Hiking near Santa Cruz, California

This list shows the most popular Hiking near Santa Cruz, California based on user reviews, votes, and mobile downloads. Plan your next trip with EveryTrail guides by downloading a guide to your mobile phone with the EveryTrail iPhone or Android app.
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Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, United States (17.3 miles away)
 
Difficult: 10.2 miles, Full day
Long hike through old-growth redwoods to shimmering waterfalls is a Bay Area favorite.

Redwoods and waterfalls make this the best hike in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you're up for 11 miles and a thousand feet of elevation gain spread out over a half-day, you'll be amazed to see the strain melt away in this land of the giants. Veteran Berry Creek Falls hikers recommend a counter-clockwise loop starting on the Sunset Trail,...
Natural Bridges State Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach
Santa Cruz, California, United States (2.1 miles away)
Between the ocean and the edge of Santa Cruz lies one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites in the west.

In this oasis between the ocean and the edge of Santa Cruz lies one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites in the western United States. The park also includes large coastal scrub meadows that in spring are filled with native wildflowers. In 1983, California State Parks made the monarch grove a natural preserve and sanctuary for these...
Natural Bridges State Beach Tidepools Exploration
Natural Bridges State Beach Tidepools Exploration
Santa Cruz, California, United States (2.4 miles away)
Moderate: 0.3 miles, 1-3 hours
The intertidal rocks at Natural Bridges State Beach are covered in life: sea stars, seaweeds, urchins, crabs and more.

The intertidal rocks at Natural Bridges State Beach are covered in life: sea stars, seaweeds, urchins, and crabs are just some of the area’s intertidal inhabitants. Visit them in their tidepool homes down in Santa Cruz, California.
Pacific to Redwoods Loop at Wilder Ranch State Park
Pacific to Redwoods Loop at Wilder Ranch State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park, California, United States (3.2 miles away)
 
Difficult: 12.0 miles, Full day
Hike from California's spectacular coastline to the fringe of its redwood forests on this beautiful loop.

Wilder Ranch State Park, just a few miles up Highway One from Santa Cruz, California, illustrates the region's remarkable biodiversity and throws in a few history lessons as well. This 12-mile loop samples most of what lies in store at the park: an amazing array of birds and wildflowers along California's jagged coastline, followed by a climb up...
Old Cove Landing Trail at Wilder Ranch
Old Cove Landing Trail at Wilder Ranch
Wilder Ranch State Park, California, United States (3.2 miles away)
 
Easy: 2.6 miles, 1-3 hours
Beautiful and blustery stroll along the Pacific Coast north of Santa Cruz, California

Sometimes all you need is an easy stroll by the ocean to refresh your spirits. This track along the Pacific Ocean north of Santa Cruz is one of the best places in California to do just that. You'll see gulls, geese, pelicans and other waterfowl and you might hear the distant bark of passing sea lions. If your timing's right, you might even spot...
Bluffs, a Beach Cave, and the Historic Ranch
Bluffs, a Beach Cave, and the Historic Ranch
Rapetti (historical), California, United States (3.2 miles away)
Easy: 3.5 miles, 1-3 hours
Wilder Ranch SP: A 1/2 day visit to the lower park.

This particular walk will give you just a taste of what Wilder Ranch has to offer. The park has 34 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails winding through 4000 acres of coastal terraces, valleys, and inland canyons. Wilder Ranch is an ongoing restoration project, and a very successful one. The walk focuses on the lower portions of the park,...
Graham Hill Trail
Graham Hill Trail
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, California, United States (3.9 miles away)
 
Moderate: 6.8 miles, Half day
A moderate hike from the oak scrub down to the San Lorenzo River in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

This is a moderate hike that will take you from the oak scrub along the Graham Hill trail, through the verdant Redwood jungle along the Powder Mill Creek and finally down to the San Lorenzo River bottom on the steep Buckeye trail. Most of the hike is sandy single track that holds up well even after a good wash, but as it's in the shade most of the...
Lime kilns at Fall Creek Unit
Lime kilns at Fall Creek Unit
Felton, California, United States (6.0 miles away)
 
Moderate: 6.7 miles, 1-3 hours
Visit the industrial legacy of the Bay Area amid a lush redwood forest north of Santa Cruz.

