How To Spend a Perfect Weekend Camping in Henry Cowell

California’s Best Camping

I am a camping, wilderness loving, nature-is-my-heart-song, kind of gal. During the summer, Brad and I go on about six camping trips a year, lately a mixture of car camping and backpacking trips.  One of my all time favorite places to camp is Henry Cowell in the Santa Cruz mountains. We have our favorite, glorious, campsite, and our schedule down pat. We leave work around 3pm, and we have our tent set up, fire going and bubbles in hand (beer for Brad) to toast by sunset.  Summer camping in California is a thing of beauty ❤


Enjoy the jaw dropping, panoramic views.

Set up your camping chairs for maximum visuals, my favorite are the deluxe chairs from Home Depot. I gave these to Brad as a Valentine’s gift, and we have had these babies for about 8 years now. Grab your chilled drink of choice, snacks ( I like to make a deli platter, with cheese, chips and fruit), grab your favorite book and settle down for some intense lounging and soaking in the views.



Hike the Redwood Loop and to The Observation Deck

100% this is the Godswood


Let the campfire mesmerize you


Hike to the Garden of Eden for a swim

This idyllic hike takes you through the towering redwoods, along a train track, (if you’re lucky you will hear the old steam town train through the trees), to a beautiful swimming spot with ice cold, crystal clear water. The hike lasts about half an hour, to the San Lorenzo river and back. Located off Route 9 in the Henry Cowell Redwoods. For an even more secluded spot, continue down the river



Head to the boardwalk!

At least once a season, we head to the Santa Cruz boardwalk for some sand, swimming, and rides. They also have really fun free nigh time concerts on Fridays and Saturdays. The drive is about 20 minutes from the campsite.

Plan your return trip! 😀

More Camping Photos:

Note: I won’t be posting for the next two weeks, because I will be in Costa Rica, (insert haaaapy dance) but expect an epic post about volcanoes and thermal baths in La Fortuna, and wildife galore in the tropical jungle paradise of the Osa Peninsula!