Explore the most popular trails near Santa Cruz with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

views

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

wild flowers

trail running

no dogs

kid friendly

mountain biking

dogs on leash

wildlife

beach

river

Santa Cruz, California Map
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hiking
1 day ago

Not a trail per se, but always an enjoyable walk nonetheless. Plenty of ocean and marine life, particularly sea lions and sea stars

This trail is a lot of fun for mountain biking. There is a lot of uphill biking but going downhill was awesome. The trails are a bit narrow sometimes so be careful.

hiking
7 days ago

Great scenic trail for leashed dogs

Serious uphill climb on the way back! A great workout, beautiful trail

Fun trail for leashes dogs

Beautiful with marine layer. Overlooking bluffs, pelicans on beach, and seals on rocks. Took our Cub Scout pack, everyone enjoyed the trail. We are aged from 5-38. $10 to park.

Some confusing parts but great trail one of my new favorite

Loved this route! Only a handful of other hikers and I saw zero trash along the way. This hike made our vacation. Definitely steep areas as well as some cautious navigating around logs. Trail looked maintained and well taken care of. Huge beautiful redwoods and a cool stream to dip toes into. It doesn’t get any better.

hiking
off trail
10 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Started at 8:30am, parking for free (only on weekends) in the lot right where the trail head begins. This was a great hike- pretty flat feeling overall and beautiful, varied views! About 3 minutes into the walk there is a tree that has fallen on the trail. You can either climb over it or go to the right on the trial around it. Tons of intersecting trails, so you’ll want to be careful that you stick to the right one although since there’s so many trails, you can easily detour and get back on track. We saw lots of mountain bikers and not too many hikers. In the morning it is beautiful and shaded, but be careful as the shade depends a lot on where the sun is, so the afternoon steals most of the shade away, making it a little more difficult on the way back! We completed this trail with breaks in 7hrs 10mins.

hiking
15 days ago

Great moderate hiking trail up to the enchanted forest with ferns and redwoods.

mountain biking
over grown
17 days ago

Went up for the weekend to escape the Central Valley heat. A great hike with perfect weather. A lot of bikers on the trail, but all you do is step aside for them. Beautiful scenery and great walks through the woods.

hiking
19 days ago

Great views!

AllTrails Offsite

Great views, mostly for mountain biking although hikers are welcome.

hiking
20 days ago

no dogs allowed

Really great trail, just be prepared for a lot of steep hiking!

hiking
26 days ago

This trail does not allow dogs. We drove out and realized this once we arrived. If you are looking for a dog friendly trail, do not come here.

Walked up to Strawberry Beach , overlook trail over grown along with bath to Strawberry Beach.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was great. A lot of trash and homeless shelters. A lot of mountain biking traffic on a Sunday afternoon made it less pleasant to hike with dogs.

on West Cliff Drive

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

The West / left side of the hike was much more enjoyable than the East. It was a nice trail through the trees and meadow. The East side was a dirt road. We'll do an in-and-out next time, rather than the loop.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this beach. Surfer spot. Tide pools I suspect in am/pm are amazing but most of the exposed ones mid day are sadly dead due to being unprotected and visited so much in last 25yrs. Keep it beautiful and remember to pick up your trash. Not for inexperienced swimmers, tide is strong. Ideal spot to take lazy afternoon nap and explore surrounding trails or picnic with friends.

This is a moderate trail that can be tricky but if your looking for a private swimming hole, this is it. Its a moderate climb down so be prepared for hike back up. Not super little kid friendly but 8 and up could easily complete it.

Such different scenery throughout the hike- very peaceful and not crowded at all (I did go on the 4th though). Not smooth ground surface, was a mix of hard rocks, sand and dirt so definitely a workout. I started counter clockwise and would recommend it. Really pretty- lots of butterflies and some cool views. It was 8.5 miles though and not the 7 this states.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

BIG MISTAKE NOT READING THE REVIEWS PRIOR TO THIS TRAIL. there are in deed a ton of ticks and i made the big mistake of wearing shorts and a tank top. like the reviews before it it’s the first mile that’s like this: over grown with tons of nettle and ticks! do not bring your dogs, do not bring your kids. the loop portion of the trail was quite nice but i saw random bare human foot prints so idk what was goin on there. bugs or not, this was a hike that i wanted to end a mile in...

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