About Independence Camp Santa Cruz
Independence Camp is on the edge of a meadow surrounded by Oak and Redwood Groves on a 100 acre parcel a few minutes drive to world renowned surfing and downtown Santa Cruz. Its like staying at a State Park, without the tent city.
The meadow is suitable for large parties, music festivals and weddings, all of which we host from time to time.
Most people don't know this, but the climate in Santa Cruz is so temperate, that we farm produce year round.
We offer a community fire pit, solar shower in the redwoods, and a porta potty. In the fall we are covered in mushrooms, soon followed by a bloom of beautiful wild flowers. Hawks, doves, deer, all sorts of flora and fauna. A great spot to retreat with friends and family and enjoy an evening around the fire. We also just added a Japanese style Ofudo (hot-tub) in a grove of redwoods that can be reserved by campers. It is $25 per hour. Let me know as soon as possible as its not always available. Well behaved dogs are welcome for an extra $7 per dog per night. I have limited spots for RV's so please let me know in advance if you plan to bring one. There are no RV hookups. It is $15 dollars extra per night for an RV.
- Listing type: Private
- No. of sites: 8
- Accessible by: Drive
- Accommodation: Tent, Vehicles & RVs
- Check in after: 1PM
- Check out before: 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Strict
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 2 months out
- Response time: Within 24 hours
- Response rate: 80%
The vibe at Independence Camp Santa Cruz
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
I visited the Oakgrove with my boyfriend for a quick weekend getaway. Dayle was an excellent host; he showed us around the campground, the water, and showers and was available to answer any questions that we had. He let us roam the ~100 acres of property that included smaller redwoods growing out of old growth redwoods, open fields, and oak trees. We also saw some deer hopping through the trees when we arrived. We mostly stayed at the campsite, but the Santa Cruz is a short drive away.
Dayle has multiple sites at Oakgrove and there were others staying there, but our campsite was very private. We couldn't even hear our neighbors. The site had an area for cooking and some benches made from old trees. On a clear day, we would be able to see the ocean. Our car was parked up the hill and it was a short walk to the campsite. The water and showers are near the entrance of the property (about a 10 min walk from our campsite) and there is a porta potty and some compost toilets about a 5 min walk from the campsite. The other sites were closer to the amenities compared to the site we stayed in. There was a small firepit in our area, but since we were in the trees and it was very dry, we joined the community fire at night to meet other campers and make s'mores. Everyone was very friendly and Dayle has created a beautiful community where people can enjoy nature together.
Great set up. Nice location and low key. Japanese style hot tub located in the middle of the woods was really cool.
The individual camps had plenty of space between them which allowed for privacy and seclusion while the communal fire pits were a great place to meet and mix with other campers. Will definitely be back for another visit.
We camped at Oakgrove in October with a large group and we had a perfect getaway weekend. The campsites on the property are surrounded by a beautiful redwood forest and some are overlooking the ocean.
There are communal fire pits, potable water, an outdoor shower, but the best perk was the Japanese "Ofuro" hot tub that you can enjoy at night or any time—talk to Dayle to reserve an hour! He's the best host. He gave us fresh eggs in the morning.
Thanks again, Dayle! Looking forward to staying there again.
This was a nice option to camp near Santa Cruz. Campers should know that it doesn't feel like you are totally off the grid, as there are many campsites (some more secluded than others) and it is possible to hear noise from the road below. That said, if you're looking for more of a communal feel, this is a great spot and there is a communal fire pit. And the hot tub was awesome!
A great, quiet place that's close to the Bay Area. 1776 was the perfect weekend getaway that I needed to get centered with rest and solitude is a place that is easy to get to, surrounded by nature and still allowed me the comforts of car camping. Dayle was a very gracious and highly responsive host from a Hipcamp bug at booking to showing me the site when I came in after dark. He was accessible and friendly and had a great set up.
The spot he gave me was a beautiful landing on the edge of the mountain with miles of forest in the distance. It was quiet and shaded with a lovely built in platform for cooking, campfire ring and bench. He made sure I got set up and showed me the shower and potable water on the way.
I took the weekend to write in my journal and relax with my dog, so we would take walks around the property, which is 15 acres. There were other campers, including a huge birthday party that were closer to the entrance, but I never heard them, which was bliss.
