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Santa Cruz Campgrounds and RV Parks

Our guide to Santa Cruz campgrounds can help you navigate through and review Santa Cruz County's 27 publicly and privately owned campgrounds and RV parks.

A Comprehensive Guide to Santa Cruz Campgrounds and RV Parks

Whether you prefer tent camping or living off the land in a well insulated RV or trailer—our comprehensive Santa Cruz camping guide will help you quickly sort through the camp and RV park offerings to find the perfect campsite.

If you’re looking for a RV park that is close to the beach, boardwalk and downtown Santa Cruz, you can’t get much better than upper Santa Cruz Harbor.  It’s just a short walk to Seabright Beach and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. You’ll probably want to bike, bus or drive downtown, though!

Click here for more RV parks located close to the City of Santa Cruz.

If your dream campsite is near a Santa Cruz beach, you may want to look at Seacliff State Beach. It is located along a long stretch of beach backed by bluffs. It’s known for its fishing pier, swimming and concrete ship.  Another great spot is New Brighton State Beach.

Click here for more Santa Cruz beach camping locations.

If warmer weather is your cup of tea, camping in the Santa Cruz Mountains around Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, or Felton may be your best bet. You will have to give up the ocean views, but the sights and sounds of the coastal redwoods towering above your campsite can be downright euphoric. Too much? How about blissful or extremely enjoyable.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a good pick for family campgrounds, group campsites, and tent camping.

Click here for more campgrounds in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Maybe Santa Cruz is just too much fun? Try reviewing our list of Scotts Valley and Watsonville RV parks and campgrounds.

A couple quick notes before you select your Santa Cruz camping location:

Generally, the Santa Cruz coastline has moderate temperatures year round; however, I think the best central coast camping weather tends to occur in the spring, late summer, and fall. Yes, I said late summer. Some travel sites would have you believe that the weather is great year round, but, as the locals will tell you, June can be downright depressing. Known as June gloom, the fog moves in along the coast and can stay all month long. Believe me, 30+ days of not seeing the sun can be a little unsettling. And even when the day temps are nice and toasty, the evening and night temps can drop fast and become chilly and windy.

Another thing to consider before you select a Santa Cruz campground is to be sure to pay close attention to the local laws and campground rules. For example, some campgrounds restrict all open fires and alcohol is forbidden on all beaches located within the city limits of Santa Cruz.

Keep in mind that every location offers a different set of features, activities and environments—creating their own unique Santa Cruz camping experience.

Happy Camping!

To review our entire list of campground and RV parks, please click on the following links: Santa Cruz beach campgrounds,  Santa Cruz Mountain campgrounds, or City of Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. You can also just scroll down the page.

City of Santa Cruz Campgrounds and RV Parks

Beach RV Park

2505 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, CA  (831) 462-2505
Full time RV Coastal Living for retirement or snow birds. Lots of activity for the retired who are very active.

 Forest of Nisene MarksNisene Marks State Park— Remote Camps

Aptos Creek Rd. & Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA  (831) 763-7062

The park has 10,000 acres of rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet.

Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park (Upper Yacht Harbor)

135 5th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA (831) 475-3279
The R.V. park is located in the north harbor. Do not bring your rig to the harbor office. The Port District maintains a harbor patrol who are on duty 24 hrs/day.

Santa Vida RV Park & Campground

1611 Branciforte Drive, Santa Cruz, CA  (831) 425-1945
Santa Vida is minutes from downtown Santa Cruz, and offers RV sites in a 23 acre forest setting of beautiful redwoods, madrone, and oak.

Seacliff Center Trailer Park

234 State Park Drive, Seacliff, CA  (831) 688-3813
Seacliff Center RV Park is located near Seacliff State Beach by the historic S.S. Palo Alto cement ship that once floated offshore as an entertainment vessel for dining, dancing and fun, now permanently moored at Seacliff California State Beach.

Santa Cruz Beach Campgrounds

 

Big Basin / Rancho Del OsoBig Basin Redwoods State Park — campgrounds

The ocean end of Big Basin, Hwy 1   831-338-8860

Located 20 miles north of Santa Cruz on Hwy. 1, the park has miles of trails, which serves hikers and equestrians, links Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. Maps

Santa Cruz Rustic Resorts - CostanoaCostanoa Tents, Cabins and Lodge

2001 Rossi Road – Pescadero, CA

Located 30 minutes north of the City of Santa Cruz, Costanoa is connected to four State Parks – 30,000 acres of hiking trails with a vibrant wildlife reserve. Costanoa offers the unique opportunity to experience outdoor living in comfortable stylish surroundings.  Accommodations include canvas cabins – Douglas Fir Cabins – and a forty-room Lodge. Special features include on-site spa services – horseback riding – mountain bike rentals – children’s activities – and a general store and cafe.

Manresa State Beach – Family camp sites

205 Manresa Beach Rd.,  La Selva Beach, CA 95076 (831) 763-7063

The beach features a beautiful expanse of sea and sand, with surf fishing, and recreation.

New Brighton State BeachNew Brighton State Beach — Campgrounds

201 State Park Drive.,  Aptos, CA  (831) 464-6330

The park features picnic areas, swimming, fishing and a nearby forest of Monterey pine. The camping area’s campsites are located on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay.

 Forest of Nisene MarksNisene Marks State Park— Remote Camps

Aptos Creek Rd. & Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA  (831) 763-7062

The park has 10,000 acres of rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet.

