Explore the most popular trail running trails in Wilder Ranch State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

9 days ago

This isn't much of a hike on its own, but it's a great way to end a hike at Wilder. After doing the Enchanted Loop, I headed down to 4 Mile Beach via this trail. The beach is a great place to relax after a long hike.

13 days ago

Awesome hike

The Enchanted Loop trail is actually just a bit of a small, circular trail sitting around a bunch of other trails. In-and-of itself, Enchanted Loop is pretty decent. Much of the trail (the western and northern sides) is through a pretty dense forest, lots of trees and shade surrounding you. The eastern and southern sides are more exposed, but there's also a good chance of seeing deer if you go at the right time (I was taking this part of the trail around 6 PM). I would suggest you take this trail in a clockwise fashion, as taking it counter-clockwise will put you at a pretty strenuous incline as you exit the wooded area (taking it clockwise, it's largely downhill on the west and then a very gradual uphill on the east).

Now, here's the thing about Enchanted Loop - you have to get to it via another trail. If you look at the trail map of Wilder Ranch State Park, you can see that you can really choose your own route depending on how long you want to be out hiking. The most direct route, though, is Baldwin Loop - which is what the map for this trail has you taking. HOWEVER, it has you taking West Baldwin Loop, which is AWFUL. Getting to Enchanted Loop via West Baldwin Loop (the western side of it) is pretty off-putting, as that part of the trail is largely overgrown with a ton of sharp and thorny plants - it is no fun to hike through. There are also a ton of ticks on that side as you go through all the plants, so if you DO go this route (which I suggest you don't), take care to cover your skin well.

Instead, I suggest taking East Baldwin Loop (I've suggested a map edit to this trail as well). If you look at the trail map, you'll see another section of Baldwin Loop on the east that will also take you to Enchanted Loop. This route, while resulting in a longer (though more gradual) incline is a much more enjoyable trail. It's wider, clearer, has better views, and isn't overgrown with sharp plants that you get tangled up in. Instead, it's surrounded by white, yellow, and purple wild flowers at the start/end. I'll be adding photos, so you can see what I mean. The only downside to this route is that there's much less parking at this entrance than there is for the West Baldwin Loop entrance. Taking East Baldwin Loop easily turns this trail from a 1 to a 4.

Also, once you're done, I suggest going down to Four Mile Beach - it's really close by and is a great place to relax after a long hike. I think hiking this trail and then having a picnic on the beach is a pretty good date activity, if you don't mind ending up a little sweaty on your dates.


1 month ago

Beautiful hike but make sure to check yourself after for ticks.

Great coastal walk and serene walk through the redwoods.

2 months ago

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

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!

mountain biking
3 months ago

Wilder Ranch has lots of trails, super fun.

Beautiful! Wonderful scenery. My only complaint is that the trail is not moderate, it is very easy.

Breathtaking views

trail running
4 months ago

Really beautiful path along the cliffs and nearby agricultural area.

4 months ago

Good walk. Beautiful ocean and marine wildlife views. It’s an easy walk. Not sure why it’s rated ‘moderate’.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Fun trail steep at the beginning but lots of views my 9 year old made it to the top

Free Parking along PCH! Beautiful hike! Bring a jacket? Nice chill air!

Great view. good for birding

I like the cliffs and birds there

Easy day hike with a great view of the ocean.

There is a 10 dollar fee to enter this ranch. But its worth taking the walk on this scenic walk along the coastal line. You see blue green waters, curious sea lions that come take a look at you and crazy long plankton that dances to the waves. In between these cliffs you see small beaches that are venice style. Go for it.

Beautiful hike!

Nice hike not hard at all. this hike any one can do. But the best part of this hike the whales. feel in love

This is my favorite place to hike in Santa Cruz. There are a lot of trails, but the best is taking Baldwin Trail to the Enchanted Loop (a fairy tail-esque forest). On the way back down you'll get breathtaking views of the sparkling Pacific. It's about 5.4 miles round trip and there's an option to take a steeper trail up to Enchanted Loop, so you get a good workout. The only downside is that the trails are not well marked and you can turn a 2 hour hike into a 4 hour hike if you're not careful.

9 months ago

Fun little train to walk, awesome views of the water and places to stop along the way. Also a real sealtropolis

9 months ago

Cool hike, but definitely come prepared. There are almost no signs for the ocean portion of the trail; without the alltrail app, I’d say it’s impossible to know the way. Also, there were TONS of ticks. I found 7 on me. Make sure to bring bug spray, and check yourself periodically. Last, bring sunscreen....very little shade on this one.

Great trail. Not hard at all. Lots of bike traffic in the first part. Long hike along the coast to finish. Very scenic. Beautiful views over the various beaches. We saw dolphins, whales, seals ... and surfers.

10 months ago

This trail was so beautiful. The many views of ocean coves and cliffs were enchanting. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

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