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.

Scenic, touristy spot with many shops and restaurants. Walk to the end and look through wharf to see tons of sea lions! You'll hear them from a mile away.

We like to hike here with the kids every New Years Day. One year we hiked through a cold rain and didn’t have the right gear but it was pretty nonetheless. The next year was clear and gorgeous. It’s a great walk in any weather.

Heavy foot traffic but a must see section of the Santa Cruz area

Love this breezy trail. Fern cove beach so beautiful!

Pretty cool views and seals!

Nice beach but lots of sand flies. used to be 3 arches, now only one remains

I did this loop based on the high rating and the overall length of the hike and was VERY disappointed. I’m shocked it’s gotten such rave reviews as it is primarily walking on wide fire roads, and the coastal trail is more like walking around produce fields and along the old railroad track. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, sadly. I’m glad to say I’ve visited the park, though. Hope others have a better experience.

love the view, is very relaxing

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful easy “hike”. Really a walk. Gorgeous secluded beaches. Entertaining sea lion colony. Well worth it.

I hiked on Friday and not many people there. I customized the trail, i used the lower part of wilder ridge loops trails to horse trails, had to walked on the side of highway 1 for a bit since there are private vegetations across to reach to ohlone bluff trail. For the most part its not a shady trail, a lot of poison oaks at the lower wilder ridge loop trail. Recommending long pant, shade and water. Its an easy trail for the most part. In land trails are small but well marked.However, gps in this apps is so helpful.

hiking
3 months ago

I go on this hike every time I'm in Santa Cruz. The views are amazing and the hike is easy. Only bummer is that it can sometimes be pretty windy.

walking
3 months ago

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

Absolutely gorgeous! If you go down to the beaches with access points from the trail make sure and check out the caves. :)

4 months 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

4 months 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
5 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.

hiking
5 months 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
6 months ago

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

walking
6 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
7 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
7 months ago

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

walking
7 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

9 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.

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