Looking for a great trail in Wilder Ranch State Park, California? AllTrails has 22 great hiking trails, mountain biking trails, trail running trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 17 moderate trails in Wilder Ranch State Park ranging from 2 to 11.7 miles and from 45 to 1,181 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

views

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

walking

mountain biking

forest

wild flowers

no dogs

trail running

beach

wildlife

Wilder Ranch State Park, just north of Santa Cruz, has 34 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails winding through coastal terraces and valleys. Several restored buildings once belonging to the Wilder family are preserved. The park has tours and living history demonstrations to help visitors explore the history of early ranchers and farmers along the Central Coast. The site was originally the main rancho supplying Santa Cruz Mission. It later became a successful and innovative dairy ranch. Surrounding grounds include Victorian homes, gardens, and historic adobe. This region’s climate has a mild average of 50 – 70 degrees. Coastal weather is unpredictable, so wearing layered clothing is advised. Open 8am to sunset.

hiking
5 days ago

The West / left side of the hike was much more enjoyable than the East. It was a nice trail through the trees and meadow. The East side was a dirt road. We'll do an in-and-out next time, rather than the loop.

hiking
7 days ago

Love this beach. Surfer spot. Tide pools I suspect in am/pm are amazing but most of the exposed ones mid day are sadly dead due to being unprotected and visited so much in last 25yrs. Keep it beautiful and remember to pick up your trash. Not for inexperienced swimmers, tide is strong. Ideal spot to take lazy afternoon nap and explore surrounding trails or picnic with friends.

Such different scenery throughout the hike- very peaceful and not crowded at all (I did go on the 4th though). Not smooth ground surface, was a mix of hard rocks, sand and dirt so definitely a workout. I started counter clockwise and would recommend it. Really pretty- lots of butterflies and some cool views. It was 8.5 miles though and not the 7 this states.

hiking
bugs
over grown
15 days ago

BIG MISTAKE NOT READING THE REVIEWS PRIOR TO THIS TRAIL. there are in deed a ton of ticks and i made the big mistake of wearing shorts and a tank top. like the reviews before it it’s the first mile that’s like this: over grown with tons of nettle and ticks! do not bring your dogs, do not bring your kids. the loop portion of the trail was quite nice but i saw random bare human foot prints so idk what was goin on there. bugs or not, this was a hike that i wanted to end a mile in...

hiking
16 days ago

This trail is not hard it is rather easy but the interesting things along the trail make up for it. There are two private beaches, and on one of them I was able to climb up the rocks to a separate beach. When I did I saw a group of sea lions on another beach. In all this is one of the greatest trails I have ever been on and I highly recommend it.

hiking
bugs
over grown
27 days ago

Lots of ticks in the lower part of the trail. Very overgrown as well. We went up the hill on the south side of the canyon (take the fork to the right at the very first sign with the dual arrows at the beginning) and passed by the artichoke (?) farm. The Enchanted Forest loop part is beautiful and you can totally picture Ewoks running amongst the redwoods! Then we made the poor decision to come back on the north side of the canyon. Tons of ticks (we flicked at least 2 dozen off!!), Poison oak, and very overgrown. Took us an hour to do the last 3/4 mile... Go up and back on the south side fork - it's more of a fire road and nice and wide. Would only do this trail again if that fire road is in good condition...otherwise go elsewhere Read Russell Uresti's post below - his advice is exactly what I am trying to say...wish I'd read it before!

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
private property
1 month ago

Really beautiful walk with gorgeous cliffs, pounding surf, wildlife and wildflowers. Easy walk.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

Tons of ticks and completely overgrown with lots of stinging nettle.

on Baldwin Loop

mountain biking
bugs
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Rode down the eastern side of Baldwin Loop as part of larger ride through the park. The bottom portion was extremely overgrown. In some places, the trail was barely two feet wide with plants 6' tall on either side. I'm waiting for the poison oak to set in! Lot's of ticks to boot. Would be a fantastic ride with some trail maintenance or maybe later in the season.

hiking
1 month ago

Very narrow trail with overgrown vegetation and a lot of poison oak. Found two ticks on our clothing.

We chose to do the reverse of the suggested route due to the first 1/8th being muddy and overgrown with wild radish, thistle and definitely poison oak. This time the trail wasn’t thick with mountain bike riders. Still, keep alert and aware on the single tracks. First portion 2/3 of the trail is exposed to the elements so come prepared with windbreaker or jacket and sun protection when the clouds break. Last portion mostly meanders in the forests passing trickling stream beds. If the 1st portion of the north end of Baldwin is dry and cut back, I’d do this route again.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Such a beautiful a great easy hike! Definitely recommend!!

on Old Landing Cove Trail

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

poison oak everywhere. on the bright side the ocean views made it worth it.

Walked down a small trail that was marked and checked out the fern grotto. Also we went around 4pm and there were a dozen seals sunning themselves in a cove below. Some shy bunnies appeared here and there on the trail.

Did the loop in one hour, first half was great, nice views, a workout but not too tough. Second half was very overgrown, there was a point I wasn’t even sure I was still on the trail. Rough parts only last about half a mile though.

Wildlife- bunnies, seals, birds. Enchanting sounds. Wildflowers. Every 20-30 ft is a new outlook spot with absolutely breathtaking views of the cliffs.

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