Jump to:

Conferences and Retreats

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch hosts groups of all sizes and missions.  We can accommodate groups up to 450 in the beauty of the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Church and youth groups find serenity and adventure for spiritual retreats.  Non-profit organizations, corporations, and government groups come here for inspiration and team-building. Families return year after year to celebrate being together in nature.

Surrounded by the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, YMCA Camp Jones Gulch offers beautiful views, miles of trails, and activities for all ages. Whether your getaway calls for relaxing with a good book, riding horseback through the redwoods, mastering your archery technique, or discovering a new hiking trail — YMCA Camp Jones Gulch is the destination for all.

Here you’ll find helpful information on types of lodging and meeting spaces available, program activity options, meal options, and information regarding how to make your reservation.

Our Facilities

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch offers easy group planning by providing cabins and meetings spaces of various sizes for your group. Our rustic cabins range from 10-20 beds and we provide the mattresses – all you need to bring is a pillow and the bedding. Some private and semi-private rooms are available upon request.

Each of our lodges provide an indoor space for your group to come together for meetings, presentations, activities, and much more. Each one has a wood fireplace and tables and chairs to accommodate your group.

Our lodging is divided into 4 different villages: Wasiata Village, Ohlone Village, North Tolowa, and South Tolowa. Each of these villages has a campfire circle available and most have a designated lodge for a group meeting space. You can reserve the entire village or just a few cabins depending on your group size and needs.


Sleeps up to 145 people

Perkins Lodge: meeting space for up to 250 people, wood fireplace, attached private/semi-private lodging

Cabins: 9 cabins with 10-20 beds in each


Sleeps up to 50 people

Triangle Lodge: meeting space for up to 35 people, wood fireplace, kitchenette

Cabins: 3 cabins with 14-20 beds in each


Sleeps up to 145 people

Simcock Lodge: meeting space for up to 150 people, wood fireplace, downstairs private/semi-private lodging

Program Yurt: meeting space for up to 35

Cabins: 11 cabins with 10-16 beds in each, ADA accessible cabin for up to 20


Sleeps up to 102 people

Meeting Space: no dedicated indoor group meeting space, Dining Lodge available between meals. Many outdoor meeting spaces available

Cabins: 9 cabins with 6-20 beds in each

See a map of our villages


Dining Lodge

Meals are provided in our Redwood and Madrone Dining Lodges. This building is an original sawmill from the early 1900’s and provided much of the redwood that built up San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. We have transformed this building into the dining facility it is today. Each day we can serve over 500 people with high-quality, delicious food.

Coyote Bowl Amphitheater

Our historic Coyote Bowl is an amphitheater style campfire that is perfect environment for a large group. Up to 500 people can enjoy camp songs around the fire, perform skits, or hold ceremonies – all with the redwoods glowing from the light of the fire. Coyote Bowl is available to groups booked in any of our villages and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Music Shell

The Music Shell is centrally located on our Main Camp and is walkable from all villages. It provides a multi-purpose space that groups use in a variety of ways. The Music Shell is a serene environment for concerts, rehearsals, plays, and much more. In addition to performances, this is a good outdoor meeting space that provides shelter from the weather and a good spot for over 300 to congregate. Tables and chairs can be provided depending on your needs.

Program Activities

There are various program activities that you can request depending on your group’s needs and desired outcomes. Programs like the Ropes Course are great for groups that specifically want to work on teambuilding and problem solving together. Other activities can help you discover more about the beautiful natural world around us, or simply provide a fun activity for all to enjoy. Our experienced and caring staff are happy to provide a variety of programs and activities year-round. Program availability is subject to times/dates requested and staff availability – not all programs are available for all reservations.

Ropes Course

Let experience be the teacher through a unique ropes course challenge. Experiential activities create a powerful learning opportunity for participants of all ages! Using the vibrant beauty of our own redwood forest, our facilitators help groups discover ways to work together and accomplish goals. The Challenge Course at YMCA Camp Jones Gulch facilitates discovery, inquiry, inspiration, and exploration. Participants can develop communication and teambuilding skills that help them in their daily lives while having an incredibly fun experience in the redwoods.

The Ropes Course is perfect for groups of all types.

  • Corporate and Professional Groups (Management Teams, Small Businesses, New Employee Orientation, Inter-department Bonding)
  • School and Youth Group Programs (All-class Retreats, Sport Teams or Clubs, Student Government or After-School Programs, Anti-Bullying Campaigns)
  • University and College Programs (Associated Student Body Boards, Sports Team Bonding, Freshman Orientation/Senior Retreats, Dormitory Outings)

Our course consists of both a high ropes course and a low ropes course.

At the low ropes course, participants work together as a team to balance on wires, climb through spaces, use boards to create bridges…and more. Groups rely on their safety training, communication, and teamwork to succeed on elements 0 to 6 feet above the ground. Our low ropes course is an excellent tool for adult groups as well as youth ages 11 and up.

