32 Parks near Santa Cruz, California
Jun 2016 - $52.00
This RV spot, and I hesitate to call it a "park" because there is not much there to define a RV park. It is basically a lined off set of parking spots with a power pedestal and a picnic table. There was enough room for our 37' motor home, and we were able to pull the Jeep all the way to the back of the site so we could put chairs in the front for a view of the boats and the marina. There is a real love/hate relationship when talking about this stop. The parts to love are backing into your site and and having a view of Santa Cruz harbor and marina out of the front window. The sites are full hook up and the water pressure is strong. The sites are all pavement so dirt or sand is not an issue. The cell signal is strong and the Verizon air card worked well. There is no public WiFi offered. The hate part of the relationship is that the RV spaces are bordered by a road directly in front of the sites. Our rig was inches from the white line that represented the edge of the traffic lane that runs in front. While exiting the rig if a car was going by, it would be mere feet from you. There is a 10 mph speed limit on the road, which is universally ignored by just about everyone. Vehicles usually sped by at 20 to 30 mph, oblivious that pedestrians were walking by. Another oddity was the lack of any restroom and shower facilities available. While there are two shower toilet rooms along the marina walkway, signs are posted that they are for the use of the marina slip renters only. One of the buildings had a sign that is was open to the public between the hours of 8 AM to 6 PM, but the doors were never unlocked. The doors required a key or a pass code to enter. The RV camp host was also kinda flaky. He was in the site next to us, but he was rarely there, and when he was he was never available.We paid $52 a night for the park, with no discounts or break for staying for a week. All in all it was not a bad park, but there was not much to make it memorable either. - SargeW
Feb 2016 - $52.00
Little has changed since the prior reviews. This is still a section of parking lot at the northern end of the yacht harbor with full hook ups and little else. It is quiet at night, but while we were here they were running a dredge right in front of the RV area for several hours a day--like having a loud generator running. The eucalyptus trees above us drop hard nuts on our RV occasionally that sound like gunshots. There are not many options in Santa Cruz and this park is in a great location and has a rather pretty view of the boats in the harbor and the surrounding hills, but for the price, this "camping spot" leaves a lot to be desired. As others have said, the sites are narrow (about 20 feet wide) but easy to back a trailer into and enough room to sit outside. Maximum RV length is 42 feet. In spite of the drawbacks, this park has been nearly full for our whole stay. We will be happy to move to New Brighton State Park in a few days. - MrSunshine
Nov 2013 - $50.00
We stayed here one night so that we could visit friends in Santa Cruz. We weren't towing and this was the most convenient location for them to pick us up for dinner. It is basically part of the overall parking lot for the harbor with 12 spaces designated for RVs. I think it greatly overpriced for what it is. We probably would not stay here again. - June W.
Mar 2016 - $45.00
This park is different, up a very rural road and on the side of a mountain. It used to be a church camp before it was an RV park, aand they still have a chapel and do weddings, the sign says. It is mostly about 30 extended-say sites but also has just a few overnight openings, so call first. Some spaces have no sewer, ask first... but there is a dump station. It has extensive hiking trails (poorly maintained) that connect with a large public park adjacent. Very quiet, natural forested setting, nice interesting full timers and staff. Maintenance is a bit behind, the pool is disabled restrooms partially disabled, But this is so informal and friendly, a lovely setting, with easy 2 mile Santa Cruz town access. We stayed a week (7th day free) to rest and read and enjoy the great camp atmosphere. - solarsteve4x4
Aug 2015 - $65.00
The other reviews are quite old. Evidently this park has gone down hill since those reviews. The park was in bad shape with many old, old rigs, some of them abandoned, slowly rotting into the ground. There were also old abandoned cars covered with weeds and vines. With no wifi, no TV and no cell coverage the price was outrageous. The owners are very sweet and helpful. I would definitely not stay here again. - Trek Across America
Apr 2011 - $36.00
This small, family owned park has a great location and lots of charm. Most of the campers there are long term but they have a few nice sites available for short term/overnight. Road within the park is rough (broken up pavement and/or gravel) and it is on a steep hill. Sites 7-10 are the easiest access and back up to a creek. - rvrebecca
Nov 2016 - $35.00
Beautiful state park. Spent a week in October. Beautiful weather and the beach was amazing! Bathrooms were clean. - RVGma
Jun 2015 - $35.00
Beautiful place to stay. Spent a great weekend there in June. The site we stayed at was a "dry" campsite, there are a handful of full hookup sites that look quite nice. You can also get a site by the cliffs for an additional fee. ($50 a nite). When walking around we noticed that there really isn't a bad site in the place. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance, which is recommended. The place was full. Highly recommended. - Tom_OC
