance is on the right side of the road.
Seasons - Climate
The weather can be changeable; summer temperatures can reach the 80s, while December's cold can dip close to freezing. Morning is often present in the spring and summer.
Facilities - Activities
The park has about 20 miles of trails, ranging from 0.4 miles long to 3.3 miles long. Some trails are very steep. Terrain varies from thick forest to chaparral. There is only one seasonal bridge (end of May to mid-October) near the old train trestle that crosses the river.
Hikers are allowed on all the trails and roads.
Dogs are allowed in the picnic area, the campground, as well as on Pipeline Road, Graham Hill Trail, Powder Mill Fire Road, and Meadow Trail. They are not allowed on any other trails or interior roads. Dogs are not permitted on the Old-Growth Redwood Grove Loop Trail. Where dogs are allowed, they must be on a leash at all times and kept in your car or tent at night. They may not be left unattended. They are not allowed on any other trails or interior roads.
Bicycles are allowed only on Pipeline Road, Rincon Fire Road, Ridge Fire Road, and Powder Mill Fire Road. Bicyclists under 18 must wear a helmet. A bicycle campsite available for cyclists who are touring the area and pedal into the park. Register at the campground kiosk on Graham Hill Road.
Horses are NOT allowed on the following trails:
Redwood Grove Trail
Pipeline Road south of Rincon Fire Road
Motorcycles, cars, and other vehicles are not permitted on any trail or paved road in the park.
See the trail descriptions listed under Hiking in the Things to Do link at right.
Powder Mill Trailhead and parking lot is in the southeast corner of the park, on Graham Hill Road just north of Sims Road. Horse trailers are allowed, and horses may be ridden on all trails near the parking lot.
Rincon Fire Road and parking lot is on the south side of the park, on Highway 9 about three miles south of the main entrance.
Ox Trailhead and parking lot is on the west side of the park, on Highway 9 about 1.4 miles south of the main entrance.
Redwood Grove Trail is a flat, easy loop around the giant redwoods. Restrooms are available at the half-way point. Wheelchairs and strollers may use its smooth, packed trail. Self-guided brochures are available at the visitor center for 25 cents. The trailhead is near the Visitor Center. Dogs, horses, and bicycles are not allowed on this trail.
Fishing is permitted in the San Lorenzo River during the Steelhead and Salmon season, approximately December through February. This activity is governed by the California Department of Fish and Game. They determine the exact fishing season, and require a Fishing license. No other fishing is permitted. The rules are enforced by both Park rangers and DFG wardens.
Roaring Camp Big Trees Railroad is next door to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. A brochure with general train information is available at the nature store and the visitor center. Visit http://www.roaringcamp.com/ or call 831-335-4484 for more information. If you pay the day-use fee, park in Cowell parking lot and walk a hundred yards to Roaring Camp.
Can We Drive Through a Giant Tree?
There are no old-growth redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountain Range that you can actually drive an automobile through. One redwood at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is named the "Auto Tree;" visitors would park and pose next to back in the 1920's and 30's.
There are three trees located in northern California that cars can be driven through. All located along US Route 101, far north of Santa Cruz County:
- Chandelier Tree—Leggett, Mendocino County (254 miles north of HCRSP)
- Shrine Drive-Thru Tree—Myer’s Flat, Humboldt County (295 miles north of HCRSP)
- Klamath Tree (or Tour-Thru Tree)—Klamath, Del Norte County (408 miles north of HCRSP)
Available Activities and Facilities at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Drinking Water Available