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Wilder Ridge Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Cruz, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 7.7 mi Elevation gain 882 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

No dogs

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (74)
Photos (399)
Recordings (66)
Completed (135)
Jennifer Eneriz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 15, 2020
HikingOver grown

The reason I gave this trail a 3 and not a 4 is because of it being overgrown throughout much of it. It being overgrown meant lots of ticks and poison oak to dance around on the trail which wasn’t so pleasant. However, it is a fairly easy to moderate trail in its difficulty and is peaceful. Lots of exposure with some comforting shady bits towards the beginning and end. Would recommend trying.

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Anne Frisbie
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
Hiking

Do not do this loop. First three miles counterclockwise is fine. Then you take a single track path that seems ok initially. About 1/2 to 1 mile in on that path, you will be walking past 1) a trailer home graveyard, 2) dumpster trash site, 3) abandoned farm equipment, & 4) a huge construction site. Swarms of birds will circle overhead, changing the hike into an Alfred Hitchcock horror story . From mile 3-5.5, you likely won’t see anyone else (as few are dumb enough to do this hike), though you may pass some homeless sleeping shelters. You are on a narrow single track from mile 3 to 6.5.

Leeann Koga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2019
HikingRocky
Ben Rumsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2019
Mountain bikingOver grown
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Liz Tovar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2019
Hiking

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

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Marie M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 10, 2018
Hiking

The dump stuff some other reviews mentioned didn’t really seem to be an issue for me. No trash in the trail, and nothing visually that awful; just looked a little commercial-y for maybe five minutes. What DOES suck though is that a good chunk of the trail is only wide enough for people to walk single file... and yet, cyclists are allowed. If the trail gets that narrow, and with poison oak on the sides for a good part of it, you really can’t have bikes allowed on there. Especially when there are so many steep downhill parts that they come barreling down. Other reviews warned about this, and they’re 100% correct. Shade is pretty decent once you hit the loop bit- I’d say 50/50 shade/ totally exposed. Despite my rating, I probably won’t be doing this again because the issue with bikes really was that awful.

Alfredo Gonzalez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2018

First time riding this trail offered a bit of everything - fun. We didn’t ride exact trail, we improvised as we went but stuck to the trail at the end. We had lots of fun going up hills, downhills, single track, and terrain was fun a bit of everything. Totally recommend it to beginners.

Toby B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2018
Hiking

I like Wilder a lot, and this loop is so beautiful in many ways, but the dump as you’re descending the ridge on the north side of the loop is kind of a buzzkill: trash strewn along fence, smells, noise, etc. Also, this is a big mountain biking spot, so I have to be extra careful if I want to let my dog off leash on the main part of the loop because people can come down pretty fast. I like it best on weekday mornings when it is most quiet. The views are spot on and there are great wildflowers, but it’s worth it to add in the Enchanted Loop to get more diversity of environment, but I’m just a person who likes forest settings best!

Justin Camp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2017
Mountain biking

Beautiful!

T Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2017
Hiking

Good uphill climb counter-clockwise. Recommend not doing the full loop, after passing the enchanted loop turnoff, the trail is covered in poison oak for about a mile and half...not very enjoyable. We went on a cloudy day, so the view wasn't anything, but could see how on a clear day, it would be pretty.

Jessica Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2017

My favorite hike in the bay area. I like the mix of mountain and sea elements and the diversity of runners, walkers and mountain bikers. Something for everyone.

David Huang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2017
Hiking

Ideal place to mountain biking where you can oversee the ocean . Parking at wilder ranch parking lot , walking through historic farm houses and tunnel under highway 1, then you are on the trail north of highway 1. It takes 40 minutes before you can get in the shades in hills , so prepare hat and enough water are essential .

Sohil Veljee
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2017
Hiking

Highly unmaintained at this time of the year. Full of bugs and horse waste. Will try it again in Spring.

Ciara Barsotti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2017
Hiking

Gorgeous loop! The full loop is a little overgrown on the back end along the fence, so be prepared for poison oak and thistles if you decide to do the full loop, otherwise the Zane Gray shortcut is lovely! Be prepared for a steep incline either way!

Vanessa Reed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 12, 2017
Hiking

We hiked this trail in early April. The wildflowers are gorgeous, and this trail gives you everything, meadows, ocean views, wooded areas. The downside was that it wasn't very well marked. We got lost a few times. However, we would certainly hike it again, now that we are more familiar with it!

AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 26, 2017
Hiking

Green open grass land wide trails beautiful area. We got a little lost because one of the markers fell over. So our loop was a little under 6 miles. By the way, access to trail is through the preserve ranch area in the back and through a tunnel. A few folks got lost and kept going. No sign that mentions this ...

Kaitlyn Kirkpatrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2016
Mountain biking
First to Review

My boyfriend and I had a blast riding this train! Will definitely come back

Graciela Lourenco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking
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Jane Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking
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Hannah Pettee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking
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John Goudey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking
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Caroline Guardino
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Walking
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Kimyetta Barron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking
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Michael Whitcomb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2020
Hiking
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amy domingo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
Hiking
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Jane Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2020
Hiking
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Anne Gregory
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2020
Hiking
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Catherine M A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking
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Laetitia Benador
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 25, 2020
Hiking
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Christine Furlanic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2020
Hiking
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