Oct 2014 - $35.00
Price reflects dry camping and paying on site. $50 for full hookups (not sure about sewer at those sites, there is a dump station). You can reserve 48-hr in advance on-line for an extra $8 fee that does not go to the park. I looked on-line and saw that a spot is available for the next 3 days, I thought I could show up and pay for the next 3 days and save myself the $8 fee. Nope! You pay each day, if it is available. On site they get a piece of paper with what is reserved/available. They have no internet access at the booth; you with a smartphone have more information about what is available on future dates than those on site. On the fourth day, our spot was reserved; we asked if we could move to one of the other available spots. Not so fast! They will put our name on a list, and then at 2pm the park ranger assigns those on the list to spots available. You can park in the day use area for the 2 hrs between check-out and check-in time. If you are the day-of type, then you can plan on two days and then be ready to move or make the reservation for the third night when you arrive. OK now, besides the whole reservation thing, the beach was very unpleasant to walk on with all the sand flies. There isn't much for taking a long hike, the park is in the city. Supposedly you can walk the train tracks to the next town. Showers are $0.25 per 2 minutes. Having come from OR state beaches, $31 for full hookups and a nicer beach; I can't recommend. - MichelleKry
Apr 2016 - $71.00
If you want a park with lots of room between spaces, secluded and private, this is not for you. The sites are close together with basically a sand pit between sites that are within 10 feet of each other and with people walking by your site all day, you probably should look elsewhere. However, if you want a great view of the ocean (OK nearly on the ocean), conversation with all that pass, and being close to everything, then you might want to come here. We like that and found it great and will come back. - DrivingMissDaisey
Dec 2015 - $58.00
This is a relatively expensive park to stay at, but what a location! I have only managed to secure the overflow section, but the side by side slots are wide enough for slideouts, and your table, chairs and fire ring. Meanwhile, you are sitting right at the ocean, kids are on the beach playing, and there is great people watching as lots of walkers and joggers use the board walk in front of your RV. Nice little museum on site, restrooms are heavily used, but at least available, and as clean as you might find at a sandy beach....and the sunsets are beautiful! If you are looking for a secluded beach spot, this is not the place. But I love visiting here, I just adjust my expectations accordingly! - ktboz
Feb 2014 - $65.00
Sites are very close together. I will only do full hookups to avoid generators noise. The park is as good as your neighbors. Sites are very close. If neighbor has a fire - you get to breath the smoke. If neighbor talks loud, you get to hear every word of it. - sara12
Mar 2013 - $32.00
This was a great find! The park does have many full-timers on site, but it has a few spaces reserved for people coming for days, weeks, or months as well. It is only 2 blocks from the beach! It was perfect for a week at the beach. There are shops close by for food within walking distance as well. The spots are very close to one another. It is a large parking lot, but there are spots of grass for dogs, if you have them, just a short walk to the front of the park and of course, the beach. The owner, Chuck, is very accommodating and friendly. He was great all week while we were there. Everyone at the park is very friendly and helpful with directing you where to go in the area. We had a great experience, and we definitely recommend this park if you are anywhere near the area. It is affordable and just blocks away from the beach with full hook-ups! To note, the wifi is great! We work full time from our RV and we rarely use the park's wifi because it is too slow for the work we do on our computers, but this wifi was very impressive! If your travel trailer is over 31 feet long, I would request spot number 5 because it is one of the only spaces you could back directly into. If you are not an advanced level "reverser", unfortunately, I would think you would need to consider elsewhere. The spaces just cannot accommodate larger trailers. We have two slides that are across from one another and we were only able to pick one side to put out because the spaces just don't allow for the room. We were fine with this, and most do not have slides directly across from one another, so it shouldn't be an issue, but just something to be aware of. Also, the sewer hookups are the old school iron pipe, not threaded PVC, so be sure to put a rock on top of your sewer hose or use a donut to be sure it doesn't come out while you are dumping. Overall, a good park and one you should consider if you are wanting a spot close to beach near Santa Cruz. - gonecoastal724
Jan 2013 - $32.00
