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Wilder Ranch State Park, California, United States

Pacific to Redwoods Loop at Wilder Ranch State Park

Hike from California's spectacular coastline to the fringe of its redwood forests on this beautiful loop.

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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 12.0 miles / 19.3 km
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly
Overview: 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 the hillside into a forest filling up with young coast redwoods.

If you're not up for a long trek, don't fret: stroll around the old ranch house site and wander down to the coast, then retrace your steps.

Thanks to EveryTrail user Randyrml for recording this track and adding his photographs.

Contact the park: 831-423-9703

Parking fees: $10 per carload, but you can park free along Highway One and hike in.

Facilities: Park HQ includes bathrooms, running water and a gift shop.

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset

Tips: Use extreme caution around the cliffs near the ocean.

Dress in layers: it can be very chilly near the ocean and quite warm in the park's higher reaches.

The park is very popular on weekends; a weekday visit will be much more pleasant.

Driving directions: The Wilder Ranch is 1.8 miles north of the Western Drive stoplight in Santa Cruz.

Points of Interest


Park headquarters, trailhead


Trail sign at the coastline


Rocky cliffs


Brown Pelicans

Perched on a rock formation

Coastal bluffs


4 Mile Beach


Crossing under Highway One.


Eagle Cutoff Trail marker


Eagle View Trail


Redwoods along the Enchanted Trail


Twin Oaks Trail


View looking southward toward Monterey

Pictures in this guide taken by: tommangan, pcmasten, randyrml

Pacific to Redwoods Loop at Wilder Ranch State Park Trail Map

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