Tromp Blog

Fossil-Hunting Fun in Santa Cruz

Wayne Thompson, paleontologist advisor for the Museum. Credit: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Traces and remains of ancient creatures—from whale-ribs to a famous mastodon tooth—frequently surface on Santa Cruz beaches and in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

How to Pee in the Woods

There are many circumstances when it is helpful to know the correct way to relieve oneself when modern plumbing–or even an outhouse–is unavailable. Credit: AI-generated image, Shutterstock.

Leave No Trace principle number 3, ‘Dispose of Waste Properly,’ applies to human waste–even Number 1. Here is an easy guide to ethical outdoor urination.

Six Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Westside Santa Cruz

Winding its way from Natural Bridges State Beach to the Santa Cruz Wharf, with plenty of benches providing incomparable views, West Cliff Drive is one of the prettiest streets in the world. Credit: Majken Talbot.

Romantic getaways on Monterey Bay, from Natural Bridges to West Cliff Drive to the Santa Cruz Wharf to Venus Spirits, plus some of the world’s best chocolate.

A Magical Santa Cruz Mountains Winter Hike at Fall Creek

South Fall Creek in flood as seen from the South Fork Trail. Photo by Bridget Lyons.

The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park offers a little-known opportunity to experience the wondrous power of flowing water.

Rules for Rainy Season Riding

Riding through the redwoods. Photo by Bruce Dorman

Rain is good. Eroded trails aren't. Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship trail director Drew Perkins explains how to be a force for good and not evil when mountain biking after rain.

A Mushroom Walk with Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Marisa Gomez holds a Gomphaceae (coral fungus) and a copy of Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. Credit: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Learning the names, habitats and behaviors of local fungi in the Santa Cruz Mountains makes this writer want to know more.

Day Trips and Sips: Hiking and Wine Tasting in Cupertino

Vineyards adjacent to the Water Wheel Permit Parking Area, Montebello Road. Photo by Ben Lilly.

Hilltrompers, we have good news: you don’t have to schlep to Napa or Sonoma to enjoy a day brimming with rural landscapes and local wines. Instead, cruise over the hill for a day trip escape to the vineyards of Cupertino.

Day Trips and Sips: Hiking Aptos, From Redwoods to Restaurants

Enjoying a redwood needle shadow "tattoo" in Nisene Marks. Credit: Mike Kahn

Enjoy a day trip to Aptos, California, with hiking through the redwoods of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, breakfast at Cat & Cloud Coffee, and lunch or dinner with local beers at the Parish Publick House.

What is Audubon's Christmas Bird Count and How Do I Participate?

A California Thrasher spotted during the Mount Hamilton Christmas Bird Count. Credit: Mike Azevedo

Find out what the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is all about and learn how to participate in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Silicon Valley.

Introduction to Geocaching in the Santa Cruz Mountains

A child discovers a geocache! Credit: Adobe

Here's your step-by-step instructional guide to getting started with geocaching in the Santa Cruz Mountains.