Among Santa Cruz Giants


Grow your roots and reach for the stars, whispered the redwood trees. – unknown


We had an amazing time among Santa Cruz giants and I wanted to share with you how you can take a train ride, hike through, camp in, and learn about the redwoods.


Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living thing on earth. Their roots can be 100 feet in length. Without such large root systems these giants would fall. Most redwoods live to be over 200 feet tall. A redwood seed is very small (.5 inches) and are awl-shaped. Because of this so many living things can take the seed for food. This is why out of a million seeds only one becomes a tree. Redwood trees are hard to kill. If you cut a redwood more trees will grow from the stump. Fungal infections and insect infections can not harm the tree because of a chemical called tannin. Fires help redwoods. Fires kill plants around the redwood trees. They can easily survive a fire unless the branches are set on fire. The tallest tree in the world is a redwood called Hyperion Redwood tree and it is 379 feet tall and it is still growing. – My son Peter



Train Ride Through the Redwoods:

This was surely a ride we won’t forget. A 1890 steam train chugging us uphill, passing through never ending giants and riding above a wooden bridge track. One of the best parts of the ride was the sounds: the whistle, the steam, and the chug of the track. Looking up at the trees will leave you in awe and at times redwood needles will rain down on you. Now these giants are the few giants in the area that have never been used for logging. You have two options to chose from : you can do a steam ride up to Bear Mountain (we did this) or you can go to Santa Cruz.

Located at: Felton, Santa Cruz Country, California. It is 6 miles north of Santa Cruz in Felton. Exit SR 17 at Mt. Hermon Rd.

Visit for steam train schedule.




Among Santa Cruz Giants Among Santa Cruz Giants Among Santa Cruz Giants



Hike Through the Redwoods:

In order for you to really enjoy the Redwoods you must hike. It could be a short or long hike but hiking you must go. There are 80 miles of trails so you can hike for many days and never cross the same path. The great thing is that there is no elevation gain. We walked the Redwood Loop. This loop starts 0.6 miles from the headquarters. We started on the Skyline to the Sea trial and then we hooked onto Mountain Pine trial. After some time we walked Hammond Connector trail then Blooms Creek trail. The whole hike was amazing and because the trees towered above us we did not feel exhausted or tired. We left the best part for last. We saw “Mother of the Forest” which is 320 feet tall and is the tallest redwood in the park. We also enjoyed “Father of the Forest” which has the largest girths and measures 17 feet in diameter.

Located at : 21600 Big Basin Way Boulder Creek, CA 95006 (831) 338-8860


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Camping in the Redwoods:

Staying over night always gives us an opportunity to enjoy a place a little longer and I’ll admit that being in a cabin surrounded by a redwood forest is pretty awesome. We stayed in tent cabin number 28 at Huckleberry Campground. There are 36 tent cabins to choose from. Inside the cabin there is a fireplace, two beds, and a table with two benches. You can also rent a lantern, electric stove, pots, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, and more. This is an amazing campground and we loved it so much that we are planning on coming back next year because two days was not enough time to explore the giants.

To reserve your campsite visit: Reserve America.




Hands on Learning :

We love natural paint and if you bring to a boil green redwood pines you will quickly notice the green pines turn brownish/red. It’s like magic. It is always a big hit at our house to sit around the table, read, watch an educational you-tube video, and do some hands on learning. The painting tools my children used were redwood pinecones, redwood pine needles, redwood wood, redwood bark, and cotton swabs.


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It can be hard to grasp how tall redwood trees really are so Elizabeth painted a poster so that all of us could understand how little we are compared to the redwoods.




When we went to pick blueberries a few months back we bought a redwood tree stem cross so we decided to label the different parts of the redwood.



4 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this- it was awesome to travel along with y’all! Visiting the Redwoods is my #1 travel dream, so I enjoyed every part of your journey. 🙂 And your pictures are beautiful as always… I especially love the redwood painting- how fun!

  2. Another fun adventure! The trainride and trees sounded like so much fun!

  3. What a really fun learning adventure as always! The train ride looked like so much fun, I have a train lover who would have loved riding the train so much. I would love to take my kids to see the giant redwood trees someday, or to actually see them for myself even. I love all the learning projects you did to go with your adventure they all look like so much fun. I especially like the comparison to other things, It really gives kids a perspective as to how large the redwoods really are.

    I do have a question about subscribing to your site. I have signed up a couple times to be emailed updates, but I have never gotten the confirmation email or any of your new posts. Is there something I’m not doing right, or is this an issue you are already aware of? I would love to be able to keep up on all of your new adventures.

  4. Homegrown Adventures

    The Redwoods are an amazing sight to behold. I am aware that those who subscribed to my site are not receiving notifications. I’m still not sure how to fix it.

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