Santa Cruz Arboretum

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Parking


  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Parking


1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA,
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Info: 831-502-2998
Daily, 9am-5pm
Not allowed, service animals OK
Last Visited:
June 2019
The Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a conservation garden which maintains collections of rare, endangered and unusual plants encompassing 135 acres. You’ll find groupings of plants of California Natives, New Zealand, South Africa and one of the world’s largest collections of Australian native plants. 

In addition to the gardens there’s a small gift/garden store. Bring your binoculars as the garden is among one of the best places for viewing birds in the Monterey Bay. People using mobility devices will be able to enjoy much of the gardens although some areas are more difficult to navigate than others.

Trails and Pathways

Garden Pathways
Time to Complete:
1 hour
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: The terrain is variable throughout the garden however much of the gardens will be navigable in a motorized wheelchair; manual wheelchair users might find the more rougher surfaces chllenging to navigate. With assistance most chair users should find plenty to enjoy and even if you don’t cover a lot of territory it’s still a lovely place to be out in nature. It’s worth the effort. My experience in a motorized wheelchair is that the New Zealand, South African and California Natives Gardens offer the best access. 

The small succulent garden just beyond the gift shop has paved paths but some are narrow and steep but you can still see a lot of the plants. 

Behind the meeting room the paved Hummingbird Trail winds uphill to a snow gum tree and open fields. Afterwards the trails are hard packed dirt and wide but can be bumpy.

More Info: Variable throughout the gardens.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

There's varying degrees of accessible parking however the most accessible spaces are adjacent to the Meeting Hall and in front of the Gift Shop; from here it’s a short, steep uphill to the gardens. Other spaces by the Meeting Hall/Library and the main visitor parking lot are only marked by an accessible parking sign but are not marked with an access aisle, and are dirt and gravel. A concrete parking pad for about 5 cars is by the South African Gardens but there’s no designated accessible parking space. 

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Meeting Hall/Library

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance

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