There's not much left of the 19th century lime processing industry of the San Francisco Bay Area. Processing lime -- a key ingredient in plaster and mortar -- was big business in the California boom years after the Gold Rush. New technology (namely Portland cement) made lime obsolete early in the 20th century, leaving the uncanny recuperative powers...
Big Ben Trail at Fall Creek Unit
Big Ben Trail at Fall Creek Unit
Henry Cowell Redwoods Statek Park, California, United States (6.0 miles away)
Difficult: 9.7 miles, Full day
Strenuous but rewarding hike to a remote old-growth redwood at Henry Cowell State Park

Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is one place Bay Area hikers would prefer to keep secret. It's shady and cool all summer, rarely crowded and contains some of the best redwood hiking in the region. This hike to Big Ben Trail at Fall Creek Unit is admittedly grueling with more than 3,000 feet of ascent spread over nearly 10 miles,...
Loma Prieta Grade Loop
Loma Prieta Grade Loop
Aptos, California, United States (7.1 miles away)
 
Easy: 4.1 miles, 1-3 hours
The Forest of Nisene Marks SP boasts an old Lumber Railroad Grade.

An introductory walk into the lower reaches of Nisene Marks. This trail is highly popular with the locals for an afternoon break. It's a good one for walks, jogging, and much of it is accessible to bikes. The trail also provide access to the trail heading deeper into this 10,000 acre state park. Dogs are OK on the fire road. Much of this particular...
Waterfall Tour of Uvas Canyon County Park
Waterfall Tour of Uvas Canyon County Park
Morgan Hill, California, United States (15.2 miles away)
 
Easy: 1.0 miles, 1-3 hours
The best easy hike south of California's Silicon Valley.

Uvas Canyon is a treasure tucked in the hills just beyond the suburban bedlam of Silicon Valley and the South Bay. Spring-fed creeks keep the water running all year -- albeit at a trickle in the summer and fall -- but winter is the best time to come, especially after a big storm blows in off the Pacific Ocean. Local hiking clubs often make Uvas their...
Limekiln Trail to Priest Rock and Kennedy Trail
Limekiln Trail to Priest Rock and Kennedy Trail
Lexington (historical), California, United States (15.9 miles away)
Difficult: 6.4 miles, Half day
One of the best scenic workouts in the Sierra Azul OSP around Los Gatos/San Jose!

The Open Space Preserve characterizes Sierra Azul as being rugged with steep terrain in the largest OSP in the San Jose/Los Gatos Area. This particular hike from the Limekiln trail head past the Lexington dam parking lot starts off gradually and continues uphill to the junction of Limekiln with Priest Rock. After the left on Priest Rock the real...
Mt Umunhum
Mt Umunhum
San Jose, California, United States (16.7 miles away)
 
Moderate: 7.9 miles, Half day
Woods Rd to Barlow Rd to Mt Umunhum Rd

This 7.9 mile / 1554 ft hike goes to Bald Mountain.The trail head is located at the intersection of Hicks road and Mt Umunhum road. Toilet facilities are available and there are usually maps available for the Sierra Azul Open Space.We started out on Woods road. The wide trail/road is a pleasant easy shaded hike for 2.8 miles. You do see some nice...
Buzzard's Roost at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Buzzard's Roost at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, United States (17.0 miles away)
 
Moderate: 4.5 miles, 1-3 hours
Great moderate hike to high point overlooking Big Basin and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This is one of the favorite Big Basin hikes: It starts on the legendary Redwood Trail near the park headquarters, heads over to Blooms Creek Campground and zigags up the Pine Mountain Trail -- leaving the redwood forest completely for awhile -- then culminating with a steep scramble to a rocky overlook. All in just over two miles one way. You can...
Meteor Trail at Big Basin Redwoods
Meteor Trail at Big Basin Redwoods
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, United States (17.3 miles away)
 
Moderate: 6.2 miles, Half day
This loop allows you to experience the majesty of ancient redwoods minus the crowds on more popular trails

Meteor Trail isn't on the way to any spectacular waterfalls, so it's a great place to wander among the giants at Big Basin Redwoods State Park without the crowds on the more popular trails. The Meteor Trail tracks Rodgers Creek up to Middle Ridge Road. In winter and early spring the creek burbles to life, making this one of the best riparian hikes...
Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, United States (17.3 miles away)
 
Easy: 0.7 miles, 1 hour or less
See some of the world's tallest trees along this easy, well-maintained hiking trail. A great hike for young kids.

The Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State Park loop offers easy access to some of the tallest and oldest Redwoods anywhere. The fact that the trail is flat and well-maintained, combined with the well-marked attractions along the way make this a perfect hike for families with young children. The main attractions along this trail are Father of...
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Boulder Creek, California, United States (17.3 miles away)
 
Bay Area's best place to see California's giant redwoods

You'll find countless options for exploring California's signature redwood forests, but few equal the grandeur of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Jose. Coast Redwoods, the world's tallest trees, thrive along a narrow, 450-mile strip of the Pacific Coast from Monterey, CA, to southern Oregon. The tallest are...
Redwood Creek Canyon
Redwood Creek Canyon
Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California, United States (17.5 miles away)
Easy: 1.9 miles, 1-3 hours
Skyline to the Sunset Trail-Dool Trail-Creeping Forest Trail Loop

Skyline to the Sea Trail-Dool Trail-Creeping Forest Trail Loop The park is about 65 miles south of San Francisco. From Santa Cruz travel approx 25 miles northwest via Highways 9 and 236 to reach Park Headquarters. Park Headquarters is 9 miles north of the town of Boulder Creek on State Hwy 236. All roads into Big Basin are curvy. This guide is...
Mining Sites at Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Mining Sites at Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Almaden Quicksilver County Park, California, United States (18.5 miles away)
 
Difficult: 6.9 miles, Half day
Remnants of San Jose's mercury mining history lie in the hills of Almaden Quicksilver Park.

