Explore the most popular river 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

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

Great trail. all routes are cleared from fallen trees, and gps matches the trail very good for most of the trail. enjoyed it very much.

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.

Really awesome and not busy at all. At one point the trail is overwhelmed by fallen trees. That’s why there is a warning sign at the start of the trail saying that the trail is closed at one spot due to a landslide. Really not a big deal. Just climb over the trees (the sign about the trail being closed at that particular spot is a few years old).

Don’t take this hike in the winter or early spring. We were prepared for a 6 mile hike but at the end of the loop, when we were supposed to cross the river and climb the hill back to the car, we found that the river was way too high to cross. What was supposed to be a 6 mile hike turned into a 10 mile hike. Also, this hike has you walking on train track (not pleasant) for a long time and then crossing a trestle. Wouldn’t you know it, the train came when we were right in the middle. This is a beautiful area but don’t take this hike.

hiking
5 months ago

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

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!

Don't get me wrong...the scenery is beautiful no matter where you go. I had to give this 1 star because the trails were so poorly marked and washed out that we never actually made it to most of the hike. We spent the whole time following random trails that went nowhere. We are experienced hikers so we still had fun. No trail maps either. Bummer.

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

Breathtaking views

Very beautiful. Lots of fallen trees right now near the creek, but relatively easy to scramble over.

trail running
7 months ago

Really beautiful path along the cliffs and nearby agricultural area.

Beautiful trail, i enjoyed finding the mushrooms :)

walking
7 months ago

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

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

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike - Trailhead easy to find - a lot of parking first thing in the AM - Great redwoods - crossing the first few streams were easy however after mile 5 it became a little more pf a challenge. You take Ox Trail on the backend. You then take a left to go down to the San Lorenzo River however the left isnt well marked at all. Crossing the River was a little harder on this part of the hike in that the water was up to my upper thigh.... and cold. I will come back but skip the loop

Great view. good for birding

I like the cliffs and birds there

Easy day hike with a great view of the ocean.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike! Very quiet trail. The fork leading to Big Rock Hole is a bit misleading as there is a tree laying over the trail. Just climb over it and keep going! Beautiful place.

There is a 10 dollar fee to enter this ranch. But its worth taking the walk on this scenic walk along the coastal line. You see blue green waters, curious sea lions that come take a look at you and crazy long plankton that dances to the waves. In between these cliffs you see small beaches that are venice style. Go for it.

Beautiful hike!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nice hike not hard at all. this hike any one can do. But the best part of this hike the whales. feel in love

walking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fun little train to walk, awesome views of the water and places to stop along the way. Also a real sealtropolis

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

We did this loop clockwise. The first 4-5 miles were gorgeous. The last couple were fine but with no variety and a lot of uphill (would be uphill either way as the trail descends in both directions from Big Ben).

Trail markers left something to be desired; however gps is great on this app and I checked several times to make sure we were still on course.

FALL CREEK IS WASHED OUT. You can reconnect to the trail by walking along the fallen trees in the river. The water was not high, so this was easy and fun.

The lime kilns were really cool! Glad we could see them on this hike.

Load More