Located in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and only a short drive from the bay area, Camp Cruz is a unique "glamping" facility with many amenities not found in basic campgrounds.Itis an ideal year-round destination for peopleseeking a campingexperience in the redwoodswithout bringing all the normal camping gear. Camp Cruz is located on a5-acreresidential mountainContinue reading...
Located in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and only a short drive from the bay area, Camp Cruz is a unique "glamping" facility with many amenities not found in basic campgrounds. It is an ideal year-round destination for people seeking a camping experience in the redwoods without bringing all the normal camping gear. Camp Cruz is located on a 5-acre residential mountain home. The layout of the land provides seclusion and a reasonable level of privacy for guests. Camp Cruz is home to Growing Up Wild, a seasonal kid's camp. Your stay here supports our mission to get disadvantaged youth outdoors. This listing is for groups between 11 to 20 people with an extra charge for up to 5 more people. We also have a small group listing for up to 10 people on Hipcamp.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Camp Cruz offers a covered outdoor kitchen on a spacious deck equipped with a sink with potable water, a fridge, a 3-burner stove (propane included), a basic assortment of pots, pans, cooking utensils, a grill (charcoal not included), a commercial coffee machine, tables, and chairs. The kitchen has lights and outlets. Camp Cruz has a campfire pit with benches (firewood not provided), composting toilets, and hot showers. The 4-acre site offers numerous flat spots in the forest for pitching your tents, a large flat open space encircled by trees, a chill-out area with 4 hammocks, a year-round creek with easy access, a vibrant garden, and short trails in the redwoods. Camp Cruz has enough on-site parking space for a maximum of 10 vehicles.
Camp Cruz offers a furnished 22 ft. geodesic dome, a 12 ft. aircrete dome, a 14 ft. yurt, and a 12x10 ft. canvas tent. The geodome and the yurt have wood stoves for heating. The geodome has electrical outlets, a mini-fridge, a coffee/tea station, and a music/DVD system. The aircrete dome and yurt have basic furnishings as well. All together, these structures can sleep up to 10 people. The geodome has 4 sleeping cots, the yurt has 2, the tent cabin has 2 cots, and the aircrete dome has 2. You will need to bring your own camping tents to sleep more campers.
INTRODUCING THE SHIFTPOD:
We also offer a Shiftpod which is an insulated 12x12 ft. large tent that sleeps up to 4 people. It sets a new standard for tents. Let us know if you wish to use it, and we can set it up for you for $25 per night. Look it up online for more info.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring sleeping bags/blankets, pads, tents, pillows, towels, food, eating and drinking utensils, paper towels/napkins, firewood, charcoal for the grill, flashlights, and toiletries. Please note that you do not need to bring bottled water as we have potable well water in the kitchen.
CHILDREN AT CAMP CRUZ
While we are happy to welcome families with children, we have learned from experience to put a cap on the amount of children for safety reasons. Hence, our limit is 10 kids not counting babies in arms.
INTERNET AND CELLULAR SERVICE
We do not provide internet service. Devices with Verizon do receive a signal at camp for texting, calling, and emailing depending on weather. For emergency purposes, we can provide you access to our landline.
NEARBY DESTINATIONS AND SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Camp Cruz is within an hour drive for day trips to Santa Cruz, or Monterey where you can enjoy world class beaches, diverse restaurants, and a fun nightlife. Camp is only a couple miles from the upper entrance of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and the Soquel Demonstration Forest. These are epic parks for mountain biking and hiking. Also, we are conveniently located next to Koinonia Conference Grounds which offers affordable ropes courses, outdoor laser tag, and a swimming pool. If interested, please inquire at the time of your booking.
For this large group listing, we offer to share the trash service with our guests. This means that guests can leave one bag of garbage per night for us to dispose of but must take all additional bags of garbage with them. We do provide one large container for recycling. Guests are expected to sort their trash and recycling properly. Waste in the form of broken camp equipment or packaging materials from newly purchased camping products are not permitted to be left behind.
Arrival is between 3 and 9pm. Groups are expected to follow Hip Camp's "Leave no Trace" agreement, leaving the campground clean and everything in good condition. We do allow legal-age alcohol consumption on site, however, this facility is NOT a place for raging late night parties with excessive alcohol consumption. Indoor structures are meant for mellow, relaxed activities. Adult supervision of children is required at all times inside the structures. Upon departure, guests are expected to thoroughly clean the kitchen and all indoor spaces. We provide written guidelines on clean up to help guests meet our expectations. While the campground is secluded enough for late night campfires, quiet hours are observed from 11pm - 9:00am, particularly around the residences and parking area. When requesting a booking, we ask that you tell us about your group and the intention behind your visit. Thanks for reading our listing. We look forward to hearing from you.
As a venue of group events, in some cases we have found it necessary to require a security deposit to help ensure that our camp is well cared for by guests. Security deposits are returned to guests provided camp is cleaned up as expected upon departure and no damages have occurred. We will be sure to communicate clearly with guests about a possible security deposit at the time of your booking request.
A PROPER HEADS UP ABOUT OUR NEIGHBORS
Our neighboring Buddhist retreat center, Pema Osel Ling, occasionally hosts weddings. The location of the marriage ceremony is tucked away in the redwoods out of sight but within hearing distance from our camp. Hence, we make a special request to our guests to plan for quiet time during the wedding ceremony which lasts for only 30-45 minutes. Furthermore, there are locations, such as the creekside, that you can go to at our camp in order to continue with your activities at normal noise levels during the ceremony. Many of our guests, especially guests with kids, simply plan their hiking adventure during this time. Additionally, the wedding reception, held in a hall away from our camp, can sometimes be heard in the distance depending on the celebration style of the wedding. We have an agreement with the retreat center to turn down the sound at 10pm sharp. If this situation weighs into your decision to book with us, message us and we will tell you if a wedding is scheduled during the dates of your requested stay.
- Check in: After 3PM
- Check out: Before 1PM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 9 months out Weeknight discount: 5% off
- Response time: Within 12 hours
- Response rate: 100%
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Boating and kayaking rentals are available in Santa Cruz and the Elkhorn Slough Preserve.
Santa Cruz surfing destinations are only a 30 minute drive away.
It is possible to rent the swimming pool facility at our neighboring retreat center. Inquire in advance if interested.
Natural features you'll find at Camp Cruz Large Group Glamp-Out in California.
Guests can do day trips to the beach in Santa Cruz.
Secluded Redwood forest
River, stream or creek
Year-round creek with hang out spots
More like a dunking hole in the creek than a swimming hole.
Depending on the time of year and where you go hiking, you may see some small waterfalls in the area.
Places to see near Camp Cruz Group Retreat
The vibe at Camp Cruz Large Group Glamp-Out
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
We are 12 families from Sunset Coop Nursery School in San Francisco. Cruz Camp totally exceeded our hopes and expectations! Ismael is super friendly and responsive- I was emailing him a lot with questions and he always got back to me the same day. And the camp...well, let's just say that most of the families were begging me to organize an annual trip here and the kids were basically hysterical that they had to leave. "I want to keep camping here FOREVER momma!"
Tons of room and the layout of the camp is great. We pitched our tent down by the creek and slept to the sounds of water at night. The wall tent is totally pimpin, and really convenient for a family with a baby or first time campers. The main social area with the HUGE group kitchen, large "play" space (at least that's what we used it for), and fire ring was just perfect. There's tons of kindling and firewood (but they ask you to bring some too to replenish their supply).
Man, I don't want to write a book here so I am just going to list the killer aspects of this camp:
-geodesic dome is tranquillo and stocked with electric water boiler, tea and mugs; small fridge, drums, guitar, massage chair, meditation chairs, a glider for nursing moms, board games, cozy couch, wood stove. It's so pleasant. I saw posters for a small music festival held on the property and I could see it would be perfect for something like that..
-hot outdoor showers are such a luxury. Clean and pleasant. Actually biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner in the showers for your use!
-group kitchen completely ready for major cooking projects. We easily made 2 big groups breakfasts, and then a giant pot luck dinner. At times there were maybe 8 people cooking at once in there and there was plenty of space. There are several tables by the kitchen for lounging and eating- and the kids can play in the large clearing right next to the kitchen while you enjoy your wine and appetizers:)
-A standard size refridgerator for your use!
