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

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(141)
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Aptos Creek and West Ridge Trail Loop to Top of the Incline and Sand Point Overlook is a 14.9 mile heavily 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.

Length 14.9 mi Elevation gain 2,122 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities

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

Park at the Entrance Station

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (141)
Photos (626)
Recordings (121)
Completed (430)
Becs B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
Running

Almost no one on West Ridge and beautiful! Went up the fire road down the trail— no steeps, lots of flats. Lots of bikes and groups on the road the first few miles. Bikes whipping down the road kept me on my toes. Lots of shade. This was an 18 mile loop from town.

Lester Ma
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Nov 05 2019
RunningBugsOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out
Grace Clayton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Oct 26 2019
Hiking

Very shady and nice blend of up and down

View Grace's Recording
Colin Gardner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 18 2019
Running

The trail has no traffic.. one foot wide with poison oak on both sides in many places... make sure to bring soap and a wash clothe to wipe down after ...ascended single track and did the fireroad descent.... steep heavily rooted sections ... would be great on mountain bike .

Bobby Trail Legs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 08 2019
Hiking

Really Beautiful State Park. Hiking beneath the redwoods with a creek at your side, it’s hard not to love it! I recommend checking it out!

View Bobby's Recording
Amber Merideth
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HikingMuddy
View Amber's Recording
Brendan McInerney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 16 2019
Running

Plenty of technical and soft single track, heavy cover with the sun coming through the trees. Will be back

View Brendan's Recording
Bob B.
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Hiked this yesterday with Sierra Club group. There was fog in the morning, which burned off, in the afternoon. There were a few nice vistas, the overlook at the top the most impressive, with 2 benches. Lots of poison oak but I had gaitors. One guy got stung by a wasp, which we were informed are active, this time of year. It was a strenuous hike, with gradual inclines. Bring at least 2 quarts of water, as there is none there. Many steep dropoffs along path make it somewhat dangerous. Moist, cool sea breezes made it comfortable. No good stopping points, other than at the top.

cathryn Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 14 2018

Very shady green !

Shanna Bedesem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 09 2018
Hiking

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.

Hanah Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 19 2018

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.

Sathish Kumar
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Good for hiking, family gathering and must visit.

LUKE DARLING
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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.

patrick roche
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sore. so very very sore.

A C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 25 2018
Hiking

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.

Toby B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Feb 23 2018

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.

Brittany Busse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed 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!

Kelly Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 29 2017
Hiking

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.

Jacob Tsabar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 28 2017
Hiking

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.

Steve Hines
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 31 2017
Hiking

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!

scott spencer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jan 13 2017

Quiet and beautiful

scott spencer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 01 2017

Great trail if the weather agrees

Aaron Neff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 01 2016

Great but prepare for poison oak!

Amber Winter
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Beautiful trail running! My dog liked it too :)

Patti Moua
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Hiking

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.

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