Portola Redwoods State ParkPortola Redwoods State Park

650-948-9098

The park has a rugged, natural basin forested with coast redwoods, Douglas fir and live oak. Eighteen miles of trails crisscross the canyon and its two streams, Peters Creek and Pescadero Creek.

Pigeon Point Light StationPigeon Point Light Station — Hostel

210 Pigeon Point Rd. Hwy 1, Pescadero  (650) 879-0633

On California Highway 1, 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay and 27 miles north of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park (Upper Yacht Harbor)

135 5th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA (831) 475-3279
The R.V. park is located in the north harbor. Do not bring your rig to the harbor office. The Port District maintains a harbor patrol who are on duty 24 hrs/day.

Seacliff State BeachSeacliff State Beach

201 State Park Drive.,  Aptos, CA  (831) 429-2850

The park is known for its fishing pier and concrete freighter, the Palo Alto. The beach is also a popular swimming spot. There is a long stretch of sand backed by bluffs.

Sunset State BeachSunset State Beach — Campgrounds

201 Sunset Beach Rd., Watsonville, CA  (831) 763-7062

The park features pine trees, mountainous sand dunes, and Pacific Ocean side picnic spots. Bordered by large agricultural fields between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey, the beach is a year-round destination for thousands of visitors.

 Santa Cruz Mountains Campgrounds

 

Big BasinBig Basin Redwoods State Park — Campgrounds

21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA   831-338-8860

The park has miles of trails that link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range.  The trails are utilized by both hikers and equestrians.

Big Basin Tent Cabins — Open Year Round

21600 Big Basin Hwy, Boulder Creek  (800) 874-8368

Butano State Park — Campgrounds

1500 Cloverdale Rd., Pescadero, CA  (650) 879-2040

A 2,200-acre redwood park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, featuring excellent hiking through the redwood groves. Only three miles from the Pacific coast, the park’s trails offer views of the Pacific Ocean and the Año Nuevo islands.

Castle RockCastle Rock State Park — Backpacker campgrounds

15000 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos, CA   (408) 867-2952

Along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park contains 3,600 acres of coast redwood, Douglas-fir, and madrone forest. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are popular with rock climbers, and hikers can enjoy the 32 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails.

Cotillion Gardens RV Park

300 Old Big Trees Road, Felton, CA  (831) 335-7669The RV Park is located near Santa Cruz, California, nestled in the giant redwoods and San Lorenzo River. They offer a year round destination for those looking to explore the bay area and redwood forests.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State ParkHenry Cowell Redwoods State Park

101 North Big Trees Park Rd., Felton, CA   (831) 438-2396

The park features 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through a forest that looks much the same as it did 200 years ago. The park is the home of the Redwood grove, with a self-guided nature path, and Douglas fir, madrone, oak and the most unusual feature of the park, a stand of Ponderosa pine.

Portola Redwoods State ParkPortola Redwoods State Park

650-948-9098

The park has a rugged, natural basin forested with coast redwoods, Douglas fir and live oak. Eighteen miles of trails crisscross the canyon and its two streams, Peters Creek and Pescadero Creek.

Redwood Resort RV Park and Campground

150 East Grove, Boulder Creek, CA  (831) 338-3413
The Redwood Resort of Boulder Creek California is a small privately owned RV park and campground nestled amongst the majestic redwood trees. The RV park is open year round and the campground is open May through September.

Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

4980 Highway 9, Felton, CA  (831) 335-8312
Situated on the beautiful San Lorenzo River and backed by Henry Cowell State Park our clean, newly renovated RV Park and campground offer guests a year round, family oriented, place to relax or a base camp for your outdoor adventure.

Smithwoods RV Park

4770 Hwy 9, Felton, CA  (831) 335-432

Scotts Valley RV Parks

Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park

917 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA  (831) 438-1288
Nestled in the trees just minutes away from Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz our resort is here to serve your RV vacation needs.

Watsonville RV Parks

KOA RV Park

1186 San Andreas Road, La Selva Beach, CA (831) 722-0551

Marina Dunes RV Park

3330 Dunes Dr, Marina, CA 93933  (831) 384-6914

Pinto Lake Park

451 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA  (831) 722-8129
Quiet lakeside RV campground in Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz area. Enjoy RV park, the local attractions, the nearby wildlife or just go fishing.




 

 

What’s on Tap
This Summer

Events

Santa Cruz Festivals & Events:

 

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music—July 31 to Aug. 13, 2016

22nd Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival—Aug. 6 & 7, 2016

Santa Cruz City Amateur Golf Championship—Aug. 13 & 14, 2016

Scotts Valley Festival of Art and Wine—Aug. 20-21, 2016

Race Thru The Redwoods—Aug. 21, 2016

 

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Santa Cruz.

 

Attractions

Top Santa Cruz Attractions:

 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Fun for all ages.

Santa Cruz Campgrounds

Ocean views or Redwoods? Over 27 campgrounds and RV Parks

Santa Cruz Fishing 

Fall is fishing and crabbing season in Santa Cruz!

Santa Cruz Surfing

With 11 world-class surf breaks such as Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, it is easy to understand why the greatest surfers in the world call Santa Cruz home!

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May

 

For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.

 

 

Advisories

The Region’s Fall Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially along Mission Street and Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Capitols. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to www.caltrans.com to learn about road conditions.

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.