Ocean or mountains? Buyers in Santa Cruz County have access to both. Today, let’s talk mountain living—and some lesser-known things to do in San Lorenzo Valley.

San Lorenzo Valley cradles the San Lorenzo River, which flows down to Santa Cruz from deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Here, buyers discover enchanting cabins tucked between redwoods and firs, spacious retreat homes overlooking grey-green mountain ranges, and colorful gardens along bird-serenaded streets. Wildlife includes foxes, deer, mountain lions, and dozens of bird species.

Felton, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, and Boulder Creek cluster along Highway 9, the valley’s main road. With a collective population of around 17,000, these mountain communities boast a small-town vibe. And locals know a few secrets about their gorgeous backyard.

Quail Hollow County Park

Quail Hollow Ranch was once the home of Sunset Magazine owners Larry and Ruth Lane. This county park offers community nature classes and occasional night sky viewing with a local astronomy club. Visitors can see unique habitats, including rare sandhills that house the endangered Mount Hermon June bug. Views of the entire park and Zayante Valley reward hikers of Sunset Trail.

San Lorenzo Valley High School Pool

San Lorenzo Valley High School was granted its short course swimming pool with a contingency: Pool membership for locals had to be affordable, and the pool must accommodate public swim hours throughout the year. Now, residents can swim year-round for only $60 per family. Individual memberships are $25.

San Lorenzo River Swimming Holes

Several swimming holes dot the San Lorenzo River, some of them complete with rope swings and small beaches. A popular swimming hole, often frequented by young families, sits in a bend in the river just below the Henry Cowell State Park Nature Center. Summer fun your kids will remember for a lifetime!

Valley Churches United Missions (VCUM)

VCUM offers a neighborly and safe outlet for residents who want to get to know people and give back to their community. This non-profit, assisting low-income residents and offering disaster assistance, fosters the sense of community residents are proud of. Its Ben Lomond pantry is staffed entirely by volunteers, and opportunities to serve abound.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Others

Granted, these state parks are no secret—but they can hardly be omitted. Henry Cowell boasts miles of hiking and biking trails, and a redwood grove. It’s flanked by Roaring Camp Railroads, a historic narrow gauge railroad that takes visitors through the redwoods and to Santa Cruz. At the valley’s north end, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is home to old growth redwoods as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Eighty miles of park trails extend to the ocean and neighboring Castle Rock State Park.

Homes in the San Lorenzo Valley offer easy access to stunning natural beauty, and a secure sense of community. Call (831)818-4321 or contact us today for a showing!