About Camp Cruz Small Group Retreat
Privately located on 4 acres in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Camp Cruz is a unique "glamping" outdoor facility with many amenities and year-round comforts not found in basic campgrounds. It offers a large covered outdoor kitchen on a spacious deck, a 3-burner stove with pots and pans, a grill, a sink with potable well water, tables, chairs, and electricity. Camp Cruz offers guests a geodesic dome, a yurt, and a tent cabin - all with sources of heat for cold weather camping - for sleeping accommodations. It has a campfire pit encircled by benches, clean composting toilets, and hot showers. The site offers numerous flat spots in the forest for pitching tents, and a large communal open space for activities or meetings. The landscape of Camp Cruz includes a creek with easy access, a vibrant garden, and several hammocks for relaxation. It is an ideal choice to have gatherings for friends, family, reunions, business and organizational retreats, or even small intimate weddings. To be clear, this listing offers the entire Camp Cruz retreat facility (also listed on Hip Camp for large groups) to small groups of up to 10 people.
What to Bring:
Bring almost everything that you would normally bring to go camping: tents, sleeping bags & pads, coolers with ice, eating and drinking utensils, firewood, charcoal for the grill, and toiletries. Please note that we do provide the basic assortment of pots and pans and cooking utensils with a 3-burner stove. Lastly, you do not need to bring bottled water as we have potable well water for you and are trying to minimize waste.
Introducing the SHIFTPOD: We have a Shiftpod available for a reasonable fee. The Shiftpod is an insulated 12x12 feet survival shelter that can sleep up to 4 people. It sets a new standard for tents. Look it up online for more info.
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. This facility is NOT a place for raging late night parties with excessive alcohol drinking. Upon departure, guests are expected to thoroughly clean the kitchen, the dome, and all indoor sleeping spaces. They are expected to sort trash and recycling. We provide written guidelines on clean up to help guests meet our expectations. The dome is meant for mellow activities, and adult supervision is required for kids. 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.
Camp Cruz is conveniently located next to Koinonia Conference Grounds which offers ropes courses and a swimming pool for rental. Camp Cruz offers on-site swedish massage by a certified massage therapist. Lastly, Camp Cruz can provide a pro karaoke experience for fun in the evening. All special activities require advanced planning. If interested, please inquire at the time of your booking.
For a small fee, we have limited wifi available good only for texting and emailing.
Camp Cruz is only a few short minutes away from the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and the Soquel Demonstration Forest for mountain biking and hiking. We are easily within an hour drive for day trips to the beach, Santa Cruz, or anywhere in the Monterey Bay.
A Note About Waste:
Guests are expected to leave a minimal amount of garbage and recycling. Waste in the form of broken camp equipment or packaging materials from newly purchased camping products are not permitted to be left behind.
When requesting a booking, we ask that you tell us about your group and the intention behind your visit. We look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for reading our listing.
A Proper Heads Up About Our Neighbor:
Our neighboring Buddhist retreat center 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. To clarify, the noise level of the ceremony is only slightly audible from camp so it should not disturb your quietude. 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, which is held in a hall far away from our camp can sometimes be heard in the distance depending on the celebration style of the wedding party. We have an agreement with the retreat center to turn down the sound at 10pm. To clarify, we are talking about amplified music that you may hear in the distance from 8-10pm. 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.
- Listing type: Private
- No. of sites: 1
- Accessible by: Drive
- Accommodation: Cabins & Lodging
- Check in after: 3PM
- Check out before: 1PM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 8 months out
- Weeknight discount: 5% off
- Response time: Within 24 hours
- Response rate: 100%
The vibe at Camp Cruz Small Group Retreat
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Camp Cruz is our first HipCamp experience, and it sets the bar high!
The camp is super comfortable - the dome is cozy was well set-up for our family of four (more could easily fit). Imagine all the features of a large camp site (amazing outdoor kitchen, fire circle, creek for exploring, comfortable showers and running water, well-maintained toliets) with all the privacy of a solitary camp site in the midst of towering trees and dappled light. It's family camp for one family - an unusual and ideal situation for any small group that wants outdoor experience with both privacy and comfort. We loved it so much we had a hard time saying good-bye!
The family that runs the camp is respectful of privacy, while available for orientation and responsive to questions.
Camp Cruz was a great place to stay. We were very impressed with how much space we had and how private it felt. The dome was very cool and well equipped. Wished we had noticed the space heater earlier though as it would have been nice to have in the early hours. The outdoor kitchen was lovely. Hosts were very accommodating and forthcoming with info. We would love to come back.
Fantastic "glamping" experience in a serene setting. Hosts were great, and provided everything required for comfortable stay. Outdoor kitchen is great for cooking gourmet camping meals, and the geo dome is like a like a retreat of its own. We had a very relaxing stay at camp Cruz.
Camp Cruz is a truly amazing place. Ismael and Holly made the place feel like home and were very good hosts! The camp is tucked far in the mountains with trees all around. The yurt does get freezing at night (as soon as the stove goes out) so be sure to bring a good sleeping bag and warm pajamas!
They provide most everything that you need. The one thing we should have brought is a spatula! They provided pots and pans, but no utensils or plates. They also provide biodegradable soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and it smells good and makes your hair feel great!
There is also a stream in the property that you can walk down a small hill to and find salamanders, banana slugs, and centipedes.
Our stay was perfect!! Ismael and Molly are some of the sweetest people who have basically turned their backyard into such a wonderful experience for those seeking some outdoor fun ( oh, and they have two of the sweetest dogs!) The place was clean and beautiful! I’ve been camping before and thought this would be the perfect intro to camping for my fiancé and our friends! They provided a few pots and pans, but if you’re cooking for more than a small family, you might want to pack more cookingwear. Also, make sure to pack eating and cooking utensils and prep bowls if you need to scramble eggs, etc. We had a great time and Ismael even showed us where all the ladybugs hang out at night! Such a great experience - we will totally be back!