Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.

Phone Number

(831) 425-5849

Park Hours

Call the park to confirm.
Monday, Thursday - Saturday from 10am-4pm;
Sunday 12pm-4pm
Closed Christmas, Dec. 25

Driving Directions to Santa Cruz Mission SHP

The historic park is in downtown Santa Cruz; take Mission Street to Mission Plaza. The adobe is located one block off the plaza on School Street.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

 

TEMPORARY FACILITY CLOSURES AND EVENT CANCELLATIONS 

DAY USE AREAS (trails, beaches): Open; Please bring cash in exact change to pay fees at self-registration stations. 

RESTROOMS: Open; Please bring soap for handwashing or hand sanitizer. 

PARKING LOTS: All parking lots in San Mateo County-area parks and specific parking lots in Santa Cruz County-area parks are temporarily closed. Click here for the latest updates.  

CAMPGROUNDS: Temporarily Closed

PARK STORES, VISITOR CENTERS & MUSEUMS: Temporarily Closed

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & GUIDED TOURS: Temporarily Suspended

LARGE EVENTS: Temporarily Suspended

SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT APPLICATIONS: Temporarily Suspended

California State Parks is taking steps to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of March 23, 2020, State Parks has temporarily closed vehicular traffic to certain parks experiencing high visitation. This includes all San Mateo County parks. To see a current list of impacted parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve. For those wishing to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising them to walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods and walk to parks. Most importantly, the public is being asked not to congregate in the outdoors.

Campgrounds are temporarily closed as of March 17, 2020. Camping reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Visitor Centers, museums, and park stores are also temporarily closed.

Guided tours, educational programs, and large events are temporarily suspended as of March 14, 2020. Tour reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Special event applications have been suspended until further notice as of March 14, 2020.

As of March 17, 2020, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.

State Parks recommends that everyone follow precautionary guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health, public local health agencies, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when recreating in the outdoors. Everyone has the responsibility to “flatten the COVID-19 curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.

For the most up-to-date information on how State Parks is supporting the state’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve and follow State Parks on its social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visiting the Santa Cruz Mission

The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park sits atop Mission Hill offering a patio, gardens, and excellent views of the city.  The park features the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791.  Restored to its original appearance, the austere single-story adobe was once housing for the California Indian residents of the Mission. Exhibits inside tell the story of the mission through the lens of the experience of the Ohlone and Yokuts people.

Mission Exhibits

This portion of the adobe, built in the early 1800’s, is the only surviving building from Mission Santa Cruz. Archeological excavations in the 1980’s revealed that this had been Indian family housing, the only example of its kind still standing in California today.  The story of the Ohlone and Yokuts Indian experience at the Santa Cruz Mission is depicted through exhibits and a wall-sized movie projection.  These are featured on guided tours, and may also be viewed at leisure on self-guided tours.  The 7-room building also includes information about Ohlone lifeways prior to European contact, archeological excavations and Rodriguez and Neary family histories. 

Teachers

The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park offers school group programs on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the school year.  We are currently taking reservations for the 2019-2020 school year. Click here for more information on school field trips and a description of a Mission Day program. You can fill in a field trip request form online.

4th Grade Mission Projects

The park offers many resources to support students studying the missions, and their families.

  • Tours and Events:
    Guided Adobe Tours and Living History Demonstrations are great opportunities for in-depth study and hands-on experiences. You can also enjoy a self-guided tour whenever the park is open. Please click here for dates and more information.

  • Junior Ranger Activity Guide:
    Junior Rangers is a statewide program for 7 - 12 year olds offered in the summer season. During the school season, our self-guided booklet is a fun and thought-provoking way to explore the museum. Kids receive a logbook and can earn a badge and prizes!

  • Mission Building Game:
    Gather round the table to play this board game set in Spanish Colonial California. Spend reales and roll the sheep's knucklebone to determine the fate of your mission. This is an exciting interactive way to learn about mission history. Geared for families, 8 yrs and older. Please click here for dates and more information. 

  • Literature:
    Pick up a copy of "Information about Mission Santa Cruz" at the Visitor Center, or call our office to have it sent to you by mail

  • Books, kits, cards and more:
    The ParkStore offers a variety of materials to extend your experience and assist with your project.  Peruse the online store by visiting www.thatsmypark.org.