What's New

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is now open for limited day-use access. Reservations are required. Visitors also can arrive by bus or bike.


Become a volunteer! There are new volunteer opportunities available at Natural Bridges State Beach, Half Moon Bay State Beach and more!


The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is fully open! Check out the reopened trails for your next hike!


Campground facilities at Portola Redwoods State Park will close Friday, Aug. 5, for the remainder of the season due to drought conditions


Plan Your Visit

Our Mission, Our Passion

Our local parks and beaches: thriving and available to all!

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events.

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🐦Calling all birders to Pomponio State Beach! Lagoons are often used by egrets and blue herons, as well as ducks and other waterfowl. Don't forget to bring your binoculars and dress in layers.👀 #FindNewAdventure

#ThatsMyBeach #ThatsMyPark #Ocean #Beach #Nature #Birding #Birds #Egrets #Herons #Ducks #waterfowl

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Spend your morning tidepooling at the beach! Here are August's lowest tides in Santa Cruz. Negative tides offer the perfect opportunity to go tide pooling:

Sat. 8/13 at 6:10 a.m. 🌊 -.09
Sun. 8/14 at 6:49 a.m. 🌊 -.05
Sat. 8/27 at 5:24 a.m. 🌊 -.1

Remember to respect all #MarineProtectedAreas by not touching, disturbing or collecting any marine life. And remember to never turn your back to the ocean.

#ThatsMyBeach #ThatsMyPark #Ocean #Tidepool #Crab #MarineLife #Adventure #Discovery

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💚 Big Basin Redwoods State Park update! 💚

Starting Monday, Aug. 8, the @bigbasin_sp day use parking capacity will increase to 84 spaces (plus 4 ADA spaces).

“Following nearly two years of recovery efforts we wanted to open Big Basin gradually to ensure the public would have a safe yet high quality experience,” said State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer. “Feedback from our opening two weeks has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m very pleased to say we will now be nearly doubling available day use parking at Big Basin”.

Friends is proud to manage the reservation system in collaboration with State Parks.

15% of parking spaces will be held and released three days before the reservation date for visitors who can’t make plans far in advance.

⚠️ Reservations are required to park at Big Basin! Visitors without a reservation to park their vehicle will be turned away. ⚠️

Reserve your spot today — Link in bio!

#ThatsMyPark #BigBasin #BigBasinRedwoodsStatePark #reservation #nature #outdoors

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Go on a short hike at Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park following the old ranch road along Mills Creek for about 1 mile up to a 1930s bungalow. Don't forget to bring water!💧#FindNewAdventure

#ThatsMyPark #Ranch #Hike #Nature #StatePark #Adventure

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Ever wondered which state beaches allow bonfires? 🔥🌊

We've got you covered! Check out our page - link in bio - for a list of state beaches that allow bonfires on State Park provided fire rings. Remember to pack your trash and extinguish your fire before heading out. Beaches close at 10 p.m. sharp

#ThatsMyPark #ThatsMyBeach #Bonfire #Campfire #FirePit #Beach

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Experience the redwoods again at @bigbasin_sp. 🌲✨

A small portion of Big Basin has reopened to the public for day use and you can now make online reservations to visit!

Pre-registration link in bio!

⚠️ Reservations are required to park at Big Basin! Visitors without a reservation to park their vehicle will be turned away. ⚠️ #BackToBigBasin

#BackToBigBasin #ThatsMyPark #Hike #Trails #Nature #Redwoods

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