Also known as Point Santa Cruz, this area forms the northern boundary of Monterey Bay. It is one of the last open headlands in any California urban area. Surfers, tourists, birds - including the rare Black Swift and wintering Monarch butterflies are drawn to this area. Sea lions populate the offshore rocks. This is one of the places where Monarch butterflies winter along the California coast. Monarchs are unique because they migrate each winter to avoid freezing weather. The Monarchs wintering here, come from the west of the Rocky Mountains. Monarchs east of the Rockies go to central Mexico for the winter. The lighthouse is home to California's first surfing museum and is the location each Christmas for "Caroling Under the Stars," a Santa Cruz tradition which attracts hundreds of locals and visitors. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive. Overlooking internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane, this museum has photographs, surfboards, and other interesting items tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz. Park open 7am-sunset year round.

Beautiful walk on a weekend with gorgeous views along with a few hundred people especially if you start it at the pier.

So fortunate to live within a few blocks of West Cliff. A beautiful place to walk, jog, run or bike ride. Not a trail more of a scenic spot surrounded by homes!

Nice walk!

Beautiful walk along the beach! Not a hiking trip more of walking and enjoying the ocean view

This is basically a sidewalk along a street. Not a hike

9 months ago

Beautiful coast trail

trail running
11 months ago

1 year ago

A little crowded at lunchtime, but still worth it for the amazing views.

1 year ago

scenic driving
1 year ago

A nice drive or walk along the ocean. We walked to the lighthouse and saw some sessions. Easy and peaceful.

Simply beautiful!!! Took many people's advice and started my hike super early... Around 9am to beat the crowds.

scenic driving
2 years ago

We drove this after spending the night in Santa Cruz. Very pretty. Stopped and watched surfers near the surfers museum.

4 years ago

So very pretty. Very crowded but worth it for the views

Regardless of the crowds, the beauty of the Pacific is unrivaled here. Easy walk to Natural Bridges State Beach. Lots of things to look for along the way. Surfers catching sometimes giant waves near the lighthouse, surfing museum, sea lions, seabirds, and have spotted some dolphins swimming along the coastline. Great landscape and powerful crashing waves. I'll be back for more.

Once again I was unprepared when I attempted to walk this trail. I assumed I would just walk up West Cliff Dr. and take a 2 mile hike through Lighthouse Field State Park. I was wrong, I started from Beach St. & West Cliff Dr. it was 2.81 miles to reach Natural Bridges State Park and then from Natural Bridges State Park to where I finished West Cliff Dr. & Pacific Ave was 2.93 miles. I would say this is the most beautiful & scenic walk along the Pacific Ocean I have been on.

Beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean but easy and crowded.

Walking from Natural bridges up to the end of the wharf and back again is approx 6.4 miles, lots to see and distract you making this a pretty rewarding walk.. start late morning, soup witht he sea lions and back in a few hours !

Love this spot! Its great for me and my dog. My dog especially enjoys some beach time while I enjoy and appreciate the views while walking along.