-Tent sites were in the redwoods, flat, clean and lovely. Some sites along the creek
-Generally amazing fung shui and coolness abounding. Gorgeous gardens, the sweetest dog, Cody, hammocks all over, so many beautiful touches...
-Super close to amazing mountain bike trails
Ummmm....so that's it. Camp Cruz does not suck. THANKS ISMAEL! (And see you soon!)
Camp Cruz was a great site for our group of 18 to camp for my birthday. Ismael was a very attentive host who checked in to make sure everything was as expected and even hung out with us late night at the campfire. The land is really spacious with lots of room for tents. The outdoor kitchen was perfect for BBQing. The tent cabin was perfect for our friend with a baby to stay in. It was an easy spot for camping with my not-so-outdoorsy friends.
Camp Cruz was fantastic. Our visit went smoothly and everything was as described. Ismael was very quick to respond to our questions. Cody the dog was also very sweet. Would stay here again!
Camp Cruz is the perfect spot to go camping in a big group! We were 14 for 2 nights and absolutely loved the tranquility of the woods to sleep in our tents and all the amenities (equipped outdoors kitchen, hot showers, the dome...).
Camp Cruz is ideal for a large group of people (experienced or newbie campers alike) to spend time together in a beautiful secluded spot. Besides, I personally won't forget my weekend at Camp Cruz as it's by the campfire that I made (and ate) my first smores (yes - clearly I did not grow up in the US!)
I booked Camp Cruz for a surprise 30th birthday party for my fiancé. Ismael was very easy to coordinate with and got back to me very quickly with answers to any questions I had. They've got a really great geodesic dome with a nice wood burning stove and amenities for coffee, tea and some great board games. There is a sweet outdoor kitchen with compost pile, pots and pans, a grill, a stove and a sink. There's also at least one other canvas tent on the property situated by a stream that has a couch and room for two in sleeping bags and pads. There's a compost bathroom and sink with soap to wash your face and get clean as well as an outdoor shower. It's quite a great gem and I highly recommend to anyone looking for a peaceful retreat.
We went on a retreat of 16 people to Camp Cruz. Ismael was extremely friendly and made sure we had everything we needed. We had the site to ourselves, and the outside kitchen and dome were great! The puppies were very friendly too. This was such a cool spot and a hidden gem; I would strongly recommend this site to anyone!!!
I participated in the Hipcamp Earth Day clean up this year and was able to camp on the beautiful grounds of Camp Cruz hidden away in the Santa Cruz mountains. The camp is not only an incredible getaway for campers but also an incredible camp in itself as a place that offers an education bilingual nature adventure program for kids. The camp is hidden under tall redwoods and firs and has an amazing layout for camping. It’s perfectly situated in the mountains less than 30 minutes from the beach and city. The host, Ismael, is a fun, kind and passionate guy who wants to share property with like minded and spirited people and provide a place for kids to connect with nature. The main area has an awesome stage and kitchen area if you have a big group with you and ample space to set up tents. There a lights strung across the open space to really set the ambience. It’s a great getaway for a group of friends. I’d highly recommend giving Camp Cruz a go!
We booked a team offsite in at Camp Cruz and I was communicating with Ismael prior to the event with many logistics questions. he was always very responsive and accommodating.
I even stopped there on the weekend couple of weeks prior to the event to get a first hand impression of the place. This place is amazing and I can only say good things on the camp and what they are trying to do there. the outdoor kitchen was fun to work in and cook together and our event was really successful. I will recommend this place to anyone who is looking to being remote without investing in a long drive out of the bay area.
We had an amazing time at Camp Cruz! We were a group of 20 (6 of whom were kids under 3 years old and got to experience their first nights in a tent!) and the site was perfect! Great outdoor kitchen for making group feasts, awesome fire pit zone, peaceful spots for pitching tents. Ismael was also incredibly kind, helpful and responsive. Everything had a blast. I totally recommend Camp Cruz for a fun weekend getaway in the woods!