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Return to the Redwoods

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Come back to where it all began

Come join the Return to the Redwoods celebration, where alumni, family, and friends can soak up a fantastic weekend at UCSC. Whether you prefer dorm life or rounding up pals for an apartment, the choice is yours! We’ve got a great lineup of activities, including guided hikes around campus, s’mores on the east field, and a lively block party in the Quarry Plaza.

You definitely don’t want to miss out!

Grab your housing and weekend passes now, and let’s create unforgettable memories together in the redwoods!

Weekend passes

A Weekend Pass is your ticket to the weekend. 

The Weekend Pass serves as your access to meals and activities throughout the program. You have the flexibility to purchase passes for all members of your party or, share this link with others so they can grab their own! 

All participants for Return to the Redwoods must purchase a weekend pass, even if they are not staying on campus.


ADULT: $75  |  CHILD (ages 3-17) $50

Each Weekend Pass includes:


  • Friday night dinner and kick-off party
  • Stars ‘n’ S’mores on the East Field 


  • Saturday breakfast (in the Rachel Carson College dining hall)
  • Saturday Campus Programs, including Forest Talks, identity receptions, and more
  • Saturday night: Redwood Reels movie in The Quarry


  • Sunday breakfast (in the Rachel Carson College dining hall)

All Weekend:

  • Activities and giveaways throughout the weekend!
  • Parking on campus for the weekend (in specific lots,  we’ll collect license plate information upon arrival)

In June, you will be able to choose from a range of optional activities, some complimentary and others with a fee, including kayaking, farm and garden workshops, and more. 

All participants for Return to the Redwoods must purchase a weekend pass, even if they are not staying on campus.


Day 1 – Friday, August 16

  • Settle in and celebrate your return to campus!
  • Dinner and kick-off celebration in the Porter Quad
  • Stars ‘n’ S’mores on the East Field
  • *Afternoon excursions are in the works and will be announced in June!

Day 2 – Saturday, August 17

  • Choose your own adventure! Enjoy a day full of activities any Slug would love- yoga, hiking, campus tours and more!
  • Breakfast in the Rachel Carson College Dining Hall
  • Activities all over campus (and in down in the bay!)
  • Santa Cruz Spotlight Festival in the Quarry Plaza
  • Redwood Reels movie in The Quarry Amphitheater

Day 3 – Sunday, August 18

  • Wake up slow and soak in the morning on campus before saying farewell and heading home.
  • Breakfast in the Rachel Carson College Dining Hall
  • *Afternoon excursions are in the works and will be announced in June!


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Who is Return to the Redwoods for?

All UC Santa Cruz alumni and their families, friends, and more are encouraged to join in the fun. Whether you just graduated or are celebrating a milestone reunion (or maybe somewhere in between), we hope you’ll spend the weekend with us up on our City on a Hill!

Do I have to stay on campus to participate?

While so much of the fun happening this weekend will be on campus, you do not have to stay there if dorms aren’t your thing. Just don’t forget to purchase your Weekend Pass!

Is this event family-friendly?

Absolutely! There will be activities for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Please note: Guests of all ages are welcome to stay in the apartment-style housing options. Dorm room-style housing is restricted to guests aged 18 and older due to safety considerations.

Can I bring any non-alumni friends? What about pets?

Of course! While this event is designed for and inspired by Slugs, you are encouraged to bring friends and family along to join the fun!

Domestic animals that are not service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are prohibited on all UC Santa Cruz property. You can learn more about rules and regulations regarding animals on campus here.

Can I stay in my old dorm room?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to stay in your dorm room and it is extremely unlikely that this kind of request can be granted. Rooms and apartments are assigned in the order that guests purchase.

What should I pack?

Take a look at our suggested packing list

Can I cook if I’m in an apartment?

Apartments include a fridge, stove, oven, and kitchen space, but they DO NOT include dishes, cookware, utensils, or a microwave.

New Leaf and Safeway are nearby grocery stores where you can stock up on groceries and other essentials. 

Who should I contact to secure any accessibility accommodations?

If you have any accessibility requirements/requests/questions, you can contact

My friend let me know this event was happening. Why didn’t I get the email?!

We don’t always have everyone’s correct contact information! Be sure to update your info here, so that you can always be updated on campus news and alumni events!

Any other questions? Feel free to reach out to us at

Relive the weekend

Last year’s Return to the Redwoods was a resounding success, vividly captured in the smiles and laughter evident in our gallery of photos and videos now available online. Alumni and friends soaked in the nostalgic campus ambiance, exchanged stories of yesteryear, and enjoyed an array of engaging activities surrounded by UCSC’s iconic natural beauty. As you reminisce on these treasured memories, get ready to create new ones—next year’s event promises to bring even more opportunities to connect and celebrate the enduring spirit of UC Santa Cruz. Stay tuned for updates and start planning your return to the campus that forever holds a place in our hearts.

Return to the Redwoods 2023
Last modified: May 22, 2024