West Cliff Drive

EASY 179 reviews

West Cliff Drive is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Cruz, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.0 miles Elevation Gain: 68 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

hiking

road biking

scenic driving

walking

bird watching

running

beach

paved

views

Explore over two miles of wheelchair accessable coastline. These trails are multi-use and available for walking, cycling, skating, beach. This is a great place for a sunset stroll. Two miles of wheelchair accessable "mixed use bicycle path" along the scenic Santa Cruz Coast. Path covers visual and physical access to: Surfing, cycling, skating, walking, tidepools, beach, kite flying, fishing, frisbee, sponge and skim boarding, dogs playing on beach and open fields, sea otters, seals, whales and dolphins and monarch butterflies in season, pelicans, cormorants, seagulls and shorebirds, crabs, sea anenomes, lighthouse, and all ages of people out enjoying themselves. Within walking distance of one end is the Boardwalk and municipal pier, the other end has Natural Bridges state park. Moderate temperature in summer. Bring your camera, binoculars, and whole family including your dog (leash required on path but not on Lighthouse beach). Probably one of the most densely packed nature walks and recreation area in Santa Cruz.

‘Tis is a hike that’s more of an easy walk unless you challenge yourself and run it. The trail follows the waters edge drive to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. One can wear running shoes or trail runners. The scenery was beautiful and the earlier the less crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

The views, vibe and dog friendly environment is why I loved this hike. Although it’s not really a hike but a nice walk to the beach. If you can watch dogs play all day like I can this destination is a must with your pooch. There were about 20 dogs off leash at the beach ( against the signage posted) but they all behaved themselves even the owners. My dog had a great time!!

walking
no shade
2 months ago

This is not a trail. It’s a paved sidewalk next to a busy road. The scenic view of the coast makes it a popular and, therefore, crowded walkway.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful scenery but too many people. There's better walks like beer can beach in Aptos, you can walk for miles....

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful walk. Perfect hangout with your dog! Atlas’ first beach trip!

hiking
4 months ago

Spectacular ocean view and great people watching. Officially legal beach for off-leash dogs at Mitchell's Cove. Unofficial dog use at It's Beach.

6 months ago

always a good walk with the pup. crowded today

hiking
7 months ago

Yeah this is a sidewalk, not a trail. It’s very crowded with people bumbling around slowly taking pictures, chatting, etc... definitely not ideal for running.

recorded West Cliff Drive

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

Next time I will park at Lighthouse Field parking lot so I do the uphill portion on the outbound leg

hiking
7 months ago

Ppl Ppl P P P

Good weather today. Hardly any crowd. A little windy but good views as always.

hiking
10 months ago

Dog friendly and amazing views! Very pretty

walking
10 months ago

Always beautiful, ever changing ocean views. Walk this walk frequently.

Mon Nov 12 2018

most beautiful but sometimes too crowded and unfortunately cars

Mon Jul 30 2018

love the view, is very relaxing

walking
Sat Jul 07 2018

One the most beautiful area to walk, run or bike.

Sat Jun 02 2018

Somewhat crowded, beautiful none the less.

hiking
Mon May 14 2018

5/14/2018 I’m house sitting nearby and had to take advantage of having a flat, beautiful place to skate. It was really nice, but it was crowded for a Monday, and obviously on Saturday when I came with my dog it was packed. Also, a lot of the paved walkway is rough for boards that don’t have the right wheels. The street is good though, and on a weekday there aren’t too many cars, especially up closer to Natural Bridges. There is also a beach along the way where you can let your dog off leash before 10 am and after 4 pm. You’re basically in the heart of town here, close to the west side and downtown, so it is good for families with older or younger members. Riding bikes would be fun for kids. The wharf and boardwalk are at the south end and on the north end there is the monarch butterfly preserve, Antonelli Pond and Moore Creek Preserve. Lots to do.

running
Fri Apr 20 2018

peaceful, relaxing running path. great views and a few contact highs make for a nice morning run.

walking
Sat Feb 24 2018

Easy relaxing paved path along the beach/coast for running/walking

Sat Jan 13 2018

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.

walking
Sun Sep 17 2017

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
Tue Sep 05 2017

Easy path with some incredible views!

walking
Thu Jun 29 2017

hiking
Mon Jun 19 2017

Stunning views and easy, flat walk.

Wed Apr 26 2017

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
Sun Mar 12 2017

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
Sun Sep 18 2016

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

Mon Jul 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
Sun Jun 19 2016

Nice walk!

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