Explore the most popular beach 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.

7 days ago

I grew up in this area and I feel shocked by how beautiful it is Everytime I walk this trail

on West Cliff Drive

21 days ago

Somewhat crowded, beautiful none the less.

Amazing views! However I recommend parking on the highway because parking costs $10. Dogs aren’t allowed on the property. There are signs warning of mountain lions. We didn’t see any of them, but we saw three different mounds of feces that clearly belonged to a mountain lion.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

This isn't much of a hike on its own, but it's a great way to end a hike at Wilder. After doing the Enchanted Loop, I headed down to 4 Mile Beach via this trail. The beach is a great place to relax after a long hike.

trail running
2 months ago

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

walking
2 months ago

Touristy walk for sure but hey I was a New Yorker in Santa Cruz for the first time!! As a big fan of the "Lost Boys" I was super stoked to walk around where a portion of the movie was filmed. Stayed in a hotel right on Beach St and left the sliding glass door open all night so I could listen to the sea lions under the wharf.

walking
3 months ago

This is a crowded, touristy part of town, as it is right next to the Boardwalk and loads of hotels, but that is normal for a wharf. This is a great place to see wildlife Iike sea lions and sea birds. I wouldn’t recommend any of the restaurants, as they are mostly tourist traps, but there are telescopes at the end so you can look out over the bay and see Monterey on a clear day, so it is worth a walk to the end. Pair it with a drive or stroll on West Cliff and Cowell’s Beach, or a walk on the San Lorenzo River levee and stroll downtown. You’re close to lots of classic Santa Cruz spots here.

hiking
3 months ago

FAVORITE. Surely breathtaking views! It’s an easy trail, but let’s just enjoy the views.

walking
3 months ago

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

An easy trail - well worn and wide. Mainly overlooking cliffs, but there are a few spots where you can easily descend to a beach. As far as California coastline goes, the views aren't spectacular but just okay. Seems like a nice couples or family outdoor time kind of place.

Easy hike with great access to the ocean. Could easily push a jogging stroller on this trail. Busy but not overcrowded. Limited parking on site.

Stunning sights, a nice walk with a few stopping points for who wants to read or just take a break.
Was very windy the day I went. Also very busy.
Awesome wildlife sightings (birds and sea mammals).
There’s a $10 fee to park if you go all the way to the Park itself - park on the road right before it if you can!

Beautiful! Wonderful scenery. My only complaint is that the trail is not moderate, it is very easy.

Breathtaking views

on West Cliff Drive

5 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.

trail running
5 months ago

Really beautiful path along the cliffs and nearby agricultural area.

Nice easy hike, minus the end. It was a bit of a steep climb to get to the beach that was hard with kids. Otherwise, pretty views and information/educational boards along the way.

It's an easy but beautiful hike. We even have the treat of seeing wild Monarch monarch butterflies nesting.

walking
5 months ago

Took the trail few years back. Still remember the beautiful butter flies.

walking
5 months ago

Good walk. Beautiful ocean and marine wildlife views. It’s an easy walk. Not sure why it’s rated ‘moderate’.

It was a great hike but not marked well. I definitely went a different trail for part of it. Thank goodness I remembered that I had the app. The GPS saved us today. Bring snacks and water. A piece of advice- don’t start this hike late in the day. Made the mistake and had a bit of an adventure getting back to the car.

Free Parking along PCH! Beautiful hike! Bring a jacket? Nice chill air!

Not very well marked...thank God for this ap! It was spot on. The views are wonderful!

Very easy trail with great view of sunset

Great view. good for birding

I like the cliffs and birds there

Easy day hike with a great view of the ocean.

walking
9 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.

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