Looking for a great trail near Aptos, California? AllTrails has 27 great hiking trails, running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Willowbrook Park or Aptos Village County Park. Ready for some activity? There are 14 moderate trails in Aptos ranging from 1.7 to 19.9 miles and from 114 to 2,437 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

walking

wild flowers

running

kid friendly

wildlife

no dogs

dogs on leash

mountain biking

river

waterfall

Aptos, California Map
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hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
5 days ago

Lots of shade. Couple of small waterfall. Some off trails when crossing the creek.

running
bugs
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
14 days ago

shaded trail.

Definitely a gem of a trail. There were more joggers and cyclist on the main pave road, but once you’re on the trail, just a few hikers. I made the mistake of parking my vehicle at the lot shown on AllTrails. Do not, I repeat, do not park here. Keep driving. There’s a closer parking lot if you go to the dead end of the road. Anyhow, nice trail. It was mostly shaded, had some wet, soggy & washout areas, creek crossings, and rock scrambling. The fall was still cascading beautifully.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Easy uphill fire road

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Nice trail. A few free parking spots at trailhead vs the $8 you have to pay from other entrances.

hiking
1 month ago

Combined with lower portion of Terrace trail this makes for a 4.3 hike with a small loop at the top and a bit more climbing! Requires two creek crossings, easy when creek is low

mountain biking
fee
1 month ago

Long and fun trail for family's. Recommend mosquito repellent.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
closed
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

Yes, the trail is closed. However, if you are up for a challenge, it is an epic hike. A GPS is strongly recommended since landslides and washed out parts make it easy to get lost. Ropes have replaced a bridge and this is where you need to be careful. The price is the hike more than the waterfall. If you park at the last parking, it is only a 10 mile hike.

Awesome easy trail but long enough for a good hike

See Alanna's review below, except I'd like to add that this forest is sooo beautiful and lush and scenic! Lots of tree cover and shade the whole time. Not very many other humans once you get a few miles in. Plenty of water flowing in the rivers to filter if needed, so don't need to carry more than 2-3 liters if backpacking. There were no bugs which was glorious. Parking is free overnight outside the park on the road leading in. 24 miles total if you park here and walk. Will be doing this one again soon!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

3 miles down and 3 miles back up a picturesque stretch of wide sandy beach.

hiking
closed
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

Did this trail in two days which is NOT allowed. So the backpacking/camping description on here is in accurate. The camp ground 7 miles in is closed, but I was still able to make it a no trace backpacking experience with no trouble. There’s no overnight parking. So hiking from the main road is needed. Not saying to break the rules, just make sure you’re aware of what’s allowed and be respectful of the trail if you do decide to camp. The falls is a great place to take a dip. The Aptos creek trail is closed, but it has ropes and is not too challenging. It came to about 24 miles and had some good incline exercise.

Beautiful hike. There was a wasp warning but I didn’t have any problems. The last 1/2 mile or so there’s a lot of creek crossing back and forth and a few rocks or fallen trees to scale but not bad at all. Seriously just a great hike in a beautiful place. (And the waterfall is fantastic)

very shaded and a lot of diversity. I recommend going count clockwise. the slope of the incline is harder but it is a shorter distance. the way down going counterclockwise is more of a bike path so watch out for bikes coming through. the path is not very Rocky but it is narrow so you can't walk side-by-side. this hike has beautiful smells and really diverse landscape

running
1 month ago

I'm a clumsy trail runner, and some portions of the trail were too narrow or steep to really run. I would pick a different trail for kids younger than 6 or so, but otherwise a great trail for hiking. The trees are definitely beautiful

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