Things to Do in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Flickr - Photo by Don DeBold

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, United States

This state park preserves the forest and nature area around San Lorenzo River

In this park, you can visit the Bear Claw Tree as well as the famous Roaring Camp

The trails are beautiful and suitable for family outings

You can also spot some animals such as birds, slugs, and many more



Welcome to Henry Cowell State Park! This park is mainly preserving forest and riparian areas in the watershed of the San Lorenzo River. That’s why when you’re visiting this park, you will see abundance of trees and other vegetation. The park is open 6 AM to sunset and while you’re here, you should stop by at their most popular sightseeing spot, which is Bear Claw Tree.

Bear Claw Tree is a tree located inside Henry Cowell State Park, which is claimed as the world’s tallest tree. The tree’s trunk is quite huge and you can barely see the top. Around the Bear Claw Tree area, you can see a lot of fresh berries. It’s a perfect place for a family outing.

Bear Claw Tree

Tons of fresh berries, trails are well kept, lots of red wood lightning strikes and felled trees to see.

Address : 121 Beth Dr, Felton, CA 95018, USA


What else can I do in Henry Cowell State Park, you ask? Well, you must visit their Roaring Camp as well while you’re here, especially if you’re coming with your kids. Roaring Camp is actually a whole different park, but it’s located just next to Henry Cowell State Park and you can access it through the “back gate.” It features railroads and a train that goes through the woods. You can buy ticket to go on the train for 1.5 hours and enjoy food from many small outlets near the area as well.

Roaring Camp

Roaring Camp is the perfect place to take your train-curious kids.

Good place to enjoy nature, redwoods and have some fun.

Address : 5401 Graham Hill Rd, Felton, CA 95018, USA


If you want to stay overnight among the trees, you can reserve a site in the park for camping. There are 107 reservable campground sites with limited hook-ups. There are showers with hot water, flush toilet, en-route bicycle camping, and potable water.

However, there is no sewer or water hook-ups in this campground. If you wish to camp somewhere that have sewer or water hook-ups, you can book a site in Big Basin State Park or New Brighton State Park instead.


When visiting the park, visitors has to pay attention to their surrounding for potential hazards such as ant beds, poison oak, nearby cliffs, etc. You should also take precautions to protect your food from bears and other animals. If you’re camping, make sure your tent is at least 15 feet upwind from grills and fires.

You should also use battery-operated lights and never use heaters that emit carbon monoxide inside your tent or RV.


The best time to visit Henry Cowell State Park is in spring and fall season, as summer’s temperature may be too hot for many. In winter, the campground in Henry Cowell State Park is closed.


Looking for a hotel near Henry Cowell State Park? You should check out Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley. This hotel is located only 11 minutes away from the park by driving. Not only it’s close to the park, this hotel is also only 6 miles away from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park. With modern room décor and amenities, you will find yourself fast asleep in your room! They have mini fridge, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi offered to each visitor. Some rooms have private balconies and their suites are equipped with pull-out sofas, whirlpool tub, and separate living areas.

Our next pick for hotels is Best Western Plus Inn Scotts Valley. This hotel is situated 8.9 miles away from the park or 12 minutes away by driving. Each room features flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi, plus mini-fridge and coffeemakers. They also have suites which have whirlpool tubs and private balconies. Hot breakfast is complimentary and there’s a seasonal outdoor pool and hot tub!

Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley

Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley is the best hotel with excellent service.

Pool area with Jacuzzi and covered outdoor smoking area is inviting.

Rooms are clean, and with a nice view from balcony.

The restaurant is pretty good, too.

Address : 6001 La Madrona Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

Best Western Plus Inn Scotts Valley

Definitely a good affordable place to stay in the area.

The rooms are clean, well decorated, and quite large.

The staff are very friendly and helpful.

Address : 6020 Scotts Valley Dr, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA


Satisfy your appetite by going to Otoro Sushi! This restaurant is located 13 minutes away from the park by driving. The ambiance inside the restaurant is very comfortable with large windows and TVs. As obvious as it sounds, the restaurant serves Japanese foods such as sushi and rolls. You can choose whichever rolls you want – they have salmon rolls, firecracker roll, and many more. You can also order their bento box lunch which will get you plenty of food and rice for only USD 11.

Another place that you must visit in Ambrosia India Bistro. This restaurant serves flavorful Indian cuisine and every food are just so appetizing. They have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu. The service is also very friendly and welcoming.

Otoro Sushi

All foods have great quality and quantity for your money.

Excellent fresh sushi and sashimi grade fish and lunch is great.

The crew is very cordial and the cooking they offer is so flavorful.

Address : 235 Mt Hermon Rd #G, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA

Ambrosia India Bistro - Scotts Valley

Nice place for a friendly good lunch, it's a buffet, so you can make multiple trips to it if you like.

Delicious Indian cuisine, lots of options, friendly staff.

They offer a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, your choice.

The cooking is appetizing and the team is efficient and cooperative.

Address : 6006 La Madrona Dr # D, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA


Aside from the souvenir shop inside the park, you can also visit Zinnia’s, which is only 13 minutes away from the park. Zinnia’s sells all the items that are perfect to be brought home as souvenirs, such as home decors, books, clothing, as well as self-care products. Their wonderful staffs are always ready to help you find the items you need. If you’re planning to give the souvenir as a present for someone else, you can ask them to wrap it beautifully.


Beautiful and unique boutique in Scotts Valley.

Zinnia's has beautiful and reasonably priced gifts, including clothing (arranged by color in some cases), books, and sundries.

They have lovely jewelry, handbags, fun greeting cards.

And a wonderful staff willing to help you find what you need.

Address : 219 Mt Hermon Rd C, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA