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.


nature trips





wild flowers

no dogs

trail running

mountain biking

dogs on leash

kid friendly




horseback riding


Santa Cruz, California Map

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!

4 days ago

Nice loop trail that takes you by horse stables. If you take the counter-clockwise loop, it is an easier grade to go up. There is a massive slope on the stretch of the loop that parallels the creek. Great view and nice wildflowers. Quick hike.

mountain biking
7 days ago

A little challenging for beginners like me but I had a blast. It really is a nice trail.

mountain biking
21 days ago

Wilder Ranch has lots of trails, super fun.

25 days ago

This trail is through a Wilder Ranch Restricted Area Agricultural Zone. You are actually Not Supposed to be out there. The Ranchers will ask you to leave. Whoever made these maps obviously hasn't done their research. Not to mention which the fields are not organic and the dust is full of 70 years of spray residue in them. The north end borders private property and people end up wandering into it. Trespassers will be prosecuted.

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

1 month 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.

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

trail running
1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

Beautiful trail, i enjoyed finding the mushrooms :)

2 months ago

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

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