This hike from Almaden Quicksilver County Park in southern San Jose tours the rusting remains of what once was one of the largest mercury-mining operations in the world. The Mine Hill region of the park includes English Camp, San Cristobal mine, a short section of mineshaft and the hulk of a large processing plant. Starting from the park's Mockingbird...
Año Nuevo
Año Nuevo
Pescadero, California, United States (18.3 miles away)
 
Easy: 4.5 miles, 1-3 hours
Elephant seal watching at Año Nuevo State Reserve; learn about fascinating sex lives of gigantic marine mammals

The elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Reserve are not pretty, but they live pretty well. In fact, they're living out one of the world's greatest escapes from extinction. Things have been getting better for the elephant seals of the Pacific Coast in the century since humans stopped slaughtering them: Their population has recovered from hundreds to...
Mayfair Ranch Trail at Rancho Canada del Oro
Mayfair Ranch Trail at Rancho Canada del Oro
Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve, California, United States (18.5 miles away)
Difficult: 8.0 miles, Half day
Strenuous hike promises great views of the rugged backcountry southwest of San Jose, California

Steep trails lead to excellent vistas at Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve, which covers a swath of the rugged foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The high ridges look out over much of Silicon Valley; on clear days you can see the white domes of the telescopes atop Mount Hamilton. It's difficult to imagine such rough country so close...
Mockingbird Loop - Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Mockingbird Loop - Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Almaden Quicksilver County Park, California, United States (18.5 miles away)
3.7 mile trail around Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Quicksilver Mockingbird Loop - Hacienda - Randol - New Almaden is about 3.7 miles long and located near English Town, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. The upper part of the the Day Tunnel trail is washed out with lots of exposed rock, but it's passable. Once back on the New Almaden trail, the vegetation becomes...
Stile Ranch Trail at Santa Teresa County Park
Stile Ranch Trail at Santa Teresa County Park
San Jose, California, United States (20 miles away)
 
Moderate: 2.6 miles, 1-3 hours
One of the best wildflower hikes in San Jose, California, is on this twisty trail at the southern edge of the city

Stile Ranch Trail comes up often in any discussion of the best places to see wildflowers in the hills rimming Silicon Valley. The trail zigzags up the southern edge of Santa Teresa County Park, a hilly slice of the south end of San Jose, California. The trail's steep terrain and southern exposure make it a prime habitat for the California poppy,...
Bald Peaks Loop at Calero County Park
Bald Peaks Loop at Calero County Park
Calero County Park, California, United States (20 miles away)
 
Difficult: 8.6 miles, Half day
Hikers and equestrians get the view from on high at this park south of San Jose, California

Calero County Park in the hills south of Silicon Valley has excellent hiking if your timing is right--and you don't mind the horses. Most of the trails are multi-use, and the large corral near the trailhead is ample evidence this is primarily an equestrian park. Even so, in the springtime it's one of the best wildflower-viewing destinations in...
Javelina Loop - Calero County Park
Javelina Loop - Calero County Park
San Jose, California, United States (20 miles away)
Moderate: 7.0 miles, Half day
Get a good workout while nature watching in this 7-mile hike on the southern rim of Silicon Valley

Two small ponds and one large reservoir make this an intriguing route at Calero County Park south of San Jose, California. I recommend the Javelina Loop because it passes Calero's bat enclosure and pauses next to a pond at Fish Camp, where a deck looks out over a serene pond frequented by redwing blackbirds and other avians. Los Cerritos Pond near...
Coyote Peak Loop at Santa Teresa County Park
Coyote Peak Loop at Santa Teresa County Park
San Jose, California, United States (21 miles away)
Moderate: 4.2 miles, 1-3 hours
Get a nice workout in on this trail in San Jose's popular Santa Teresa County Park

Coyote Peak is the must-visit point in Santa Teresa County Park in southern San Jose, California. This loop to the peak is a good way to get there: steep enough to provide a good workout and scenic enough to reward your efforts. Coyote Peak looks out over the southern expanse of Silicon Valley, with great views of both the Diablo Range to the east...