I could hear the road at night but nature was there too. A giant owl would hoot in the night, and I even saw a coyote running in the woods about 30 yards from camp.
The shower is a solar shower tucked into the redwoods with views for miles. It's quite a cool experience. The bathroom a very clean port-o-pot, but it's a great compromise between car camping lots and backpacking and I would definitely do it again!
A beautiful meadow with well spaced out sites situated among trees. Just 10 minutes from Santa Cruz, but you feel away from it all. Dale is a great host, such a chilled out relaxing, nice guy! The Japanese soaking tub in the grove of Redwoods is a real must - soooo relaxing and private, great for neck ache before bed! If you would like your own fire, you should bring your own fire pit as the communal ones seemed to be taken over by the big groups that were there when we were. It was great to meet people but we were also looking for a bit of privacy and relaxation around our own fire. I think we will be back with a group of friends! Thanks Dale!
Beautiful, tranquil spot. Super easy to find and Dayle was a great host. We had our own private area with a firepit so we made some s'mores of course, walked around the property a bit and just enjoyed the area. Loved the redwoods and fresh ocean air. You can hear the road slightly in the distance, but it still feels mostly secluded in nature. It's the best of both worlds, though, Santa Cruz is a short drive away and has a few great breakfast places, for your way out in the morning.
Hard to believe you can get some privacy at a campground and still be 10 minutes away from a city. Having Thanksgiving dinner under the stars was great. November is pushing the envelope a bit.....cold long nights....but well worth it. Everything was as advertised, including a very helpful campground host. At night you could just barely hear the city, but you also could hear coyotes.
Beautiful place with a lot of space to relax, read, enjoy the nature and sitting by the fire at night. The hot tub in the redwoods is amazing, very relaxing and meditative. Dayle is a great host - very helpful, welcoming and responsive. Thanks for the opportunity to stay in such a lovely place!
We had a wonderful stay at 1776. So peaceful and relaxing and a great balance of feeling secluded but also able to connect with the great neighbors that were staying in the site next to us. We also took the opportunity to use the hot tub which was really lovely and relaxing, set back in the redwoods. Overall a great experience!
We thoroughly enjoyed staying here and Dayle was very helpful. Each space is relatively seculeded beneath trees and brush. There is a large open field that my kids love playing in. I would say that the porta potty is not near the sites. This was fine for us, but if you are looking for flushing toilets, showers (which we were not), then this place may not be for you. If you are looking to cook over a fire, sleep in a tent, have your kids play with sticks, then it was great. Another big pro, was it was 15 minutes to the outskirts of Santa Cruz. When we realized we forgot an essential, it was nice to be able to run and grab it without ruining the trip.
1776 is just an absolutely amazing place. We were lucky enough to have a camping spot a bit further than anyone else and we utilized it to the fullest! Aside from the campground, the space itself is amazing. There were mini camp trailheads that lead from the base of the camp out to the rest of his property was. My friend and I spent the better part of Saturday meandering around and finding a great place on top of a hill lay out and enjoy the whole scenario. Did not see a single person on the trail, and barely heard/ran into anyone else there. There are some amazing photos of this place on Hipcamp, but they really don't do this justice. One of the best places to camp that I have ever experienced. Congratulations, Dayle!
1776 was a great spot, just watch out for ground spiders - some of the sites have a lot of nests. Dayle is an amazing host, super kind and friendly. We loved the Japanese soaking tub. I do wish the sites had individual fire rings, as the communal spots were more dominated by large groups which made it a little awkward to try to join to relax/cook. We did meet some very nice people at Dayle's fire by the welcome tent but I think would have preferred our own private fire. Overall, though, good experience!
Independence is stunning. Campsites are spread far enough apart for privacy and room to spread out. We came here with some friends for NYE and had a wonderful time. Dayle, is an awesome host....super accommodating and knowledgeable about the property. Hot tub in the redwoods is totally worth it! We will definitely be coming back! Thanks Dayle!
Such an amazing stay! Dayle was extremely helpful and kind, and he made an extra effort to ensure we had everything we needed. The property is beautiful, and we had more than enough privacy while still not feeling like we were too far off the beaten path. The hot soak is a must - I haven't been that relaxed in a long while. We definitely plan on returning to camp there again!