Rate shown for 1 week stay divided by 7. Access road poor to fair pavement. Narrow park roads. I had to back up the exit route in order to get to my assigned site. Park sites are short and most will not accommodate RV lengths longer than 26-34 feet. The manager advised that only 7 of the sites are for transients. Our site was an unlevel paved back-in. More of a parking lot with lines there is no privacy between sites. All utilities worked. The cable TV selection was extensive and worked well. The Wi-Fi was intermittent and would cut out at times. Our site was close to the road and it got quite noisy at times. The laundry had 2 washers and 2 dryers. The wife said she was happy with their efficiency. Friendly accommodating manager. Still, we probably won't return due to the noise levels. - Onemoretrail
Apr 2012 - $40.00
Small park with mostly long-time residents. They are parking spaces, really. But it's got clean restrooms, showers, laundry, reliable Wi-Fi and cable, and great location near, but not on, the beach. Very nice manager, and quiet, friendly park. Nearby restaurants and stores. - Wendywoods
Sep 2016 - $33.00
I was in a level, dirt, back in site. I did not have to level the trailer side to side. Most sites were large with a picnic table and food storage cabinet. There is also a fire ring. Site was a mixture of sun and shade. - travelcouple
Sep 2016 - $37.00
For RVs, this isn't an ideal experience. Many of the sites are not level, there are no RV conveniences like hookups, wifi, etc. But, every site comes with a picnic table and a fire ring (capable of BBQ'ing). Some sites are more spacious, some more private. The showers are coin operated: 25 cents per minutes. There is no RV water fill-up nor dump site. (You can use the Brighton Beach State Park dump site as part of your Henry Cowell fee however). Site #20 is very much not level, and right next to a trail head. Although it's close to the restrooms, it's best for tent campers. We moved over to site #27 and loved it for both it's openness and privacy (it's a large site). Lots of shade! - SLOman
Oct 2014 - $37.00
Henry Cowell is a beautiful park, very close (10 minute drive) to Santa Cruz and even closer to Felton (grocery stores, gas, etc.). The campground is old and the sites vary a lot as to size, level, etc. We barely fit in our site (#39) but there were several that would have fit our 31-foot fifth wheel just fine. It is a very beautiful place to stay with hiking trails, nearby redwood grove and reasonable privacy and quiet. - MrSunshine
May 2016 - $71.00
This park is located within a residential setting. Very low tree clearance at the entrance and had to go in the exit for additional clearance. Everything is tight in this park. We were instructed to keep the entire RV including slides within the white lines...which was impossible. We were told that the fire marshall would ask us to move our RV if we didn't stay in the lines. No one was within the lines. Hard to navigate our 32' fifth wheel into our site but just fit. Not enough room for our truck and hung over into the street, which makes it challenging for others to navigate. Lots of permanent folks with lots of kids loose in the park. We were ok but just watch when driving around. Pool, spa, laundry and bathrooms were in good shape and in working order. Good location for exploring Santa Cruz, Pacifica to Carmel but very expensive! Might stay here again if we didn't have other options. - JeffDeb
May 2016 - $50.00
This park is almost entirely full-time residents, but there is a small section of pull-through sites for "transients". These were very narrow and barely long enough for our 34-foot 5th wheel with the truck parked sideways in the road. The park is very convenient to the town of Scotts Valley and a 15-minute ride to downtown Santa Cruz. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and the cute town of Felton are 10 minutes away.
As a base camp for exploring the area, this is pretty good, though we prefer the state park campgrounds down on the beach, which are quite nice, or the yacht harbor RV park. The pool is nice, though it can get crowded on weekends since lots of kids live here. Even with the Thousand Trails discount, this place is quite expensive, but typical for the greater Bay Area. - MrSunshine
Jul 2015 - $54.00
Not our kind of place. Cramped spaces, neighbors entry faced ours so thru us together so absolutely no privacy. Lots of kids so it was noisy as we were right by the pool. No place to walk outside park. Staff was extremely helpful and went the extra mile for us. Internet was not good. Sites were holy, not level. - LottaTidbits
Aug 2016 - $70.00
We love the Felton area, because the beautiful redwoods are breathtaking! We stayed here in a 36 ' 5th wheel. We were supposed to get a full hook up site, and when showed up, it didn't have sewer. That being said, to get to the dump station we had to pull the trailer all around park to get it to the right direction, tight for a big rig. The showers are small, outdated and like "military" showers. You have to press a button, to turn water on, and keep pressing button throughout your shower, to keep wet. Was difficult for my elderly mother in law. They have a great, large pool. Basketball, pool table, fuseball, air hockey and ping pong. GREAT for teens. When we checked in, they wanted everyone to wear "wristbands" to identify that we belong to their campground. Apparently they have people come to use their amenities from other campgrounds. Sites are close in some areas, if you don't get one of the nicer spots. We got a GREAT spot, nestled away from everyone, in between the Redwoods. We checked out the other two parks next to this one, like this one the best.
