Explore Santa Cruz - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Santa Cruz Map

Most amazing creek trail my family has ever taken. Runs along the creek with tons of flora to check out. A few inclines, but mostly flat. We would agree that the trail is not truly moderate in difficulty, but somewhere in between moderate and easy.

One of the best hikes I have ever done.

all around great trail

on Fall Creek

11 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful Hikes I have ever hiked.With slight drizzle and cloudy skies , it was a amazing hike and I had stopped by the redwood for nearly an hour to enjoy the nature's beauty. For the most part of trail you will have the pristine creek running by beside the trail. the ascend and descend alternates itself and gives you a pleasure of a good workout. Although there is something about the trail I would like to mention. If you are taking the loop through Fall creek south fork trail and join back the Fall creek trail after hiking Big Ben Trail, then after hiking 1.3 miles in Fall creek trail from Big Ben along the creek, you will find that the path has been completely eroded and there is no way to proceed further. You would have to take a switch back to reach the Truck Trail, then hike thru Ridge Trail and S-Cape Trail to join the fall creek trail back. The switch back is not a well marked trail path and you have to figure it out moving back from the closed path say by .2 miles , this increases the trail distance to 10.3 miles and is not what that has been mentioned.

Many were saying to do this hike counter clockwise. The Ranger said to do it clockwise because of the stairs at Silver Falls. Glad we listened to the Ranger and went clockwise. Those stairs are steep, and glad we went up them instead of down. There was a sign warning of a strenuous 6 hour hike ahead at the beginning. I really didn't think it would be strenuous for me since I hike every weekend, but boy was I wrong. It was a little strenuous, especially the last 3-4 miles. My legs just ached at this point I really just had to push through. Beautiful hike and I would totally do it again. Took us about 6 hours, including a long hour break at the falls to eat and take pictures.

14 days ago

Absolutely beautiful, but then again so is almost all of Big Basin. It's a nice walk and the trees are a sight in themselves. There isn't anything especially striking throughout the path so not worth investing as a main event in your trip. However, for those only looking for an easy 30-45 min walk among some friendly giants, this path is absolutely for you.

16 days ago

FAVORITE. Surely breathtaking views! It’s an easy trail, but let’s just enjoy the views.

16 days ago

One of my best hikes. Go during a weekday so you’ll have the trail for yourself - I barely saw anyone during the 3.5 hours I was on the trail. Beautiful waterfalls along the trail. NO restrooms were seen so keep that in mind.

This trail was challenging but very much worth it. Though it's marked as a 10 mile hike, my Apple watch indicated it's closer to 12. Allow yourself a good 5-6 hours to complete depending on your pace. When our group did the hike, we had to plow through it because we had a later start, plus it was raining and hailing pretty hard -- which made for a memorable experience. The views of the towering redwood trees are incredible and the waterfalls were running strong, you really feel like you're in another world. I would definitely come back and recommend for those looking for a good moderate-difficult hike!

Gentle rise in elevation. Very peaceful

Enjoyed mild hiking along the shock resistant trail surrounded by old redwoods and crystal clear creek..

26 days ago

Short hike, but lots of trees to enjoy. Great for kids.

Background info: I am not at my fittest but I love a challenge and I KNOW I can handle these types of hikes. I went at the end of February during a relatively dry winter in the morning (started at 8:30 AM and finished back at my car at 1:45 PM. I brought plenty of water (including a filtration system in case I ran out) and plenty of snacks.

The hike: First, starting off in the morning is such a smart thing to do as you avoid the crowds. I noticed toward the end of my hike the trails started to get more populated and I had to dodge people coming down as I went up. I love hiking to get away from the city and people so I enjoyed the first-half of this hike. Due to closed trails, this route took longer (but it was expected after reading other reviews). Yes, there are times when the incline gets you huffing and puffing (at least me), but totally doable. I enjoyed traveling along multiple water sources due to comfort and security should I run out of water. There is a sign that recommends you bring at least 3 liters of water for the entire duration but I think that is playing it safe. At one point you dramatically burst out of the trees and shade and end up exposed to the elements along a cliff. Personally, I enjoyed this area as it gave me the opportunity to soak in the sun and relax for a quick minute. I didn't take many breaks so I was able to complete this hike relatively quickly. I don't believe this hike is "family-friendly" but it is appropriate for those who can care for themselves. There are times where a parent having to watch for their own safety in addition to the safety of their child makes it not suitable for young children. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

Beautiful scenery, nicely groomed path, but NO TRAIL MARKINGS! It made it very easy to get off path onto one of the many other criss crossing trails. This made for another mile plus of hiking while we found our way back to the main trail. Only use this trail if you are experienced and have a downloaded map to guide you.

