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Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains are found in central California and belong to the Pacific Coast Ranges. The mountains separate the Pacific Ocean from the San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley, and further south the mountains border Monterery Bay and terminate at the Salinas Valley. At the opposite end, the mountains pass through San Fransisco to the north, also greeting San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey on the journey.
Just like much of California, the Santa Cruz Mountains enjoy an enviable Mediterranean climate, with long, hot days during the summer, and cool but mild temperatures in the winter. It can certainly rain in the mountains, which of course is necessary, but most of the rainfall occurs in the months between November and April. When the rain does fall, the result can often be mudslides, and even rock slides, which can be caused by the mudslide, an earthquake or simply, time.
The Santa Cruz Mountains play home to a large array of flora and fauna. Beautiful Coast Redwoods (Sequoia) grow in the valleys and in the ocean facing slopes, where they can get the moisture which they love and need. At Big Basin, Henry Cowell Redwoods and Portola Redwoods State Parks, there also exist small sections of 'Old Growth Forests' which are areas of woodland in which very old trees have been living and continue to live. Birdwatchers will enjoy the large range of birds which flock to and live in the areas around the mountains, such as the Horned Greeb, Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Osprey and the magnificent Golden Eagle. Hikers may also come across California Mule Deer, as well as Chipmunks and Racoons. If you are lucky, or unlucky, you may also catch a glimpse of Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Bobcats and even Rattlesnakes.
For a wonderful day out hiking, the Santa Cruz Mountains are really treasured and enjoyed by many people, but visitors and inhabitants alike.