Please see all our listings (or message for links) to decide which site is best for your party. We offer a room in the retreat center, entire house, a converted bus, 2 tents with beds, a car/van camping site and 6 BYO tent sites as well as entire property rentals.
The bus is too hot to hang out in during the day in the summer!
Adventuring souls are invited to brave the journey up to the top of the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can overlook the Bay on clear days and pretend you're in The Shire on foggy days; it’s magical every day. Plenty of wildlife watching and hiking nearby. Nothing else is close, so plan to eat before you arrive or bring your cooler stocked.
Things to be aware of: 1. There are 3 stretches of rough unpaved road leading to our retreat. The last 20 minutes of the drive have potholes requiring you to slow down to 5-10 MPH. Once you climb higher in elevation and get excited by the epic views opening up, slow down and enjoy nature... you will arrive soon enough! If you are afraid of heights, you should know that you will be driving on a two-lane road on the side of mountains and so this type of adventure might not be for you.2. The restroom facilities are composting toilets in privacy tents. We have all put a lot of work into offering our guests something better than a hole in the ground!3. This is NOT a place to party-it is a place to reconnect to nature.However, responsible use of legal substances is totally fine. Instruments also welcome. 4. We are 100% off-grid, so no wifi and limited cell service.5. This is a micro-climate, which means it can get very hot and occasionally unseasonably cold. Currently it is unpleasantly toasty from about 11a-4p. That’s a good time to go adventure off the hill!
The property is on one of the highest peaks near Loma Prieta, at 2,950 feet elevation with views of the Pacific Ocean from Pebble Beach to Davenport. Due to being above cloud cover, there are new amazing sky formations and views to be expected every day. It is sacred land that hasn't been touched by many people, looking down upon Nissene State Park. You can also see Capitola's Lover's Point and the Santa Cruz boardwalk at a distance.
Dogs are welcome, but we've had some issues with people thinking their dogs aren't aggressive but they are or thinking they aren't barkers but they are or not cleaning up after them...
1) Must play well with other dogs and humans2) Must not be yappers 3) Must clean up their waste4) If you let them off leash, you are responsible for keeping them safe from snakes 5) We maintain the right to ask you to leash any pups that disturb the land or our other guests6) Do not let them chew on the land art installations!
- Check in: After 12PM
- Check out: Before 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Strict
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 3 months out
The vibe at Zen Bus Mountaintop Retreat
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Stunning views from the top of the hill. It's a bit of an adventure to get here (make sure to follow the directions provided) but it's worth it. The host is super friendly with an adorable husky pup. You don't have to worry about bringing your tent and this already has a bed! There are a number of common areas with tables to hang around at. Recommended!
Absolutely not worth it. I'm an avid hiker and camper, I'm not hard to please but this was unbelievably bad. The directions provided were not accurate and this is a big deal since the road is extremely sketchy. When we arrived our host had no idea we were coming. There was a leaking smelly porta potty type tent behind the bus that absolutely reeked of human waste and had quarter sized horse flies in it. I'm used to bugs but this was over the top due to the stinking, leaking human waste. I would never recommend anyone stay here
Wonderful location! Beautiful views! This is a HipCamp gem hidden in the mountains. My partner and I stayed for two nights and spent the entire time exploring the camp site, hiking on some of the recommended trails and also had a lovely meal provided by Lux’s friend! The bus was so relaxing and a peaceful space to get out of the elements.
The host was gracious enough to allow a late check in since we were driving up from southern California. We arrived after dark and were able to fallow google maps to the property and locate the bus after arrival without issues. The bus itself was a cozy night stay with plenty of room for two people and a small dog. The bus was equipped with incense, candles, and psychedelic decor. The inside of the bus was just as described in the photos. When on the mountain it did get a little cold at night but nothing an extra blanket couldn't fix. We did not need to use the bathroom facility but did check it out and it had toilet paper and hand sanitizer and seemed like a decent bathroom. Overall we had a great experience and would recommend this site.