West Cliff Drive

EASY 76 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.

4.0 miles
68 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

scenic driving


trail running




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.

13 days ago

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

1 month ago

Somewhat crowded, beautiful none the less.

2 months ago

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.

trail running
3 months ago

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

4 months ago

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

6 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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
10 months ago

Easy path with some incredible views!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stunning views and easy, flat walk.

Wednesday, April 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.

Sunday, March 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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

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

Monday, July 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!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nice walk!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Beautiful walk along the beach! Not a hiking trip more of walking and enjoying the ocean view

Saturday, February 20, 2016

This is basically a sidewalk along a street. Not a hike

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beautiful coast trail

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A little crowded at lunchtime, but still worth it for the amazing views.

scenic driving
Saturday, March 14, 2015

A nice drive or walk along the ocean. We walked to the lighthouse and saw some sessions. Easy and peaceful.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Simply beautiful!!! Took many people's advice and started my hike super early... Around 9am to beat the crowds.

scenic driving
Thursday, April 03, 2014

We drove this after spending the night in Santa Cruz. Very pretty. Stopped and watched surfers near the surfers museum.

Friday, August 03, 2012

So very pretty. Very crowded but worth it for the views

Monday, May 07, 2012

Regardless of the crowds, the beauty of the Pacific is unrivaled here. Easy walk to Natural Bridges State Beach. Lots of things to look for along the way. Surfers catching sometimes giant waves near the lighthouse, surfing museum, sea lions, seabirds, and have spotted some dolphins swimming along the coastline. Great landscape and powerful crashing waves. I'll be back for more.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Once again I was unprepared when I attempted to walk this trail. I assumed I would just walk up West Cliff Dr. and take a 2 mile hike through Lighthouse Field State Park. I was wrong, I started from Beach St. & West Cliff Dr. it was 2.81 miles to reach Natural Bridges State Park and then from Natural Bridges State Park to where I finished West Cliff Dr. & Pacific Ave was 2.93 miles. I would say this is the most beautiful & scenic walk along the Pacific Ocean I have been on.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean but easy and crowded.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Walking from Natural bridges up to the end of the wharf and back again is approx 6.4 miles, lots to see and distract you making this a pretty rewarding walk.. start late morning, soup witht he sea lions and back in a few hours !

Friday, October 22, 2010

Love this spot! Its great for me and my dog. My dog especially enjoys some beach time while I enjoy and appreciate the views while walking along.

16 days ago

25 days ago

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