A Triple Land Conservation Win
San Vicente Redwoods is a unique partnership between the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, and Save the Redwoods League that mixes conservation, recreation, and a sustainable timber harvest at commercial scale.
7.3Miles of Phase 1 Trails
38Miles of Multi-use Trails Planned
Hours of Operation
October - April: 9am-5pm
May - September: 8am-7pm
We will have staff present during open hours. All visitors over the age of 18 must register and carry a pass.
12001 Empire Grade Santa Cruz, CA
Visitors over the age of 18 are required to register for a free permanent pass. Pass holders will be notified of property closures, heavy storms, red flag days, conservation harvest events, and private community events.
Your pass gives you lifetime access to the property, but it can be revoked if the trails are being misused. We are encouraging anyone over the age of 18 who will regularly utilize the trails to register for a pass. If you are bringing guests who will not regularly visit the property, there will be an option to register for a day pass at the on-site kiosk. There is no maximum number of guests. Children do not need to register for a pass.
We provided a sticker pass and key chain pass so that you would have options for how to carry your pass on the property (on your keys, lanyard, water bottle, etc.). Please carry your pass with you every time you are utilizing the trails. Please utilize whichever pass option works better for you. You don’t need to place a pass on your dashboard.
If you would like to visit the property before receiving your pass, please bring the confirmation email you received upon registering.
Reservations & Parking
There is no reservation system. Parking is limited to 72 spaces and is available on a first come, first served basis.
12001 Empire Grade Santa Cruz, CA
From Santa Cruz, take High Street, which becomes Empire Grade near the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The entrance to San Vicente Redwoods is about 12.5 miles up Empire Grade on the left.
- All visitors over the age of 18 must carry proof of registration.
- Visitors must stay on trails – no off-trail use allowed.
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times and remain on the designated dog trail only.
- Cyclists must ride in a safe manner on designated-use trails and yield to pedestrians and horses.
- No motor vehicles or e-bikes allowed on trails.
- All plants, animals and fungi are protected – no collecting please.
- No open flames or smoking.
- Picnic only in designated areas. Keep the forest crumb-clean!
We love geocaching but we need people to stay on the trails at San Vicente Redwoods. The forest was severely burned in the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fire. We thoroughly assessed the trails for hazard trees and removed over 1000 trees. The trees not directly near the trails have not been assessed and are potentially dangerous. Please feel free to geocache at all of our other public access properties.
This is a condition of our trails permit. These trails are all multi-use and there are technical sections of trail that are inappropriate for high speeds. We don’t want injuries! Trail grades are very moderate. We are confident riders of all fitness levels can enjoy the trails without assistance.
Parking and restrooms are fully accessible. There is also a fully accessible path around much of the interpretive signage in the welcome area.
We also have an ORAR trail that meets the outdoor standards for accessibility. The ORAR trail is approximately ¾ mile long and leads to a beautiful vista point.
We do not have fully accessible trails because our trails are natural surface, rather than concrete or other types of hard, impermeable surfaces.
If you have a disability and need assistance, please contact us in advance of your visit. We are happy to help.
ORAR stands for outdoor recreation access route. An ORAR trail is a continuous, unobstructed path intended for pedestrians that connects accessible elements, spaces, and facilities with viewing areas and trailheads. ORAR trails are at least 36” wide, have grades of less than 5%, and are hard surfaced.
Fun fact: We are building a fully accessible trail at Antonelli Pond in 2023.
SVR is a partnership between four land trusts. It was protected for the conservation values, a primary one being wildlife habitat and connectivity. There is overwhelming science demonstrating that dogs impact wildlife movement, particularly mountain lions. SVR is the largest privately owned parcel in Santa Cruz county and is the home range and denning area for much of our county’s mountain lion population. Our partner land trusts feel strongly that dogs are inappropriate for the property.
That said, we are a VERY dog friendly organization. We own and manage several properties where we allow dogs, and one where we allow them to be off leash. We have always and will always allow dogs where we can.
Potable water is not available. Please bring your own drinking water when visiting the property.
The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County led public access planning and maintains safe and sustainable access that protects conservation values while being respectful of local neighborhoods. The property includes critical habitat for many regionally significant species of wildlife, including endangered Coho salmon, marbled murrelet, pumas and peregrine falcons. Portions of the land boast stands of the threatened Anderson’s manzanita.
A conservation easement is in place to protect forest restoration and sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat and corridors, watershed protection and public access. The land is monitored and enforced by the Save the Redwoods League.
The partners manage 3,669 acres of working forest to ensure sustainable timber harvesting and retain forestry jobs. Together, the organizations are restoring the property’s 912-acre preservation reserve containing some old growth redwoods; 3,951 acres of the previously logged forest; eight creeks; and a 320-acre former ranch that is home to redwoods, grasslands, and oak woodlands.
We also work closely with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the Amah Mutsun Land Trust formed in 2013 as a vehicle for tribal members to return as stewards to their land. In collaborating with these entities, the partners’ goal is to inform current plans with the cultural practices and deep knowledge shared by the Indigenous peoples who stewarded this land for millennia.
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking
Register Before Hiking, Riding, or Biking
All visitors 18 and older are required to register and carry their pass on property. Registration is free.
Pass holders will be notified of property closures, heavy storms, red flag days, conservation harvest events, and private community events.
Address: 12001 Empire Grade
Hours of Operation
October - April: 9am-6pm
May - September: 8am-7pm
We are excited to see you on the trails. Please respect this private property by following all rules:
All visitors over the age of 18 must carry proof of registration.
Visitors must stay on trails – no off-trail use allowed.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times and remain on the designated dog trail only.
Cyclists must ride in a safe manner on designated-use trails and yield to pedestrians and horses.
No motor vehicles or e-bikes allowed on trails.
All plants, animals and fungi are protected. No collecting please.
No open flames or smoking.
Picnic only in designated areas. Keep the forest crumb-clean!
More Information and Updates
Discover the history of this location and check back for news on future projects.
In the Santa Cruz Sentinel: Crews set to build first public trails at San Vicente Redwoods
Sentinel reporter, Hannah Hagemann covers the beginning of phase 1 trail construction at San Vicente Redwoods. To read the full article click here. Plans for what will ultimately be a 38-mile trail system at San Vicente Redwoods were created in 2019 and have been revised in response to impacts of the CZU wildfire.
Press Release: First Phase of New Public Trails at San Vicente Redwoods
San Vicente Redwoods Marks 10 Years as a “Living Laboratory” for Wildfire Resilience, Wildlife Protection and Ecosystem Restoration
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