Our high ropes course takes place between 25 and 75 feet above the ground! Combine a high and low course for a full day experience. In the high course, each participant will have the opportunity to traverse a cable, balance on a beam, or jump from a platform and reach for a goal. Individual climbers are assisted by their group members as they use a rope ladder and climbing holds to ascend challenges among the redwoods. All high elements use a harness and ropes safety system with belaying by highly trained staff. High ropes challenges provide an excellent opportunity for adults and teens (ages 12 and up) to support each other, set goals, and step outside of their comfort zones.

More information can be found here.

Year-Round Program Activities

YMCA Camp Jones Gulch has many different program activities available to groups that can be reserved as part of your stay at Camp Jones Gulch or as a day use package to be used by visitors. These services are available at an extra fee and are not necessarily available at all times of the year. Choose from archery, guided nature hikes, climbing tower, zip line, canoeing*, horseback riding*, or swimming pool*.
*available only during the summer - see below

Archery: We offer an eight-target archery range. We recommend a maximum of 16 people per hour to optimize your experience but can take up to 24. Included in archery is use of our equipment and archery instruction by one of our trained staff. 

Guided Nature Hikes: Our staff can lead groups (up to 24 people) on interpretive hikes to such popular areas in camp as "The Valley of the Giants" or "The Buckeye Grove". Other trails are available upon request. The hike lasts about an hour.

Climbing Tower: Challenge yourself at our 40’ tall climbing tower. We offer a total of 5 routes: 3 beginners and 2 intermediate/advanced. Our trained staff belay you on your way up and can provide tips and tricks for improving your climbing skills.

Zip Line: Soar down our zip line at exhilarating speed. Certified instructors are provided and help facilitate a fun experience for all.

For more information and rates click here.

Summer Program Activities (available Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend)

Canoeing: Enjoy time in a relaxing canoe removed from all the busyness of the outside world. At the Jones Gulch Pond participants can use our 2-3 person canoes or 1 person kayaks – all while being supervised by a certified lifeguard.

Horseback Riding: During the summer months you can ride on horseback through many of our beautiful trails! Our certified wrangler staff will provide you with a safety and technique orientation and can lead groups of up to 10 people (8 years old and older) on trail rides. For younger riders, corral rides are a great option for beginning to become comfortable on a horse and learning basic riding skills.

Swimming Pool: Our pool, surrounded by redwoods, is a great place to spend summers at Jones Gulch. This heated pool is great for all swimming abilities. From our shallow end to the 8’ deep end, everyone can find a place to cool off and enjoy the summer. We provide certified lifeguards and swim test all swimmers when they enter. Lifejackets are available upon request.

For more information and rates click here.

Self-Guided Activities:

In addition to all of these staff guided activities, you can also participate in self-guided activities around camp. Equipment for these activities are available for check-out at the Administrative Office.

Hiking: Pick up a trail map at the Administrative Office and spend your time on one of our many trail options. We have over 16 miles of trails on our property for you to enjoy. Additionally, our trails connect with the neighboring parks for access to even more trails!

Disc Golf: Starting near the Administrative Office, we have a 9-hole disc golf course. This course is designed for beginners and is fun for all ages. Check out the discs at the Administrative Office and have a great time!

Ping Pong: On our Dining Lodge deck you can enjoy ping pong with your friends. Paddles and balls are available in a cabinet near the table.

Outdoor Chess/Checkers: Next to the Administrative Office there is a large chess/checkers board that everyone is welcome to use. Pieces are on the board and don’t require check-out.

Ga-Ga Ball: A Y Camp favorite, Ga-Ga Ball is a fun dodgeball-like game for groups of children/teens. Check out the ball at our Administrative Office and play in either the Ga-Ga Pit in the North Tolowa Ballfield or Wasiata Ball Field.

Other Games Available: From the Administrative Office you can check out other fun games such as: Ladder Toss/Bolo Toss, Croquet, Footballs, Soccer Balls, Frisbees, and Cornhole.


Three hot, wholesome meals are served daily. Our dining hall offers a vast array of options from the typical kid fare to gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. Care is taken to meet the dietary needs of all our guests. In an effort to promote healthy living, candy and soda are not served or sold in the Camp Store. Water, tea, and coffee (for adults) are available at all times throughout the day.

Meals are served in our historic Dining Lodge and are generally available buffet style for 1 hour. For a sample menu of what we typically offer, go here.

Reservations and Rates

The best way to see how YMCA Camp Jones Gulch can meet your needs is to schedule a tour with one of our staff. Contact us at reservations@ymcasf.net to schedule a tour, or call us at (650) 747-1206.

During the regular school year, we typically do not have availability Monday-Thursday because of our existing Outdoor Education programming. Reservations are typically Friday through Sunday. During the summer, reservation duration is flexible, but stays are often Sunday to Friday. 

Please contact us at (650) 747-1206 or email reservations@ymcasf.net for more information about reservations and our rates.