This is my favorite hike in Santa Cruz

An easy trail - well worn and wide. Mainly overlooking cliffs, but there are a few spots where you can easily descend to a beach. As far as California coastline goes, the views aren't spectacular but just okay. Seems like a nice couples or family outdoor time kind of place.

Easy hike with great access to the ocean. Could easily push a jogging stroller on this trail. Busy but not overcrowded. Limited parking on site.

Stunning sights, a nice walk with a few stopping points for who wants to read or just take a break.
Was very windy the day I went. Also very busy.
Awesome wildlife sightings (birds and sea mammals).
There’s a $10 fee to park if you go all the way to the Park itself - park on the road right before it if you can!

Great hike. Do it early to avoid the crowds.

1 month ago

Probably closer to a 3.5. Nice hike for kids or someone just starting out hiking. Depends when you hit the trail. Going out very busy & some car noise from the road that runs next to the trail. Coming back however was much quieter so you could enjoy the Redwoods. Lots of places to stop and grab lunch

1 month ago

Really Nice hike - as always long and winding road to get there. Plenty of parking if you get there early (8am). Didn't see anyone the Skyline to the Sea trail & very peaceful. I went past meteor to add some miles. Middle ridge was a little disappointing - little busier and not much to see. Trail in good condition

Waterfalls were beautiful even without much rain so far. I would recommend starting this hike early in the morning. The redwoods were amazing.

1 month ago

Great hike! Great work out! Lots of people on the weekends. Parking is difficult and had to park a mile out. Waterfall was low on water :(

It’s a great hike I did today and the falls are amazing

Beautiful trail, which gives everyone at every ability level a glimpse of the Redwoods and the surrounding environment. Only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it is heavily occupied, and not especially peaceful. I was almost ran over by a large group of school kids having a race down the path, followed by their teachers who were allowing them. I prefer the peace and serenity of nature to the screaming, undisciplined activities of children.

1 month ago

Reasonably challenging, fallen trees to climb over or under, the river or creeks are with you most of the way. Beautiful trail.

We used the direction tab from this apps instead of reading an instruction on how to get there, we ended up with hiking about 1-1.5 miles ( I forgot to track the exact miles) extra each way unintentionally. The direction from the apps took as to Mesa Grande Rd which ends at the entrance of the Nisene Marks park. Took a trail on the right side near that entrance. Follow the direction to Apto creek road to get to the trail head. It’s an easy stroll until about a mile to the fall and it becomes moderate hike along the creek. Not much water at this time for Maple fall.

1 month ago

A great 10.5-mile hike through the redwoods that seems more moderate than strenuous except for the distance. Elevation gains are gradual, so even though the total gain was 2,400 feet it seemed less. The climax of the hike is a series of small falls that make up the silver falls and the single long Berry Creek Falls. Since they are roughly half way around the loop they offer a respite and have areas to enjoy a picnic. We went in February and only saw two other people along the hike, but I imagine in the spring and summer crowds may make that a little less peaceful. While the distance is listed as 9.5 miles it was actually 10.5 as a section of the skyline-to-the-sea trail was closed and the detour added about a mile. It does not look like the closed section will open anytime soon. The path was well marked and mostly dirt. Any type of shoe will be fine for this hike.

trail running
1 month ago

Beautiful shady trail with great views of redwoods

This is the biggest camping area ever I been before , Big basin Redwood is amazing place to camp or hiking place, me and my family come here almost once month and each time we reserved for three nights, my kids always enjoy in the amazing forest.

Load More