Don't leave food out, there is wild life. We had a big raccoon come to our site, and wasn't afraid of people, and it was hungry. We would definitely stay here again, but the camp is very pricey. It allowed 7x7 tent on site with trailer. We paid $70/night (with person capacity and dogs), and that is kind of high for no sewer. NO internet SERVICE in this area at all, you need Onstar to make a phone call, and wifi is bad. - Mommarazzi
Aug 2016 - $60.00
Lots of families with children - which wasn't a negative for us even though we don't have children. The swimming pool was clean. We only had electric and water hook ups - no sewer for us - though about half the campgrounds have full hook ups. There is a dump station, but no spray hose to clean your sewer line after dumping - I assume due to the drought. A well stocked store is within the campground. Tent camping is available throughout the park. - G_Barbosa
Jul 2016 - $55.00
I cannot believe that Good Sam visited this place. We were here in April: used the showers, which were old, with peeling old paint and cold water. They did not turn on the hot water, etc. The RV spaces were horrible, not level, not clean, very dirty, had left over food on the ground, dog feces all over the place. Office people were not friendly at all.
I have told numerous people about this place.
I hope maybe someday Good Sam will visit it, as a camper, and not with a big sign saying you are inspectors. - Nanaof6
Sep 2016 - $72.00
The location, amongst the Redwood, is idyllic and the Host Campers are very helpful if not friendly. Built in 1919 the person at the desk explained that it is the oldest RV park in the world. Another host-camper explained that management's policy is: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And, it's been fine since 1919." My suspicion is that the Wi-Fi was installed in 1919 too. So close to Silcon Valley and yet so far.
The sites are located among redwood trees and the scene is idyllic if a little dark. There is a pool and shower room though I didn't see anyone partaking during our ten day stay.
Down among the trees there is no satellite reception and no over the air TV reception. The park does provide cable however. The cable service is excellent.
Though we were quoted one price upon making our reservation, we were charged another, higher price upon arriving. This was explained as being a result of the extreme size of our RV, 39' 10", and the fact that we wanted 50-amp electrical service. The assigned site was actually supplied with 30-amp service at 106 volts.
Electricity seems poor throughout the park - low voltage. Our RV protects itself from nonstandard electricity and would not accept the electricity. So, we complained and the hosts were kind enough to move us to site 100. There was 50-amp service there and the voltage was higher though there was a wide spread between each leg. So, our electric heat would not work other than a 2 in the morning.
This just seems dumb-stupid as low voltage causes the electrical meter to run faster resulting in a higher electric bill for the park owner and ruined appliances for us.
We'd come for the Daughter's birthday and she wanted a campfire each evening. At $10 for a small bundle of firewood, this brought the daily fee to $92. A host camper did deliver the firewood though. The firewood at the local Safeway is half the price.
Smithwoods charges $5 for each additional person, beyond 2, that enters the park. - The Penguin
May 2016 - $52.00
Beautiful shady spaces in the Redwoods. Close to Roaring Camp Railroad and Santa Cruz. Almost reluctant to share this with anyone as I don't want it to be spoiled. - ATC Bill
Jun 2015 - $59.00
Stayed here 3 times with our club. Back in gravel site. Needed a 1 inch board to level side to side. Fire pit and picnic table provided. Good combination of sun and shade in Redwoods. Close to Santa Cruz and many attractions. Staff very accommodating. Led to site by staff member. - travelcouple
Aug 2016 - $55.00
Reserved and confirmed 3 months later by phone our checklist, which includes 50 amp. Upon check-in, told, "yes, we have 50 amp, just not on your site". Then, told, "don't miss our breakfast, we serve at the clubhouse." Upon going to breakfast, find it is ala carte, they charge restaurant type rates. The facility here is very nice, great trees. Just make sure you ask a lot of questions and get the whole story. - Bob and Robin
Jul 2016 - $65.00
We stayed here for 3 nights and this was our 5th or 6th stay here. Nicely spaced camping sites in the redwoods. Usually fairly quiet, lots of kids playing and riding bicycles in the streets. Easy trail to get down to the river, but trail has not been maintained. The one restroom can get busy. The dumpsters are usually full. We arrived early and paid the additional $20 fee for early check in. - Rich the Diver
May 2016 - $87.00
Just got home from staying there 6 nights. Had a site with a nice view of river below so it cost more but really enjoyed it. The location in redwoods is great and your close to the community of Felton. Most of the sites appear pretty close and a few hard to get into,but part of this is because of all the trees. Sites are not level so if in a travel trailer bring the leveling blocks. Found the TV reception and internet very good. The only issue I had was the number of people out with dogs, by RV or walking them not on a leash. They all seemed well behaved but it did bother us some. Really enjoyed the area and this park. Will definitely go back. - allens