What's New

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


Shop State Parks! Visit the ParkStore at Natural Bridges, Wilder Ranch, Seacliff, Santa Cruz Mission, New Brighton or online for thoughtful gifts and souvenirs.


Welcome Back Monarchs returns! Join us for a family-friendly celebration of our favorite butterfly at Natural Bridges State Beach.


Registration for State Parks field trips is now open! Both in-person and virtual options are available at 11 local state parks and beaches


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.

I want to help!

Get News and Stay Connected

🦋 It's Monarch butterfly season! 🦋

The annual Welcome Back Monarchs event will be Sunday, Oct. 9, @naturalbridgesstatebeach. Join State Parks for a family-friendly celebration of Santa Cruz's favorite butterfly. The event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include arts and crafts, music, information tables, food for sale, hand painting, handmade pumpkin ice cream, a monarch superhero skit, a parade and free cake!

Learn more and plan your visit at the link in our bio.

Parking is $10 and supports the park!

#ThatsMyBeach #thatsmypark #nature #naturephoto #wildlife #butterfly #monarchbutterfly #statebeach #statepark

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Join us at Wilder Ranch State Park on October 27 from 11 am to 3 pm for our brand-new Ranch Kid Day, designed specifically for homeschools, alternative schools and small classes! Experience our most popular school program at your own pace. Classes and families will have a variety of stations to participate in, including butter making, old-fashioned games, machine shop and blacksmith demonstrations, meeting live farm animals and more!

Free activity booklets will be available at the welcome booth, so be sure to stop by! Teachers, parents,or accompanying adults will be required to chaperone their students at all times. This free program is designed for students aged 6 to 11 (Grades 1-5). Day-use parking passes are $10.

For more information, please contact or call (831) 426-0505.

📍Uypi Land #WilderRanch #WilderRanchStatePark #ThatsMyPark #CAStateParks #Education #OutdoorEducation #HomeSchool #SantaCruz #ThingsToDoWithKids #BackToSchool #SchoolProgram

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Happy October! With that comes:
☔ Rainy and windy weather!
🍃 Large trees and branches breaking!
🎃 Pumpkin spice!

Whether you love or hate the things above, we strongly encourage you to take precautions this fall when visiting Big Basin. The trees are still shedding limbs since the fire and it’s storms like these that create hazards like the one pictured above. Roads and trails may be dangerous and even impassable in places.

Keep an eye on our social media for any unexpected closures and consider staying home on bad weather days. A perfect excuse to cozy up and watch your favorite fall movie (Hocus Pocus, anyone?)! 🍿✨

⚠️Remember, reservations are required to park at Big Basin! Visitors without a reservation to park their vehicle will be turned away. Click the link in our bio to make your reservation today! ⚠️

Image: A number of very large broken tree trunk pieces scattered across Hwy 236 near Big Basin’s entrance, making the road impassable. Two members of State Parks Roads crew are in the background assessing the situation.

Photo credit: Big Basin volunteer, Michael MacDonald

#WildWeather #FreeFalling #TreeFalling #HazardTrees #WeatherHazards #BigBasin #BigBasinRedwoodsStatePark #CZULightningComplexFire #CZUFire #Resilience #BackToBigBasin #Wildfire #ThatsMyPark

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We've got some great stuff happening here at Wilder Ranch this October!
Special Events:
Life on the Ranch Living History Day, October 1st, 11am-3pm
Ranch Kid Homeschool Day, October 27th, 11am-3pm
Weekly Tours:
Ranch History Tours, every Saturday and Sunday, 1pm, meet in front of visitor's center
Coast Nature Walks, every Saturday (except the 1st), 11am, meet in parking lot
Birding Walks, October 14th and 28th, 9am, meet in parking lot
📍Uypi Land #WilderRanch #WilderRanchStatePark #ThatsMyPark #CAStateParks #SantaCruz #LivingHistory #ThingsToDoInSantaCruz #ThingsToDoWithKids #Homeschool #Birding #Tours

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Calling all small classrooms, alternative schools and homeschools! Join us at Wilder Ranch State Park on October 27th from 11am to 3pm to experience our brand-new program designed just for you! Your students will experience what it was like to be a kid living on a ranch over 100 years ago. Enjoy stations such as making butter, milking pretend cows, watching machine shop and blacksmith shop demonstrations, petting goats and more! Visit the cow barn at 11:30 or 1:30 to meet our cows and watch their feeding. All stations will be running simultaneously, so each group can go at its own pace. This program is designed for 1st-5th grade students, but siblings are welcome to participate in activities! There is no pre-registration for this event, all you need to do is visit our welcome booth to receive your free activity booklet. This event is free, but parking in our day-use lot is $10 at the kiosk.
Questions? Email for more information
📍Uypi Land #WilderRanch #WilderRanchStatePark #ThatsMyPark #CAStateParks #SantaCruz #Homeschool #ThingsToDoWithKids

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