The Ohlone Bluffs trail in Wilder Ranch State Park provides access to a gorgeous strech of coastline just outside of Santa Cruz along Highway 1. The bluffs feature unique sandstone terraces sculpted by powerful ocean forces and sandy beaches. From the park headquarters, the trail stretches around 5 miles to the other end of the park. Within the first mile, views of expansive Wilder Beach open up from above the bluff. Also make sure to look into a large sea cave. Subsequent beaches include Strawberry Beach, Sand Plant Beach, Three Mile Beach, and Four Mile Beach. The trail begins wide and well-trodden but progressively narrows and becomes grassy as you progress west toward four mile beach. The later stretch can become muddy after rains. The Ohlone Bluffs trail is far from a wilderness experience with Hwy 1 nearby and agriculture coming right up to the bluffs. However, the intricate coastline and ample opportunties for exploration on the beaches and terraces make this a great destination. Below are some photos from a recent hike of the Ohlone Bluffs Trail feauturing a spectacular sunset. A complete photo album is here.
Complete Ohlone Bluffs photo album here.