We had an amazing time at Independence Camp. Dayle's property is peaceful and full of wildlife—we had a bobcat sighting within the first 5 seconds of pulling up! At our ocean-view campsite, we heard owls hooting at each other across the valley, lots of Stellar's Jays, woodpeckers, and more (definitely leave your food in your car if you're sleeping or exploring away from your campsite!). If it's during the wetter months, consider bringing your own firewood as we had a somewhat tricky time getting our fire going at first.
Independence camp saved our weekend, literally! We were en route to a campsite (booked way too far in advance) in Big Sur when we found out it was completely impossible to make it there with an entire section of highway 1 blocked with mud/rockslides. Woah! We were extremely lucky to have checked the road conditions before we made it all the way down there and found ourselves searching for a last minute campsite near Santa Cruz.
Once we found Independence camp and the amazing "Direct Book" button, we booked it right away and showed up a few minutes after (sorry for the surprise Dayle!) and WOW this place seriously blew us away. I booked the site for 3 (to include the dog) and we ended up having the entire 100 acre campsite to ourselves! We had a plethora of sites to choose from and picked the one with the biggest fire ring as we forgot to bring a table.
The land is absolutely gorgeous with numerous types of trees, shady and sunny places to place your tent and run around. Dayle was an amazing human, whom we hope to meet again one day. I would highly recommend this for large groups or events, just remember it's pretty bare bones so pack in/pack out.
Cleanest port-a-potty I have EVER experienced and there is fresh water for drinking!
There are no tables at this campground except a makeshift standing table at the hidden campsite in the way back -- which you should definitely check out!
Ticks are fierce here as this is a lot of land with meadow and tall grass, i picked two off myself and 3-4 off the dog. Check yourselves! Also if you can't handle spiders this might not be the place for you.
First, the place is so close to Silicon Valley that makes it an easy getaway. It is also very reasonably priced. When we got there we loved the route and the trees everywhere. The land is very large and everything my wife and I would dream of owning one day with our converted school bus. The host is extremely friendly and patient (Dayle) , he made some recommendation on site placement because we had our 1-year-old with us and he was concerned about him falling on poison oak or something. Overall a great experience, we will definitely be back. I hope next time we can stay longer !
Independence Camp was a great place for a weekend getaway! Dayle is a gracious host, and even brought us dry firewood when ours wasn't burning. The campsite was scattered with poison oak. We didn't rent the Japanese tub, but it was definitely a neat add on to make your stay special. The location is wonderful, because just 7 minutes away is a Safeway, and 15 minutes away is the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
Dayle is very accommodating, welcoming and just generally really nice. His property is beautiful and very spacious. We (a group of 5 and a pup) stayed two nights. The first night we were the only ones on the property. The second night there were other parties, but because sites are spaced out well, we did not feel crowded at all. I would absolutely recommend staying here. A quick escape from SF or Oakland.
Perfect private spot and exactly what we were looking for. Our campsite had a sunset view, lots of open space, tree stumps to make food on, and a BBQ fire pit. Bring your own wood. One very clean porta potty. The other campsites were down the road, so we couldn't see them. We could hear their music at night but it didn't bother us. It's a short drive to the main road with stores, restaurants, gas, etc. Great combo of being close to civilization and being in nature. Would definitely come back!
Dayle was great! He provided us chairs to sit at by the campfire. Fresh water from the well was tasty. No picnic tables but we found a good tree stump to cook on.
Beautiful lands, and the camp spots are decently spread out so you have some space.
Watch out for poison oak - it is around!
The Japanese tub in the redwoods was absolutely the coolest. I highly recommend it!
Nice campsite. The manager is really nice. I really like how private the sites are compared to most campgrounds. Also, they supply potable water (which is a big plus). My only gripe is that this is much more expensive than a standard campground (almost as much as a hotel!). If the price is ok for you, then I'd highly recommend!
Independence Camp Santa Cruz was beautiful and peaceful. The campsites are well spaced, so we didn't see or hear any other campers. It was also such a quick and easy drive from San Francis. The hot tub in the redwoods was a magical experience - I would highly recommend signing up for it!