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.

1 month ago

Like others have said, it's a nice relaxing walk, but not a trail - it's a mixed use sidewalk/path. It's gorgeous, though, and great for walking with a friend.

it's a fun little stroll along the ocean but i don't know if i'd call it a trail. i love it! but it's paved and next to the road.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Easy path with some incredible views!

Stunning views and easy, flat walk.

Excellent for walking and bike riding. I used to run up and down this road but unfortunately it is entirely concrete which is no good.

hiking
11 months ago

First, I want to start of by saying that this is not a hiking trail. It's a walking trail at its best. It is paved the whole way with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. I didn't like that the trail was right next to a busy street where you inhale all the car emissions that you normally do when in town. So if you're wanting to go hiking and get out of the busy city and stinky cars, this not the trail for you. I only gave it a three star because the ocean views were phenomenal. It should not be labeled as a hiking trail.

walking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

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

Monday, July 18, 2016

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!

walking
Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nice walk!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

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

hiking
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beautiful coast trail

walking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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

scenic driving
Saturday, March 14, 2015

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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

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

scenic driving
Thursday, April 03, 2014

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

hiking
Friday, August 03, 2012

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

walking
Monday, May 07, 2012

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.

walking
Saturday, March 10, 2012

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.

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