This easy trail winds through coastal grasslands and bluffs.
Whales and dolphins are often visible from this trail in the spring and late fall.
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Elevation change: Mostly flat
Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
Trail surface: Packed dirt
Best season: All year
Managing agency: CA State Parks
Parking lot location: Click here for directions
Great for both hikers and bikers, this coastal path offers stunning views of cliffs. You’ll also see rocky outcroppings studded with sea lions, secluded beaches and more. Keep watch for seagulls, pelicans and cormorants atop the rock formations.
While the trail sometimes veers inland toward farmland, it ultimately returns to the coastline. You can shorten this lengthy walk at several turnaround points, like 4 Mile Beach or Strawberry Beach. The trail is level and easy to navigate, making it ideal for hikers of diverse ages and abilities.
Located five minutes from Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch State Park offers a diverse array of landscapes and trails. This includes the well-preserved historic buildings at Wilder Ranch itself. If you’re a history buff, check out exhibits highlighting the late 19th-century dairy ranch!