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Mushroom Hunting on the Redwood Coast

Santa Cruz, United States

Experience hosted by Kristof

2.5 hours
Includes equipment
Up to 10 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

We’ll meet at UC Santa Cruz’s Core West parking structure (free parking on the weekends). I’ll introduce you to the local area and explain our goals for the day. I’ll have my favorite field guides available for you to peruse as well as real specimens of local mushrooms. I’ll explain the intricacies of mushroom identification and hunting safety before we get going. You’ll be able to use the restroom and fill up your water bottle as well.

We will hunt on UCSC’s forested campus, hiking around for roughly 2.5 hours. I will point out the local flora and fauna we come across. I will help you identify the mushrooms we encounter and teach you about the role fungi play in the ecosystem. Hopefully, we will find safe edible or medicinal fungi for you to take home. I will also teach you how to recognize toxic and poisonous species of mushrooms in order to avoid them. You’ll have a lot of fun and walk away with new skills at a minimum. If we’re lucky, you’ll forage some ingredients to cook an impressive dinner later.

Please note: I cannot guarantee good weather or abundant mushrooms. However, I will do my best to provide the best opportunities. This experience is oriented toward education rather than trophy hunting.

I do not host the hunts during normal weekdays, unless a holiday.

Other things to note:
All mushroom hunting and consumption is done at your own risk
We’ll meet at UC Santa Cruz’s Core West parking structure (free parking on the weekends). I’ll introduce you to the local area and explain our goals for the day. I’ll have my favorite field guides available for you to peruse as well as real specimens of local mushrooms. I’ll explain the intricacies of mushroom identification and hunting safety before we get going. You’ll be able to use the restroom and fill up your water bottle as well…

Kristof's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practising good hygiene and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Equipment
    I usually bring 4 ponchos if it is rainy.
From $77
/ person
This experience usually sells out. Book now.

Meet your host, Kristof

Host on Airbnb since 2016
  • 72 Reviews
  • Identity verified
I grew up in a fungi-friendly, central European household and have been mushroom hunting independently for most of my life. In the past 6 years, I have become especially intimate with the rhythms of Santa Cruz native fungi. The rainy season on the Redwood Coast can seem dreary but beneath the grey skies, a rainbow of mushrooms is emerging. In this unique microclimate, we are blessed with a wide variety of fungal species to admire, to eat, and, in some cases, to respectfully avoid! I will teach you about the culinary, medicinal, and artistic qualities of our local fungi and their relatives around the world.

Some things to note: this trip is meant to be an educational introduction to mushroom identification and hunting safety. If you are already an experienced hunter, this trip may be too introductory for you.
I grew up in a fungi-friendly, central European household and have been mushroom hunting independently for most of my life. In the past 6 years, I have become especially intimate with the rhythms of Santa Cruz native fungi. The rainy season on the Redwood Coast can seem dreary but beneath the grey skies, a rainbow of mushrooms is emerging. In this unique microclimate, we are blessed with a wide variety of fungal species to admire, to eat, and, in some cases, to respectfully avoid! I will teach y…
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Where you'll be

We will focus our search around UC Santa Cruz's campus. The sprawling oak and hardwood forests are home to chanterelles, black trumpets, and queen boletes. The pines on campus harbor king boletes and various other choice mushrooms. There are various hikes through campus, and I don't pick the same area twice in a week.

Rated 4.94 out of 5 from 72 reviews.

Lance
March 2021
Even though there wasn’t a huge harvest of mushrooms for us, Kristof gave of our fill of knowledge and tools for future mushrooming. He is very generous with his time.
Cassie
March 2021
This was such a fun experience! My fiancé has been really into mushrooms lately so this was his Christmas present. Kristof was an amazing guide and we had so much fun trekking through the woods looking for mushrooms and talking about mushrooms and swapping stories. He shared so much knowledge and made it such a comfortable experience for our entire group. We went home with plenty of mushrooms for many meals and lots of recipe ideas! I HIGHLY recommend this experience for anyone mushroom curious!!
This was such a fun experience! My fiancé has been really into mushrooms lately so this was his Christmas present. Kristof was an amazing guide and we had so much fun trekking thro…
Rachael
February 2021
If you are on the fence about booking this experience, please allow me to push you over onto the side of yes! This was the most fun, interesting, educational and delicious Air B&B experience I have ever had the opportunity to enjoy. 10/10 would do it again! Kristof is professional, personable and knowledgeable. An excellent host of an excellent experience.
If you are on the fence about booking this experience, please allow me to push you over onto the side of yes! This was the most fun, interesting, educational and delicious Air B&B…
Kate
February 2021
Great information! Had tons of fun and walked away with lots of places to follow up for further reading and exploring. Loved this experience.
Sylvia
February 2021
Excellent foraging experience with a friendly, knowledgeable host who has years of experience foraging and a degree in biology. I wasn’t expecting to see many mushrooms but we ended finding a great variety of edibles, enough to make us two servings of delicious hand made pasta topped with our prizes. Kristof went above and beyond as a host. He is very knowledgeable and made sure to teach us foraging safety (AKA don’t eat mushroom you cannot identify). Very much recommend!
Excellent foraging experience with a friendly, knowledgeable host who has years of experience foraging and a degree in biology. I wasn’t expecting to see many mushrooms but we ende…
Thao
February 2021
We had an amazing time picking mushrooms with Kristoff! We must have seen 20+ species of mushrooms and Kristoff was super knowledgeable about each one and happy to answer our questions about habitat, edibility, cooking methods, etc. Highly recommend!
We had an amazing time picking mushrooms with Kristoff! We must have seen 20+ species of mushrooms and Kristoff was super knowledgeable about each one and happy to answer our quest…

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    Things to know

    Cancellation policy

    Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

    Government ID

    You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.

    Guest requirements

    Up to 10 guests ages 6 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

    What to bring

    Guests will need hiking shoes, long pants (preferably water resistant), and rain jacket

    Snacks