Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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.

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. :)

mountain biking
1 month ago

I have mountain biked on the upper portion of this trail (expect the ocean part). The western side of the trail, Baldwin Loop, was unmaintained. The grass was as tall as myself, and covered everything -- you could barely see the trail. At some point, the grass turned into thisle, also as tall as myself! I had to unmount and carefully walk through all that thisle, but it was actually impossible to not get scratched.

Also, since you are basically touching the grass with all your body, you will be full of ticks after. You cannot avoid them.

I do not recommend going on the western side of the loop. Technically it is not a hard trail, but plowing through tall grass full of ticks is no fun.

The eastern side of the trail is much better. At some point you do cross another grass field, but the grass is not taller than knee high, and there is some room so that you can avoid touching the grass.

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.

2 months ago

Awesome hike

2 months ago

beautiful places

Great coastal walk and serene walk through the redwoods.

hiking
4 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!

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

Breathtaking views

trail running
6 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.

I like this place a lot for what it is. Obviously is and feels heavily trodden, has a lot of human history, but it’s a great green space to escape to in the heart of town, and it is undeniably beautiful with it’s mix of riparian habitats, open prairie, coastal chaparral, and second growth coastal redwood. As SC has a heavy mtn biking culture, every trail has specific designations for whether it can be utilized by bikers, hikers, dog walkers, and equestrians. Lookout Trail is NOT dog friendly, and if you are doing this loop as it is done in the title with a pooch, you will have to turn north on the western edge of the large prairie after Fern Trail onto BrayshawTrail to connect back to Spring trail. At the risk of a $70 ticket, and staying on trails which forbade bikers, I let my well-behaved dog off leash for the whole loop. I parked on Golf Club Dr., picked up a map, and took Lower Meadow Trail to the club house; then Brayshaw up to Spring Trail. You can also cut through the prairie for a wonderful open feeling. My dog had a friendly off leash encounter with a confident coyote on the way back at sunset in the middle of the big prairie; this was fun and exciting for the both of us, but dog owners/parents of young children beware, there is a large, active, and fearless coyote population here.

walking
6 months ago

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

walking
6 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.

Great balance of forest, field and view of Santa Cruz.

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