Aptos Creek and West Ridge Trail Loop to Top of the Incline and Sand Point Overlook

MODERATE 100 reviews

Aptos Creek and West Ridge Trail Loop to Top of the Incline and Sand Point Overlook is a 14.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aptos, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
14.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,122 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

A beautiful and longer hike that goes to the Sand Point overlook.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful! Lots of rich lush foliage. Stays cool in the summer and plenty of shade for pleasant hiking. The array of birds and babbling creak provides a very peaceful atmosphere. Make sure to keep an eye out for poison oak.

1 month ago

Lots of poison oak on the return route. AllTrails suggests parking at the trail entrance but to shave off a mile or two you can continue to drive the paved road until it dead ends and start the hike from there.

2 months ago

Good for hiking, family gathering and must visit.

2 months ago

Did this in 3hr 25min, but started at the second parking lot on the way in, I believe it was 12mi round trip.

I run and hike quite often, but the last 2mi to the Overlook got me huffing and puffing.

Beautiful hike on the way up, but like others have said the second half is just a fire road.

2 months ago

sore. so very very sore.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful woods, friendly trails and lovely waterfalls made for a enjoyable hike on 10+ miles in 5 hours.

If you are new to this park - Poison oaks are abound so cover yourself well. The road in has lots of pot holes so drive accordingly.

5 months ago

West Ridge Trail never disappoints. This single track trail is in near perfect condition since the CCC’s recent efforts. The setting is beautiful second and third growth redwood forest interspersed with coastal mixed oak woodland. This park manages to feel moist and full of life even in the driest seasons. Really shady, and moderate incline for the most part. Only one exposed part of the loop toward the last stretch of WRT. I hiked this as a 14 mile loop in 4 and a half hours at a steady pace with few breaks and it felt pretty easy. Such gorgeous views of Monterey Bay and Capitola/Santa Cruz from Sand Point Overook. Watch for ticks and bikers. As with most state parks, I love this one most on the weekday mornings, as that is when it is most quiet. Aptos Fire Road on the return is just as beautiful and well-maintained, but it is just that, a fire road. The sound of running water is a joy to walk to, and there are some cool historical points with info about the logging industry in the area and life in that time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lots of different trails to explore here for a fairly easy hike. Not a lot of traffic, lush greenery and allows dogs. If you cross the bridge and follow the trail back you can find a rope to swing on which is super fun!

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Beautiful hike! Lots of trees and shade. I gave it a four starts because some trails were blocked by knocked off trees and parking area is really small. Other than that, I strongly recommend.

hiking
Friday, April 28, 2017

Hiked from the parking area before the iron bridge. Started with an unmarked trail to the right (south) of the parking area for a warm-up loop hike before continuing up the Aptos Creek Fire Rd to Sand Point Overlook, before returning along the West Ridge Trail with minor reroute for added distance. total hike was 16 miles with 2,665 Ft of elevation gain. The Forest of Nisene Marks is a beautiful redwoods forest, with only a few bike riders and even less hikers, so you can here yourself think, the birds' singing, and the ocean breeze running through the forest canopy. Very pleasurable hike but I still have more trails to explore in this forest.

hiking
Friday, March 31, 2017

A dog walk from the end of the Aptos Road parking area. Sadly the app does not do a good job of identifying the connecting trails that are NOT dog friendly. The Aptos Road is very nice but busy. Once again we came to signs at all other trials that dogs were not permitted. We went rogue again and uses the West Ridge Trail which was awesome. No complaints from the few hikers we saw and the few bikers were nothing but gracious. I'm sure we were risking a significant fine but it was worth it! West Ridge is highly recommended!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Quiet and beautiful

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Great trail if the weather agrees

Friday, July 01, 2016

Great but prepare for poison oak!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beautiful trail running! My dog liked it too :)

hiking
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

we went to Five Finger Falls Sunday March 28 2016. It was beautiful. The trail was block with trees and land slides but we loop through it and made the 17 miles loop. Lots of water at the falls.

hiking
Saturday, March 05, 2016

This hike has great views along the Aptos Trail, not so much when you're on Aptos Creek Fire Rd. If you haven't tried this trail while its raining, I suggest you do. Not for the feint of heart though as going either direction on the Aptos Trail will be hard without hiking sticks.

hiking
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Great location for families with young kids. If you like hiking in the shade, this is the place for you.

hiking
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Excellent trail with great views. Side trails also are very fun for experienced hikers with great access to the creek!

cross country skiing
Monday, November 30, 2015

We did the hike to the Historic Bridge Site. It's a loop which works out to be about 7.4 mile. Much of it is a narrow footpath high above the forest floor but you also go down and hike along the creek for part of the last leg of the hike. Nice combination of up and down. I would rate it as moderate, as there are a few tricky places that are quite steep. Really beautiful!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This park is fantastic in its peace and serenity. I loved this hike/run. We started on the loma prieta trail to Big Stump Gap trail then.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Nice park and the trails are ok. Not really a destination hike though. It's the same scenery most the time, especially if you walk on the fire road.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good - Beautiful scenery and easy trails. Bad - completely useless map available at the ranger station and the trails are not well marked. Very easy to walk in in circles for hours on end in the interconnected loops. There's also several trails that are not on the map. This made getting lost almost s certainty.

mountain biking
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Great for biking and running. Shaded area.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beautiful park, shaded and trails are well marked. I would recommend this hike.

mountain biking
Monday, November 18, 2013

My wife and I rode our mountain bikes here. It was the most beautiful redwood tree forest scenery we ever saw.

hiking
Monday, July 08, 2013

Great little place for an overnight tune-up hike, which is what I used it for in preparation for a longer trip to Yosemite. The West Ridge trail is ho-hum, but the trail along Bridge Creek is very pretty and Maple Falls is well worth the walk. The backpacker campground is nice but there is no water nearby, so you have to pack it in.

hiking
Monday, June 25, 2012

great hike, beautiful scenic trails, redwoods, streams and bridges.

mountain biking
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Awesome fun trail that connects to Sawpit and Braille trails for single track fun. You need to be better than a beginner to bike this because the downhill single track is somewhat challenging (especially for an avg biker). Gotta bike this!!

mountain biking
Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of my favorite places in the world. Some great hiking and awesome mountain biking. While there are a few places with some limited single-track, most of the biking consists of the main fire road. From the entrance of the park you won't think much of the ride. 20 minutes into it you'll find yourself at the base of "the incline". It climbs 900 feet in less than a mile and can absolutely kick your butt if you're not prepared. Conquer the incline and you'll eventually make your way up to sand point. This makes the trip worth it. You're "on top of the mountain" with a view that looks out across the entire Monterey Bay. No for the fun...the ride back down the incline! It took an hour to get to our destination and took 15 minutes to get back down the mountain. You'll definitely see some other riders and hikers, but nothing too busy. Awesome ride and definitely worth while.

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